You are NOT a Circus Tiger! Stop jumping through hoops!

I once knew a hiring manager that said things like, “I like to draw out the interview process on purpose. I need to see that they’re really interested. If they keep coming in, that shows me they really want the job.” He would ignore candidate follow up correspondence and play hard to get. He wanted the candidate to chase the opportunity by chasing him. Sadly, he is not alone. There are so many managers who put candidates through similar challenges in an attempt to gauge their level of focus on the role. It’s a foolish strategy that wastes the candidate’s time and destroys a company’s reputation as a good place to work. No one wants to work for an employer that is constantly playing games with their people before they’re even hired!

If, as a candidate, this has ever been done to you, you have your options. You can choose to stay in the process and continue jumping through the hoops in hopes that you’ll get the job. You can remove yourself from consideration and keep looking elsewhere or you can force their hand. Choosing to stay in the process will eventually frustrate you and cause you to second guess interviewing for a role you were once so excited about. Also, it paints you as a pushover. Someone who is eager to please which will make it harder to earn the respect you deserve as an employee. Forcing their hand is tricky, especially if you’re genuinely interested in the opportunity. You’ll want to communicate your continued interest, however remind the manager that your experiences throughout the process have caused you to wonder whether or not you’re still in the running. Put the ball in their court. If they’re interested, they are more than welcome to let you know. If not, you wish them the best in their candidate search and move on.

If, as a hiring manager, you’ve done this, you should be ashamed of yourself. There is no doubt in my mind that this method of screening candidates has caused you to miss out on lots of great talent. Your candidates are professionals. They’re experts who have worked hard to get where they are and deserve your respect. If you’re unsure about their commitment to the role (or the organization), this is something you can determine by properly managing the interview process.

First off, find out what they know about your organization. If they haven’t done thorough research and aren’t familiar with your mission, vision and values then they’re probably not as committed as you need them to be. Start off secondary rounds of interviews by following up on the previous round. If they’re focused on your role, they should be able to recall what took place, what they learned and be able to share some take a ways. Pay attention to non-verbal clues. Does their energy seem to wane after each interview round? If so, they’re clearly getting tired and losing interest.

Some key take a ways here:

Managers – The interview process can be daunting enough without forcing candidates to jump through unnecessary hoops just to prove a point. Don’t waste their time.

Candidates – Know your worth. Don’t allow yourself to be taken advantage of. Stand up for yourself and establish respect early on.

Both – Simple improvements on how you handle the interview process can help to avoid these problems altogether. The Offer Stage approach would be a huge help to both sides, educating you on how to properly manage the process including pre and post interview strategies.



Hi, my name is Pamela Shand and I want the best for you in your career. I started Offer Stage Consulting to show job seekers how to overcome the most annoying challenges and get where they want to be in their careers. It is possible to actually be happy at work!

Let me show you how. | Follow us on Twitter | Like us on Facebook | Instagram: @offerstageceo

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