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I was approached by a company a while ago. Almost 2 months ago a recruiter offered me a position, and only several weeks later I was contacted by the company to set up a video interview, which would take place 2 weeks later. This interview was very obviously to screen out non english speakers, since it's a requirement (I'm not US based). The interviewer seems satisfied.

About 2 or 3 weeks later I'm invited to a technical interview, which goes reasonably well. I'm told they would "probably" have an answer by next week. I was also asked how soon could I join them, if they decided to hire me.

I'm surprised by the amount of time this is taking, since they seem in a hurry to hire people, but at the same time they're taking a good while for the different interviews. I know the "market" in my area, and basically the thing that keeps most candidates out is poor english. Companies are often keen in hiring inexperienced developers with good english, rather than "good" developers with poor english.

So my question is: Is over 2 months a normal time for a recruiting/interview/hiring process?

If they decide to make me an offer, should I play the same "game", and delay my answer? I'm currently employed at another company, looking to switch, but not willing to lose benefits or take a salary cut. This company hasn't made any monetary offerings yet (first interviewer was from the USA, second was local but technical. Neither of them seemed like the appropriate person to discuss salary with).

My only other hiring experience was a company that hired me basically when I walked in, so this is strange for me.

  • Two months seems like a long time to me. But it will vary by both company and position so it's not really possible to provide a concrete answer. – Steve Mar 11 at 18:44
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    If you add your location perhaps answers can be focused on if this is usual for your location – DarkCygnus Mar 11 at 18:46
  • I assume different industries have different norms here, as well as whether they’re looking for permanent versus temporary help, whether the hiring is dependent on a contract they are bidding on, etc. – BSMP Mar 12 at 17:55
  • The recent problems with CORVID-19 might have them distracted depending on where in the US they are. – BSMP Mar 12 at 17:56
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I can say for certain that 2 months is not normal. It could at most lasts for 2-3 weeks and even there that's stretching it. I've been employed by 5 companies to this day and went over 20 interviews in my career. Each one of them had me have an interview with them in a week at most.

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  • I'm not sure it's meaningful to extrapolate your experiences to the general case, at least not "for certain." I've just finished hiring a software developer and the search took longer than two months. I've had some positions filled in days, others took many months. I don't think there is a single "typical" answer. – dwizum Mar 11 at 20:04
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Highly company dependent

I interviewed for a company who's recruiting process had 8 stages and lasted 3-4 months. Resume, then later long answer essay question, technical project, personality interview, another personality interview, technical interview, a motivations interview, a project understanding interview, and a group interview.

I have interviewed for other companies and got an offer the next day.

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I just started a new job where I was contacted by a company recruiter, given a "take home" programming assignment, had a phone screen 2 weeks after, an all-day onsite a week after the phone screen, and an offer that day.

Other jobs I have taken have moved from first contact to offer in not much more than a month, so I would say, they aren't really in a hurry.

I'm currently employed at another company, looking to switch, but not willing to lose benefits or take a salary cut. This company hasn't made any monetary offerings yet (first interviewer was from the USA, second was local but technical. Neither of them seemed like the appropriate person to discuss salary with).

You're entirely correct with this assumption; it should have nothing to do with length of time it takes to go thru the process.

What IS important is, as you do interview:

  • How would you feel about working here? Interview them as much as they interview you.
  • Ask about things that are important to you; one thing that is important to me is the amount of autonomy I have for choosing tools and configuring a work machine. It goes to how I feel the employer trusts its employees. Some industries don't allow that; I want to know that up front and choose not to work there. Your mileage may vary.
  • If you DO get an offer, don't give up benefits or salary. If what they offer you isn't better, negotiate. If they won't give it to you, don't take the job. If the offer is way below what you're getting, walk away; you probably won't be able to get up to where you were, much less improve. For me, I won't ever work for a company that does a bank of PTO that is supposed to incorporate sick time and vacation time. I have worked long enough that I don't have to put up with that. You may have your own set of must haves. Stick to them.
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  • The company sounds interesting. Lots of "cool stuff" to experment with. My current employer is extremely conservative. Work machines don't even allow customizing of the wallpaper. Benefits in Argentina are regulated by law (medical insurance and vacation are mandatory, but companies only give the minimum vacation days required by law ). My biggest issue with this potential employer is their location. Downtown and no parking space... my current employer is far from the city center and parking is free. I don't understand why choose "downtown offices", they dont have local clients to impress... – hjf Mar 11 at 19:31
  • @hjf most people who work in downtown offices arrive via transit, so when that is assumed, it becomes a central location for workers. – Matthew Gaiser Mar 12 at 15:56
  • @MatthewGaiser yes this is assuming "first world" cities with good transit infrastructure, which my city is most definitely not. I'd have to take a bus for about 10 blocks, and walk 10 more blocks. That's why I believe there is really no benefit for the location of this office. My current workplace is not in the city center, but alas, it's next to a bus stop where 6 different lines stop. But my current employer has 30,000 employees in the country and knows a thing or two about location and not trying to impress anyone. – hjf Mar 12 at 17:54
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Is over 2 months a normal time for a recruiting/interview/hiring process?

It's not "normal" but it does exist. By my company's standards you're moving at light speed. Managers hate this and it impacts us but whatever.

This is a reflection of the company's size and how efficient the HR department is. This sort of delay has NOTHING to do with any other aspect of the company.

If they decide to make me an offer, should I play the same "game", and delay my answer?

No, bad idea. You're opening the door to the offer being withdrawn and/or annoying the hiring manager.

If HR is disorganized enough that the process takes this long, then it's STILL a really bad idea for you to deliberately give yourself anything like their rep.

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  • The fact that they had a pen-and-paper test and the interviewer was behind a speaker with no video leads me to believe this company doesn't have neither a hiring manager, nor a formal hiring process. – hjf Mar 12 at 18:06
  • @hjf No process and no hiring manager would suggest a small company, and they do things fast. The larger the company the more process driven they are, and often the slower as well. – Dark Matter Mar 13 at 12:04
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Is over 2 months a normal time for a recruiting/interview/hiring process?

So little information it's hard to speculate with anything useful. I want to say no, but it could be the position was advertised the day someone put in a really long notice and maybe they're not in a huge hurry. It may also be something sinister like maybe it's a high turn over position and they keep it advertised and now it is your turn. It's hard to say and you really need to go in to feel the vibe.

If they decide to make me an offer, should I play the same "game", and delay my answer?

No. It's obvious they can afford - or don't really care - for a really long interview process but they might not allow the other side the same benefits.

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