How do I ward off interview fatigue?
I just completed my fourth interview for a job and there is the possibility of yet another interview. Since the first interview, this process has taken four weeks. I'm losing focus and this is affecting my ability to remain enthusiastic about this opportunity and keep re-loading my pipeline. Help!
Sometimes a hiring process can seem to go on forever, and it creates a number of challenges for the candidate. Why do some companies take so long? What are the pitfalls? How do you keep the enthusiasm level up? And how do you manage the rest of the job search in the meantime?
Here are several points to consider...
If you lose interest, so will the employer
This is likely not news. Employers will sometimes put candidates through long interview processes because they are having a difficult time making a decision and they don't want to make a mistake by hiring the wrong candidate. When they aren't able to make a decision on their own, sometimes the process makes the decision for them. As candidates are forced to grind through the lengthy process, some will lose interest, some will drop out and some will show a lack of enthusiasm. The ones that keep shining throughout the grind, are the ones that will rise to the top, and ultimately get an offer. Showing the same level of interest in the fourth interview as in the first is critical!
A job search is a full-time job
Most people have heard this cliche before. It does have a great deal of truth to it, and the more that a job seeker treats it like their job, the better likelihood of earlier success. Any job, no matter how much you may love it, has tasks that have to be done that feel tedious, long and draining. Yet, if you are to become successful, those tasks have to be done well and with energy. The same is true in a hiring process. No matter how attractive the position seems, there will be parts of the selection process that may be less than ideal. Think of working the hiring process the same as a job in order to accomplish all the requirements regardless of how you feel about them.
It's a sales position
Not only is the job search a full-time job, it's a sales position! You are selling the value you bring to an organization to fulfill their needs and wants for the role you are pursuing. In sales, as in a job search, the client / employer may require a number of steps or "demonstrations" to determine if this "product" is right for them. Sometimes they make a decision quickly, and sometimes they do not. If you quit, or lose interest too soon, you will not make the sale. You can't predict which ones will "close" and which ones won't, so you have to be disciplined in keeping a full pipeline of new opportunities in case this one doesn't work out, and yet you have to keep the clients interest throughout the process. View yourself as a sales person that is professional, pleasantly persistent and enthusiastic throughout the process.
It's a two-way street
All that said... it's just as important for the candidate to be evaluating the potential employer as it is for the employer to be evaluating the candidate. If the employer seems to be going through extraordinary lengths to make a decision, and doesn't seem to be able to make a decision, it may be an indication of how they manage employees as well. There may be very good reasons for a lengthy process, however, it's incumbent on the candidate to be asking questions along the way.
A long selection process can certainly take a toll on the attitude and enthusiasm for a new role. Viewing the process as your "job", treat it like a professional sales person, and using the process as an opportunity to evaluate the employer as well can make the process easier.