Are second interviews worth doing?
It’s a common question a lot of businesses ask us over and over.
The issue is, they chew into valuable resource, time and money.
So, it pays to know whether a second interview is worthwhile or not for your business beforehand.
The truth is, there are a lot of variables that impact the outcome of this question.
That’s why I’ve put together a handy guide to help you get to the bottom of this conundrum.
Understanding your needs
One of the best places to start is to think about the specific job you’re looking to fill.
For example, if you’re after a store assistant at a supermarket or a temp worker at a factory, conducting a second interview might not be required, as these roles are time-sensitive and require you to move fast.
They also don’t require a great deal of experience or qualifications.
However, the scenario will change if you’re on the hunt for a senior member of staff or manager, as they’d be earning a greater salary and will need leadership skills.
The best way to determine which category a role falls into is to ask yourself, how easy is to attain the ‘must-haves’ on the job advert?
Do most professionals have these qualities?
While transferable skills and soft skills are becoming increasingly important during the assessment process, a majority of the traits or attributes that fall under these remits can be attained over time.
Similarly, they might be rendered pointless if you’ve gone down the route of headhunting someone via LinkedIn or have been passed the details of a professional through your employee referral scheme.
Seeing as you or an employee has already seen potential in someone, asking them to do two interviews is bordering on overkill when dealing with a passive job seeker.
Nevertheless, as experts in the recruitment world, we’d always advise our clients to do second interviews as a precaution.
At the end of the day, there’s no harm in doing them, it’s just a case of allocating extra funding and time.
Why you should conduct second interviews
Confirm a gut feeling or first impression
Like the candidate, but something in your gut is telling you otherwise? First interviews are generally quite nerve-racking affairs for both parties.
So, there isn’t much time to collect the information you need. A second interview will give you the opportunity to confirm whether your first impression of a professional is right or wrong before committing.
It’s a peace of mind.
Add more people into the mix
If you conducted the first interview on your own, it’s definitely worth bringing in some fresh faces to get a second opinion on a professional.
Think stakeholders, fellow managers and employees in the same department.
Having more than one person in the room will allow you all to focus on certain elements in greater detail.
For instance, you can sit back and analyse body language while your colleague asks the questions.
Afterwards, you’ll be able to gain a more rounded view on someone and make more informed decisions.
Ask harder interview questions
If the first interview is the introductory stage, you can use the second time around to challenge professionals with harder questions.
Whether this includes brainteasers to test logic and working under pressure or just getting deeper responses on classic certain competency-based questions.
How do they fair?
Sell yourself more
Remember, interviews are a two-way thing. You need to sell your company just as much as the candidate needs to sell themselves.
Conducting a second interview will give you extra time to cut through the formalities and share more information about the job itself.
Mention what the day-to-day job entails, the history of your company and all of the cool perks you offer.
See them in action
If you don’t fancy another routine interview the second time round, mix it up by inviting shortlisted candidates to an assessment half-day.
This way you can see how they interact with the team and work in a day-to-day environment.
What do your employees think of them? Did the professional do a good job?
Having this ‘try before you buy’ hiring method in place will make it extremely easier to make a hiring decision and it’ll save you money in the long-run too.
Just be sure to pay them for the half-day, as a lot of them will have to take annual leave in their current job.
Alternatively, you could always adopt Creative Niche’s ‘wine and cheese night’.
This innovative hiring technique involves inviting hopefuls to a company wine and cheese night at the office to get to know managers and employees.
At the end of the night, everyone gets to have a say in the hiring decision.
If just one person vetoes it, the candidate won’t get the job!
Overall, if you want to make an informed decision and keep staff turnover rates down, I highly recommend you conduct second interviews.
It not only offers peace of mind, but you get a chance to make a better-rounded assessment on someone, instead of a snap judgment you may regret a few months down the line.
The good news is that you don’t have to make a decision straight away.
So, if you advertise a job and get masses of quality candidates applying, you can decide on a second interview there and then.
Just be sure to keep everyone in the loop to maintain a quality candidate experience.
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