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Interview Fatigue: How to Avoid it or How to Fix it

One of the reasons why we love working with Founders and CEOs of tech startups is their commitment to outcomes.

Fortunately, our business model compliments these leaders who are motivated to make a hiring decision. Our model of engaged service enables us to wrap a team around a client and execute with focus, quickly.

What no one can predict until a search is underway, are market conditions relevant to your search and your company which may lengthen the time to hire. Some of these marketing conditions include:

  • Small talent pool 
  • Average compensation range is higher than your max
  • Cultural fit challenges
  • Baggage about your company 
  • Losing candidates to competing offers or counteroffers

Depending upon how much time has passed since the search began and the number of candidates you've reviewed, interview fatigue can begin to creep in. 

In some cases, this fatigue can turn into a renewed sense of urgency to end the process as soon as possible, getting in the way of making a wise hiring decision. In other instances, we've heard of some leaders even putting a search on hold to give leadership time to rest from the process. 

While we don’t suggest either of those as an option, we do have some suggestions on how to engage in a search process that will reduce the likelihood of developing search fatigue:

Include key stakeholders early on in the process. 

There can be no hire without the sign-off of key stakeholders so it’s better to involve them early in the process. Interview fatigue can happen to team members when they feel they are constantly meeting a revolving door of candidates that never seem to make the cut. Introducing the key stakeholders early helps to align everyone’s expectations and minimize wrong-fit candidates from progressing too far into the interview process.

Interview for experiences and skills first.

When looking to hire strategic leaders, their past experiences and ability to execute should always be the number one focus. To cut down on the number of candidates and time spent interviewing, it's essential to focus on matching experiences and skills required for success. Culture and team fit are important as well but the skills and ability to succeed as a leader are essential. 

Book the first interview within 48 hours of receiving the resume.

We are back to being in a candidate’s market so you need to move quickly to ensure your number one pick isn't snapped up by a competing offer before you can even get yours out the door. If their resume looks good, get the first interview scheduled quickly and ideally early in the week. 

Why early in the week? If a first interview occurs on a Monday or Tuesday, there is time to book a second interview in the same week. The fewer weekends that occur in a search process the better for keeping a candidate focused and less distracted. There is a saying in recruitment that will forever hold true and that's "time kills deals."

Lean on your search partner for process best practices.

If you're working with a search partner, booking weekly meetings keeps the ball rolling and ensures they remain your confidante in this process. You need a search partner who has insight on the candidate's perspective, understands feedback loops, and operates with urgency to avoid interview fatigue; both on your team’s side and the candidate’s. 

Be transparent with your search partner about how you are feeling. Invite their professional perspective and suggestions. Use their services to do the heavy lifting and push the process forward at a steady pace. 

Already have interview fatigue? Here’s how to fix it.

If you are already far down the interview path and are feeling fatigued, it’s time to take more drastic steps to get back on track. As we said before, hiring while suffering from interview fatigue is a recipe for mis-hiring so here are four ways to get back on track:

Re-evaluate your process. 

Often interview fatigue is related to interview processes that have too many steps. Look at what interviews, case studies, or steps can be removed or consolidated to make the process more streamlined.  

Identify the must-have skills and experiences. 

Prioritize those. Focus on those. No one is going to have everything on your wishlist so focus on the skills and experiences required to be successful versus those that can be learned on the fly or adapted. 

Change up how you interview.

What time of day do you interview? It should be when you are the least likely to be tired or distracted. Or have a second person join your Zoom interview - a small panel changes the dynamics. You can also streamline cultural and team fit processes by having a few members jump on at the end of the interview to look for those cultural attributes.

Look for reasons to hire. 

This may sound obvious but a lot of the time hiring managers can become overly focused on why candidates wouldn’t make a good fit versus looking for ways a candidate meets the requirements. Look for reasons to hire, instead of looking at the reasons not to hire - this shift in mindset can create a more positive outlook and a less fatigued approach to completing your hiring goal. 

If you're struggling to find candidates with the right level of experience and skills, we can help! Check out some of our latest case studies and see how we’ve helped clients like you land the candidates they need.