Jul 7, 2007

Dealing with the multi-round interview

More and more organizations are switching to the multi-round interview process. Specially for senior management roles.

The first reason for that is, these roles require more complex interactions than they used to earlier. In a world of collaborative and marix-reporting relationships people are now bringing those relationships also to interview the prospective candidate.

No longer is it just the HR interview followed by the hiring manager interview.

So what do you do when you are in the चक्रव्यूह of the multi-round interview.

  1. Keep your patience - Often questions will be repeated. Specially around the resume. So resist the urge to yell "But I already answered this question three times ago". The focus is not your answer, really. The focus is the rapport you are building.
  2. Resist the urge to ask - why this interview. If you are being considered for the role of a marketing manager and the national sales manager and the product development manager are also interviewing you, the focus is on the collaborative work you might be doing with them in the future.
  3. Use the interviews for your purpose - Get as much different data points about the role than just from the hiring manager. So ask the other people what they see as the challenges for this role. What would their expectation be from a person in the role etc.
  4. Remember that the biggest decision is by the person whose headcount you are going to be - Find that out and impress that person the most :-)

What has been your experience if any, with a multi-round interview?


  1. My 2 cents:

    * Companies that are serious about recruiting, do it fast, so couple of rounds of interviews and a decision is made fast.

    * It is the so called intellectual brand of companies that take people through several rounds of interviews. And don't even bother to revert back. I am talking from my experience. 6 years back a Chicago based IT org set up shop in Bangalore. I was being interviewed for PM post. I had 9 rounds of interviews over different days on phone and in person and then absolute silence from the company. Come on if you have time to grill a candidate and spend more than 30 hours of his time on interview...surely you would have 10 min to draft a note to the candidate. It was then I promised myself - keep away from these kind of companies where they have a candidate talk to everyone within the company. It simply means everyone is keeping their a** covered. :-)

  2. hey these multirounds were done mostly by your propsed teammembers.i had 5 rounds for an IB in mumbai. i was interviewd by team members individually whth whome i suppose to work with.

    positively, its gud to make my futuer teammember aware of me.it will create gud rapoo with him.It also give some sence of belogingness to the existing employee as his employer giving importance to his word on hiring.

    on the left hand,its time taking,i had to fly of 3times to mumbai and 5 leaves for the existing employer.
    its painful ,even if one of the future assocoates dislike me, i am out of hiring process.

    These kind of interviews require Highest amount of Patency.


  3. Multiple interview stages are vital to determine team acceptance. This is successful in organisations with a flat structure where contribution made by each team member to the bottomline is vital.

    From the candidate's view point, he should be satisfied moving with each round, to be sure he has taken the right decision when he finally decides to make the career move.

    The space created by both ends ,during this process,defines getting closest to your candidate requirement.

    Roma Ahuja