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  • Writer's pictureBrad Weinbrum

Struggling to recruit talent? Check your interview process against these best practices.

When creating an interview process, leaders must be clear and honest with themselves regarding the type of talent they want to hire and ensure their interview practices are designed to attract and secure that type of talent.

A company’s hiring process should be as efficient as the company advertises itself to be. For example, it is confusing when a company's advertisements request candidates who are efficient, energetic quick thinkers and then subject them to a long, disengaged interview process. To avoid this paradox and risk losing quality recruits, companies should plan a process that maps the cadence of all interviews they require of new hires and the time it takes to work through all elements of the hiring process.

How many interviews are appropriate?

By nature, managerial, cross-department, or executive roles where multiple stakeholders are involved require a more thorough interview process. However, that should not require the candidate to undergo repetitive interviews. Nivalmi analysis and experience has proven the ideal interview process should not exceed four separate interviews, with the 4th primarily serving as confirmation of what others have decided. Exceeding four interviews can lead to both candidate and interviewer fatigue and hamper each party’s performance and perceptions of one another. Prolonging the process also leaves the door open for candidates to be poached by others with more efficient interview processes.

For entry-level positions, the ideal process should not exceed two interviews: an initial screen followed by a formal interview with a hiring manager. For positions that require lower levels of responsibility and experience higher turn over, it is typically not beneficial to invest additional resources to extend the interview process beyond two. If two feels insufficient in revealing a candidate’s viability, leaders may need to restructure their interview questions and format, not add additional steps.

How long should the interview process take?

The time frame is often just as important as the number of interviews. If a position is marketed as a high priority, high responsibility role then the interview time frame should reflect that. Effective hiring managers should be as responsive and time-conscious as they expect their new hires to be. Metrics from top performing companies target 14 days for non-exempt positions and 36 days for professional and management hires.

Proper planning and aligned commitment prior to the search with a a leaner, more effective interview process can help position your company at the top of the competitive talent market.

Transforming companies to achieve growth is the Nivalmi purpose. Developing leadership is our passion. Nivalmi is a carefully curated team of seasoned consultants helping unlock opportunity, improve efficiency and guide the change necessary to create measurable improvements in people, culture and bottom lines. For more information, visit


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