The hiring process is longer than ever — here’s how to survive

Written By kom nampuldu on Senin, 16 Maret 2015 | 18.18

It was 6 p.m. the night before Thanksgiving, and Alyssa, an aspiring marketing associate, was locked in the guest room at a holiday party to interview for a job. "I was on the phone call for two hours!" says the 25-year-old, who asked that a pseudonym be used for professional reasons. "I was asked to talk about my views on Twitter, how I handled stress . . . even what I considered my personal mantra. I didn't want to hang up or tell her I had to go. She didn't even seem to be aware there was a holiday the next day!"

Alyssa was called back for another interview — this time in person, where she was interviewed for two hours by five different people. A writing test happened next, followed by a third interview. And at the end of the day? "They said they appreciated my time, but I didn't have enough experience," recounts Alyssa. "At that point, I'd put at least 24 hours, plus called out sick at my own job twice!

Alyssa's experience probably sounds familiar to many job-hunting New Yorkers. And even for those who do receive the congratulatory handshake at the end of the interview, the process is still grueling: A recent glassdoor.com survey found that the hiring process now takes 23 days from first interview to offer, up from 12 in 2009.

"Companies are still recovering from the Great Recession, and they can't afford to lose the thousands of dollars that come with making a wrong hire," says Scott Dobroski, a career analyst for glassdoor.com. But there is an upside to those 23 days of torture

"When a company hires the right fit, rather than just someone who can do the job, it's a win for both the candidate and company." Here, how to survive the process — and maybe even nab the job of your dreams.

Even if you're between jobs, that doesn't mean you should pursue every interview that comes your way.Photo: Shutterstock.com

Be selective. Even if you're currently between gigs, that doesn't mean you should go after every single interview that comes your way, says Roy Cohen, a New York-based career coach and author of "The Wall Street Professional's Survival Guide." "If a recruiter calls you for a job you know isn't the right fit, it's fine to explain that, while you're honored you crossed their mind, you're looking more for a job with X responsibilities or Y experience. The more you explain what you want, the less desperate and more hirable you'll look."

Do some homework 'presearch.' Talk with your network to find out what you may be asked to provide in terms of deliverables after the interview, suggests Cohen. "For example, a lot of hedge funds may require that candidates submit sample analysis of data. Knowing what they expect allows you to get a bit of a head start on prepping materials."

Prioritize the process. In the scheme of things, 23 days isn't that long, so make interviewing your primary extracurricular. "If you don't provide what they ask, such as writing samples, that's pretty much an immediate ding," warns John Paul Engel, president of Knowledge Capital Consulting, an executive recruiting firm. "Would you refuse if your boss or a client asked you to write up a paper or presentation? It's about risk management. Even if you don't get the gig, maybe they'll reach out to you in the future or you can use the materials for something else."

If you feel your potential employer is being unreasonable during the interview process, it's a good sign of what sort of demands will be placed on you when you're actually at the company.Photo: Shutterstock.com

But stand up for yourself. Say an interviewer asks you to come in to meet the team at 10 a.m. tomorrow . . . and you've already got a can't-miss meeting at your current gig. Resist the urge to fake sick and explain the situation. "They'll only respect you more if you seem indispensable to your current company," says Cohen. Not only is offering up alternate times perfectly acceptable, but how the hiring manager reacts to your suggestions lends valuable insight into what they'll be like to work with. "Hiring is a two-way street, and if you feel they're being unreasonable now, it's a good sign of what sort of demands they'll place on you when you're actually employed," says Ed Donner, co-founder and CEO of Untapt, a recruiting platform.

Keep in touch. So you didn't get the gig . . . but you'd still love a job at that company. Let the hiring manager know how passionate you are, says Engel. "Think of the interview process as a networking opportunity, and the hiring manager as one more person you've added to your network," he says. Ask to be kept in the loop for future opportunities; stay in touch by letting them know where you've eventually landed. That way, if you do get a second chance at your dream company, there's a good chance the process will be speedier . . . and successful.


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