“After they call you back after the sixth interview, there’s a part of you that wants to say, ‘That’s it, I’m not going back,’ ” said Paul Sullivan, 43, an exasperated but cheerful video editor in Washington. “But then you think, hey, maybe seven is my lucky number. And besides, if I don’t go, they’ll just eliminate me if something else comes up because they’ll think I have an attitude problem.”
Like other job seekers around the country, he has been through marathon interview sessions. Mr. Sullivan has received eighth- and ninth-round callbacks for positions at three different companies. Two of those companies, as it turned out, ultimately decided not to hire anyone, he said; instead they put their openings “on hold” because of budget pressures.
At one company, while signing into the visitor’s log for the sixth time, he was chided by the security guard. “He thought I worked there and just kept forgetting my security badge,” Mr. Sullivan said. “He couldn’t believe I was actually there for another interview. I couldn’t either! But then I put on a happy face, went upstairs and waited for another round of questions.”This is part of an article by Catherine Rampell about how companies are holding onto job openings for a very, very long time, posting and reposting the same job openings, lengthening and delaying start dates and generally taking full advantage of their high ground as potential employer. I recommend it.
Perhaps I have a touch of "deciderism" (to coin a phrase), but I believe two or three meetings with a person would be plenty to determine whether or not you could work with someone.
So has anyone had more than, say, 3 in-person interviews (considering that the pharma/chemistry industry average is going to be 1.2 or so)? I am offering a prize (nothing fancy, probably a blog post, a stack of the finest Chemjobber business cards and some hard candies) to the person who can tell a story of the most number of in-person callbacks they've had for a position. The rules:
- Must be for a bench/bench-supervisory position at a science-type place.
- Priority for ties will go: academic < industrial, non-bench < bench, general "science" < chemistry, less woeful < more woeful.
- Each visit to a site for an interview counts one time (such as Mr. Sullivan's 6 separate interviews above).