Most times it comes as a surprise to job candidates when job interviews end so quickly. It could be a good sign as well as a bad one. Research conducted in 2015 by a team of researchers from Old Dominion, Florida State, and Clemson reveals that decisions whether or not to hire a candidate are made in less than 15 minutes of the job interview. In fact, in over 65% of the time, decisions were made in less than 5 minutes.
So, why do some interviews end so quickly? Why would managers make seemingly ‘hasty’ decisions and leave the candidate to a bewilderment of “what went wrong?”
Having had/held several interviews myself, I can really place a hand on possible reasons why job interviews can end so quickly. It is also important to understand that these reasons are ‘likely’ reasons and might not be actual reasons why job interviews could be very short.
4 Reasons Your Last Job Interview Ended So Quickly
You Came Late
It is not really professional to be late for an interview. Doing such is giving the impression that you’re a man/woman of excuses who might not be able to get the job done on-time (deadlines). Besides, it puts a strain on the interviewer’s time schedule as other things have to be done. It is a lot worse if other candidates have been interviewed before your arrival. You could be asked to leave or your interview could be cut so short for lack of time or total disinterestedness in having interviews anymore for the day.
The right candidate has already been chosen
Umpteen times, this happens. The reason HR Managers do not just invite one person for an interview (despite the fantastic CV) is that they want to have alternatives should a candidate do not fit into the company culture. Most do have behavioural interviews with candidates and if the right candidate has already been decided on before you came in, yours could be a mere formality. This is more likely to occur in ‘one-man’ businesses where the HR Manager is the CEO and at the same time the Account/Finance person – basically small organisations.
Mere formality for interviews means the interview is just done for record purposes and not to select the right candidates. In Nigeria, this happens a lot, especially with government establishments. The right candidates know themselves or the ‘lucky’ candidates might have even resumed work thereby making the interview a cover up – a representation of a due process that is never to the letter. So if your interview ended so quickly and you sensed you were not asked some vital questions or no meaningful conversation occurred, I’m sorry, you might have just attended a Mere Formality Interview. Then again, it could be the other way around.
You Aced it too Early
…which is quite good. However, it is rare to have short interviews with suitable candidates except if it’s a follow-up or second, third, fourth stage of the interview – nothing is foolproof. The second interview I had with my present boss did not take up to 10 minutes. Yet, candidates can be deemed ‘not suitable’ on the second interview after being successful at the first interview.