The rise of never-ending job interviews [Interesting Read]

Hello all,

I stumbled upon this article and thought this was really interesting. What do you guys think?

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I think there are a quite a few posts for the never-ending PM interviews, especially ones where they are asking you to solve company problems and/or build out comprehensive roadmaps for their products which you don’t have the working knowledge of. Especially for take home assignments when you already have a FT job, and take-home assignments that take 3+ hrs.

I have been interviewing again, and for my first company I interviewed with I had 5 different individual interviews with a panel at the end for a 25min presentation on a “topic of my choice” which I felt was way too long, and that I had to add filler material to.

Idk, I just like the 2-3 session type of interview: phone screening with HR, interview with hiring mgr + some members of team, interview with director if necessary.

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When talking to some fellow PMs I notice the shift in many companies hiring process to minimum 4-5 interview rounds, some say it takes sometimes 8 weeks from first interview to hire someone, while 6 being the avg.

Do you think companies focus so much on hiring that “perfect” candidate that they might miss many good ones that can be PERFECT with training?

I sometimes feel companies also don’t seem to use probation period right! at least at places I worked, unless you do something totally wild, they never let you go during probation, but spend weeks trying to hire perfect candidate!

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When I joined my company a few years ago I just had to do 3 interviews (HR screen, team mate and hiring manager). They were all 30-45 min and done within 3 days. Now, anyone applying for a position on my team does an HR screen, a screen by one of the team, then “on-site” is 5-6 back to back 1hr interviews with various people in different functions and including the VP above the hiring manager. So that’s around 8 hrs. And I heard some people are trying to add a take home assignment before the on-site as well.

All this and you know how much training the team has received in how to interview and what to look for? None. All this just to make sure more people have talked to the candidate and are comfortable with them. Ugh. This is how people end up hiring teams that look exactly like themselves and then try to say look we have such a high performing team, who needs diversity? We interviewed so many people. We have the best of the best. We love each other here.

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One of my colleagues was designing a take home interview question and asked for some feedback. I suggested that what he was asking applicants to do would take several hours and no one would be able to do it in an hour which was the guideline that was stated. He said, oh, yeah, that’s just to weed out the people who don’t want to put in the extra effort. It’s not like we actually time them.

Seriously? How unfair is that? Asking someone to do 6+ hours of research and design, even interviewing people, and just to find someone who wants it bad enough? Ugh.

His defense was he’s interviewed over 100 candidates (after HR screen) and half of them suck while the other half failed interviews with higher ups. So, I can see the motivation for something like that but what a crappy solution.

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About a year ago, I applied at this place, HR Phone screen, all good! then she sent me the take home assignment, she said would only take 2 hours!

The assignment had 5 sections, each with additional 3 sub-section! at bare minimum this would take me 6-8 hours! I emailed her back and said, there is no way I can do this in 2 hours and for that reason, I AM OUT! lol

I sometimes really wonder, what do these companies think? People with full time jobs, and a family to spend so much time on an assignment and I have yet to even talk to the hiring manager? or learn more about the product? Why would I do this???

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A job I interviewed for had a four-stage interview along with an hour presentation they expected 40 hours of work. It was basically doing company work for them. I don’t mind doing presentations, but the arms race is ridiculous

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If a company can’t make reasonably quick decisions about which candidates to hire, how do you think they will be at executing on the product development front? Huge red flag.

Company should be able to get enough signal in two or three rounds. Maybe four at the most.

  1. Intro call.
  2. Simple phone screen.
  3. Full onsite.
  4. Potentially a follow up on anything with unclear signal.

That’s it, I worked for startups and FAANG. Any more than that is unnecessary if your interviewers are good. I would also wonder what type of people you attract if your interview process is overly burdensome. Probably the less skilled and desperate job seekers, not the top-tier talent who have many options and won’t tolerate that.

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That’s what we do and at the end of the all day onsite, you really do know if it’s a thumb’s up or down. If you aren’t sure, then it’s a no.

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@KaranTrivedi, That’s a good insight. If a company and its hiring manager cannot make decision but having to find consensus with a lot of people, then you know the kind of culture it has. Imagine strategy exercise and prioritization process in that kind of environment! :exploding_head:

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I’ve definitely backed out of opportunities because of the length of the process. I’m good at my job and had already interviewed really well. I don’t need to go through another day or two of interviews… you either like the candidate or you don’t.

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Yep and now I just ask what the process is upfront, not shy about things.

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Just curious - What would you expect a full on-site to involve?

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Probably 3 to 4 interviews with different people. At a large company this is probably different product managers testing for different skill sets (making data driven decisions, coming up with creative product ideas, soft skills, etc). If it’s a small startup it’s going to be the engineering lead, designer, and the founders. Probably similar but not as strict of a format.

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I did 14 interviews for my role. The first 8 or so were the standard interview process for a specific role that i did not get, and the rest were bouncing me to different groups to find a fit. Ultimately a great outcome rather than a hard rejection.

They were really understanding about it and transparent that they wanted to find the best fit, but still ridiculous.

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Thanks for sharing, 14 Interviews? how long did it take?

Did they ever ask you if you are talking to another company?

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It was over 3 months. They never really asked. I did get (and accept) another offer in that span that I decided to back out of

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My company is old school. 1 round 1 hour with a small panel of a minimum of 2 (hiring manager and HR or two managers). I’ve seen up to 5 panelists in the room. 5-7 behavioral STAR questions. Same process whether you’re an engineer or an office assistant. The doozy is the background check that takes 6-8 weeks, and they will call every former employer for the last 7 years (even if it was a retail job while you were in college) and apparently now the drug test is becoming a problem since we follow federal regulations. I’ve been interviewing on the outside for the first time in 10 years and all these rounds, flakey recruiters that don’t call back, no feedback, or “I will personally let you know either way” and totally ghosting letting the system reject you 6 weeks later. It’s such a roller coaster of being excited at the possibility of changing industries and finally having a competitive salary and then feeling super down about whether something will ever pan out.