Q: I recently applied for a role at a tech company in Boston. I interviewed several times and it is moving in a positive direction. However, I just returned from a first interview with another company in Cambridge and they said to “expect an offer this weekend.” I am flattered but surprised that they are moving this quickly. I had a great first interview and I could envision myself working there. The more I think about it, the more excited I get about the Cambridge opportunity. Frankly though I expected at least 2 or 3 interviews. Is this normal?
A: Your experience is becoming more common than you might think. Companies are battling for talent. The unemployment rate in the Boston area is under 3%. Smart and capable candidates are in demand.
Most of our clients are still asking employees to interview a few times. It helps us better assess their abilities and fit with the company culture. We also ask a few different employees to interview them, hopefully on the same day. Everyone observes something a little bit different about the candidate. I think the candidate benefits too; they are able to interact with several employees and learn a bit about the company from each interviewer.
However, I have a few clients moving in the direction that you mention. They will complete a phone interview, invite a candidate in for a few face-to-face interviews (on one day), check one professional reference and then extend an offer. Their beginning to end process is usually about 7 to 10 calendar days, which is fairly quick for most professional-level roles. We have a few clients who feel like they lost too many strong candidates in late 2017 because of a cumbersome internal interview process. As long as a candidate understands the timeline, the candidate is usually comfortable with the process. However, some candidates feel like they need to research the company a bit more. They may need additional information about the company culture, benefits, compensation, etc. We always suggest an additional call with the hiring manager to answer any questions that the candidate may have.
We are seeing signs of it being a candidate’s world, including strong candidates juggling multiple offers. Or the candidate’s current company extending a counteroffer.
My recommendation: do your research before you accept an offer. Jump online and learn about the company and their leadership. Visit Glassdoor and find out what employees and former employees are saying about the company. Use LinkedIn to try to find out who might work there, someone you could call that can give you an insider’s point of view.
Pattie Hunt Sinacole is a human resources expert and works for First Beacon Group in Hopkinton, an HR consulting firm. She contributes weekly to Boston.com Jobs and the Boston Sunday Globe Money & Careers section.