Is It Normal To Have 3 Interviews For A Job?
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You’ve done the hard work and aced two interviews. Now, you’re just waiting to hear if the company is going to extend their hand and make you that job offer. So when you finally hear back that they want to meet with you for the third time, surely that means they are offering you the role, right?
Well, maybe, but it could just be that they want to see you for a third interview.
Before you get too caught up in thinking the job is yours, it’s in your best interest to prepare for a third and arguably the most challenging job interview you’ve faced so far in the process.
Whilst every company has its own unique method of going about the hiring process. Irrespective of the number of candidates seeking a position, on average the number of interview rounds you should expect is between 2-3. This is standard practice and certainly not unusual for organizations careful in their search for the right person.
Don’t get too down on yourself if this third interview comes as a surprise. You should instead be congratulating yourself on passing the first two interviews, where proportionally speaking, most candidates get cut!
A third interview can mean many things. Maybe they are ready to make you an offer, or somebody high up in the company wants to meet you first. Whatever the case, third interviews are very normal.
Below we’ll walk you through what happens in a third interview, and why companies need to do three interviews in the first place.
It can be nerve-wracking to have such an important interview coming up. You might feel the pressure knowing it is narrowed down to just a few contenders. If you are unsure if you can be honest about your anxiety with your potential employer, check out our article about whether to admit being nervous at a job interview.
What happens in a third interview?
Getting a third interview is an excellent sign that you are one of the final candidates for the job! But, you still have a lot of work to do.
The third interview is usually more in-depth than the ‘resume’ based first and second interviews and tends to address how you will fit into the workplace environment.
The third interview typically is the most difficult, and the hiring team will be scrutinizing you in a way they haven’t before. They might ask questions about your ethics, like what you would do if you caught a coworker breaking company rules. They may touch upon technical questions to really understand what you will bring to the company.
You can also expect they will want to know how you handle stress and balance time management when a project due date looms ahead.
It may seem like these innocent questions about your preferred working environment and personality shouldn’t override your qualifications. However, the company wants to hire someone who will be happy working there and will fit in with the company’s work culture.
Answer honestly yet professionally because if it is down to you and one other candidate, the way you respond to these questions may be the tiebreaker.
Often the third interview is the final interview, so be prepared that the interviewer may bring up compensation and benefits. However even if you think the conversation is headed in this direction, professional manners dictate you always let the hiring manager bring the topic up first.
You should go into the third interview being prepared in case you get an offer. Research the average salary for the job and have a good idea of what kind of offer you need to say yes to the position.
If they offer you a job, but the salary isn’t as much as you had hoped, you don’t have to make an immediate decision. It is perfectly acceptable to take some time to think it over. However, if you are pleased with the compensation and benefits, it is perfectly fine to accept the job immediately.
Why do companies need to do three interviews?
Companies filter candidates through multiple interviews because they want to make sure they get it right the first time around and offer the job to the right person. The last outcome they wish is to invest time and money training up the wrong candidate.
Having three interviews gives a company the time and the opportunity to get to know a potential employee and make a decision they feel confident about. Let’s look at what companies hope to discover during the interview process and why gathering all that information is more than could be accomplished in a single interview.
Often it takes more than one interview to verify the candidate has the credentials and experience they listed on their resume. A hiring manager may ask you lots of questions about your work history and want to know if you have the necessary qualifications for the job.
Maybe you are applying for the same type of job you have now? Or perhaps it is in the same field? However, no two companies or even jobs are exactly alike. The hiring manager may need more than one interview to determine if you can do the job the way they need it done at their company.
Confirming their decision
When many candidates are vying for the same position, it can take several weeks or even months to interview everyone and narrow it down to the top contenders. If it has been a while since you did your interview, they might simply be asking you back to refresh their memory. They may just want to confirm any notes or decisions about you from your previous interview.
Usually, when a company offers multiple interviews to a candidate, they want you to meet various people within the organization. The hiring manager will usually do the initial discussions. But, they will want to get input from the people you will be working for directly.
You might meet with direct supervisors, senior executives, the CEO, and even some potential coworkers. So always make a good impression because even a friendly chat with a potential colleague is part of the interview process. The hiring manager will get feedback and opinions from everyone who met you to see how well they think you will fit in with the workplace.
The early interviews determine if you have the skills and experience needed. Once you pass that part of the interview, they will be looking to see if you have the right personality that will fit in with the company’s culture. Every company has a different way of interacting with its employees. The employees also have a particular way of interacting with each other.
A potential employer will be interested to see what your personality brings to the table. Will you fit in smoothly and be able to build a good working relationship with your coworkers?
Take home message
Be proud of yourself for making it to the third-round interview. The third interview may end with a job offer, or perhaps it’s just the next step of the interview process. Regardless, getting to this stage of the hiring process is an accomplishment.
The hiring process will look different at every company, but between 1-3 interviews are standard procedures for higher-level jobs. You are one step closer to landing the job if you have made it this far!
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