What to Expect in a Multi-Stage Interview Process
In recent years and with the onset of Covid restrictions we have seen a trending surge in multi-stage interviews.
This multi-stage interview process was starting to trend about four years ago with graduate hiring. Large companies began using advancing technologies, such as online testing, gamification and easier and more trouble free video interviewing. Now, all this has become firmly entrenched in most mid to large size corporate companies, especially as a way to sort through and interview hundreds of applicants, at most levels, quickly and efficiently.
It has suddenly become quite normal for more senior levels of hiring to find yourself part of these multi-stage assessments too. They are no longer being reserved for graduate hiring. This can be quite the shock if you have not interviewed in the last few years.
The Different Stages
Multi-stage assessments usually start with an online application submission. This is then screened by the Candidate Management System and it’s AI algorithms to check your application against the roles description. This is done to present a ranking of candidates to the internal recruiter, or Hiring Manager, who may choose a cut off point to send automated rejections to. For those fortunate enough to pass the CMS screen, there is often a double check of the top candidates by the recruiter, or Hiring Manager, to ensure only a high standard of applicants get through to the next stage.
The next stages can be in any order but usually either a pre-screen call with a company recruiter, or a video interview with written questions on the screen, to read and answer in a set time with no human interaction. If you are successful at passing the screening stage, you are on to the next stage.
Often, there are skills tests to do which can be an assortment of verbal, numerical, technology and psychometric tests and case studies completed using online software. Sometimes some gamification role play too, such as sales calls and customer service role plays.
Depending on your level and role you may be asked to put together a presentation on any given topic. Particularly at Manager or Director level or roles in which you will be expected to present in regularly in the role. This may be submitted before an actual interview in order to question you on it in later rounds, or make up a more formal part of the interview with a Q&A afterwards.
Those that successfully get through those rounds may make it to a real interview. However, this can still be conducted by video link, due to some company Covid health procedures. Depending on the level and the company there may be more than one live ‘in person’ interview and numerous panels of people to meet at interview.
Sometimes, if they find it hard to choose between two applicants, they may provide more tests to see if it helps them with the decision. Especially useful at such a time are psychometric tests.
All these stages cost the company a lot of money, and the companies really only want to invest in candidates who they see can are capable of doing the role. Therefore, it is a good sign if you make it past the screening round, though your competition will be in with a fighting chance too.
This all seems like hard work! And it is. Today’s candidates need to spend hours on the interview stages but it really ensures the people being interviewed are motivated to work at such a company.
Preparation is key to get through these rounds. Fail to prepare and prepare to fail.
Our interview coaching covers all these stages. This is why interview coaching cannot be completed in a single session. Sometimes you may need to focus each session on different elements, such as ensuring a winning application, then on the testing, then pre-call or video answers and finally real in person interviews. We split our interview coaching sessions up to ensure all this can be covered at the right time and stage of the interview process.
For more information book a 20 min free pre coaching call.
Clare Reed is a leading global expert Interview Coach with over 24 years global interviewing and coaching experience.