Interview Fatigue: How many interviews are too many?

“Well, aren’t you lucky to have a job!” “Keep the head down and don’t rock the boat.” “If they say jump, you say ‘how high’?”  

These are just some of the mantras which have been spouted at the Irish for generations when it comes to work. It should come as no surprise, however, that in a modern, competitive Irish economy filled with incredibly well-educated people who are now fully connected to the outside world, that these sentiments are completely and utterly outdated.  

Still though, some companies seem reluctant to accept this supposedly “new” phenomenon that people are aware of their worth and allow this to inform them as to what, where, and for whom they work with. And the truth is that this lack of awareness or failure to recognize the market’s behaviour is stopping some companies from attracting the best people. So, what is the biggest culprit when it comes to this difficulty in attracting the best people? It is undoubtably a lengthy and/or slow interview process.  

Earlier this week we conducted an online poll which showed that 88% of respondents had removed themselves from an interview process as a result of it being too long or slow.

So, what can you – an employer who understandably wants to attract the best people – do to mitigate against this and avoid the pitfalls which see so many candidates removing themselves from your interview processes? Our advice is as follows.  

1. Move Quickly

It is hugely important to ensure that candidates are vetted, and that due diligence is followed. I don’t think anyone would have any arguments against that. However, it is also hugely important that the candidates you have in the interview process are given the respect they deserve and are expedited through said process in a manner that is frequent, clear, and transparent.  

This can be as simple as informing them as to the next steps (and when these might occur) and letting them know what team members/stakeholders they will be meeting with next. Understandably, many companies have protocols outlined in terms of how many interviews need to occur, if there should be a task involved in the process, and who needs to meet with candidates in order to fairly satisfy the hiring policy.  

But why not move as quickly as possible through this process? Nowadays in particular, the market is very much candidate-driven, and you’ll likely find that that incredible Graphic Designer or Product Manager or Tech Lead is interviewing with other companies for a similar role. So, move quickly and beat the others to the punch!  

2. Show Respect to your Candidate 

Nothing puts a person off a job or the organization itself more than the impression that their time and talent is being underappreciated or wasted. It is a two-way street and candidates who are eager to get jobs will put the work in to ensure they get to the next interview.  

If you have a great candidate in the process, a good hiring manager should be just as eager to make the necessary efforts to ensure that candidate’s efforts are appreciated.  

By simply thanking them for their time and being clear about when they will hear back, you’re signaling that you respect them and that the company has efficient processes and operations in place. 

3. Trust Your Gut

It’s a widely held opinion with hiring managers that you can tell whether or not someone has got the job within the first 90 seconds. Although 90 seconds seems a prohibitively short amount of time to judge someone’s character, the sentiment that one’s gut instinct is usually correct rings true. So, in the interest of moving more quickly in the process – Trust. Your. Gut.

4. Give Clear Feedback

Companies are usually brilliant at providing feedback to candidates when they have been rejected but it really helps those candidates who are still in the running to know how they did in their interview throughout the process.  

If a candidate knows that they have interviewed well, they will be more inclined to be patient in hearing back about the next steps. It’s simple but it really works! This is quite an integral part of our job as Recruitment professionals – to ensure candidates have a clear idea of where they are in the process and what to expect going forward. So be clear and transparent either directly with your candidates or with your recruitment agency and you will find less people will be inclined to drop out of the process.  


The labour market is difficult at the moment, for employers and recruiters alike. Brilliant candidates are hard to find and sometimes can be even harder to pin down. But there are ways to mitigate against a frequent dropout rate. Put the best foot forward, move quickly, respect your candidates, and it will pay dividends for everyone involved.  

Declan Whelan- TalentHub


Declan Whelan

Resourcer, TalentHub

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