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How Many interviews is Too Many?

November 6th, 2020

As you begin your job search, you’ll probably be excited to score your first interview. And you should be! An interview invitation is a sign of success; it means you made it past the first hurdle and used your resume or networking efforts to gain a hiring manager’s attention. But after you schedule your second, fifth, and tenth interviews, should you still be excited? Or does this mean something isn’t working? Should you still be proud, or does this indicate a job search misstep?

Here are a few quick answers.

Compare your search to the dating process.

People go on dates for a wide variety of reasons, but if you’re scheduling date after date with the primary goal of eventually getting married, too many dates can start to feel like a diversion from that goal. It may start to feel like you’re working so hard to keep your options open that you’re not giving a full and fair review to each individual candidate. The same applies to jobs. If you request an hour of an interviewer’s time, know that you’re asking for something of value, and respect the interviewer by taking the session seriously. If you don’t plan to listen, practice your interview skills in good faith, or truly consider the job, just cancel the session.

Show respect for your own time.

Attending an interview takes time, preparation, attention, and sometimes even money (it may cost something to travel or dry clean your suit). You could be spending this time on other aspects of your job search or the needs of your personal life. So if you don’t want to go, don’t go. Don’t feel obligated to attend simply because you’ve been asked.

Too many job interviews can actually lead to too many options.

It’s what’s called a “good problem”, but even a good problem like too many job offers can still be a problem. If we have two options in front of us, most of us weigh the pros and cons of each and eventually make an intelligent, informed decision that meets the needs of our life and circumstances. But when faced with ten options, most people become overwhelmed and make the decision more or

less at random. Don’t move through life like an overwhelmed pinball, bounced haplessly from here to there. To control your progress, start by controlling your path.

“Interviews” are not always real.

Sometimes an interview is not what it seems. Often the job has been informally filled already, but the employer needs to demonstrate that they gave several candidates a chance. And sometimes the “job” has yet to be formalized, the projects the new employee will tackle are not yet funded, the position isn’t technically available or the company isn’t even technically off the ground. If you suspect the job you’re chasing is an illusion, it’s okay to tactfully ask for more details before you commit to an interview. Reach out to the experts at Merritt for help with your specific situation.

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