Many job seekers want to get through the interview process as quickly and pain-free as possible. When your interview process includes hurdles like a skills test, background check and panel interview, it makes sense to wonder if it’s all really necessary.
However, new reports from Glassdoor Economic Research show that the easiest interview may not be the best for job seekers. Here are three things about the interview process that may be arduous for job seekers but really do benefit them:
1. Difficult interviews.
Believe it or not, enduring a hard interview can mean higher job satisfaction down the road. An October 2015 Glassdoor report revealed that increasing the difficulty of an interview by 10 percent led to a 2.6 percent increase in individual employee satisfaction later on.
It’s not that candidates who were hired after difficult interviews are just happy to have survived the process. Being asked tougher questions and having to solve sample work problems gives employers a more complete idea of what type of employee you’d be. The more they know about your skills and personality, the more confident they’ll be that you’re a good cultural and job fit for the company.
When companies hire someone who turns out to be a bad fit for the position, that employee is often less engaged and less satisfied with the actual job. It follows that good fits are more engaged and more satisfied. That’s why companies are increasing the difficulty of the interview process: to get a more educated idea of whether or not a candidate will be successful.
There’s no need to worry about extreme interview challenges, though. The Glassdoor report also found that there is an optimal level of interview difficulty; interviews that were rated as “very difficult” led to a drop in employee satisfaction later on. So, while employers might have you jumping through metaphorical hoops, they won’t be lighting them on fire any time soon.
2. Long interview processes.
A June 2015 Glassdoor report found the average length of the interview process in the U.S. has grown to 22.9 days. That’s almost double the 2010 average of 12.6 days.
Why is it taking longer for a job candidate to get hired? The main culprit is companies are requiring applicants go through more job screens than in the past. The same Glassdoor report also revealed that while about the same percentage of candidates are facing traditional one-on-one interviews, there has been a noticeable increase in other types of screens.
The number of candidates going through background checks has jumped from 25 percent in 2010 to 42 percent in 2014. Skills test are becoming more common as well, having grown from 16 percent to 23 percent in the same time frame.
But the application process is not lengthening equally for all levels and job titles. Getting hired for higher-skilled and higher-ranking positions takes significantly longer than entry-level jobs. These types of employees hold more value for a company, and employers are more willing to spend the time and resources to make sure they find the right candidate for the job.
For job seekers going through these long ordeals, that’s fantastic news. Jobs that require more skills and experience rate higher in importance with employers, and the people who fill those positions are compensated accordingly.
If you find yourself being asked to complete more and more steps during your interview process, there’s a good chance the company views the position as extremely valuable. A bad hire would mean wasting money to pay the high salary of a less than ideal employee.
So, bear with them as you get closer and closer to that job offer. Continue to show the company you’re worth every penny they’d be investing in you.
3. Getting an employee referral.
Building a professional network is tough. You have to meet a lot of different people and continually maintain those connections. But when you need them, you’ll be glad to have a strong network.
An August 2015 survey by Glassdoor found that being recommended for a job interview by a current company employee increases the probability of being hired by 2.6 to 6.6 percent. That might not seem like a big advantage, but consider the odds through an online application. Arguably the easiest way to apply for a job, submitting an online application actually decreases your chances of receiving a job offer by 11.4 to 15 percent.
All of a sudden, taking the time to make connections within a company before applying for a job doesn’t seem like such a waste.
The reason employee referrals work out so well for both candidates and employers is because of the personal connection between them: the referrer. Employers can count on their current employees to know how the company functions and what types of people make good employees in the office. Job seekers, on the other hand, can depend on their friends to be honest with them about what it’s like to work at the company. The referrer has both parties’ best interest in mind.
This leads to better matches than other interview sources, like online applications. When a candidate decides to apply for a job with a company without an insider perspective, they don’t really know if the job will satisfy them. If you know someone at the company, however, and they think a job will fit you well and they are willing to recommend you, there’s a better chance it’s the right position for you.
What other aspects of the interview process might be a burden for job seekers, but actually work out well for them in the end?