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The Science Of Interviews – Why Google Can Cut Their Hiring Process By 77%

The Science of Interviews – Why Google can cut their hiring process by 77%

In the recruitment business, we know that filling a hiring manager’s qualification needs is like searching for gold in a copper mine. Not only is it challenging to find the perfect fit, but a miss-hire could cost a company dearly. 

We’ve all been a candidate at one point in our life, and a lengthy interview and hiring process is not something we look forward to. After all, if you keep coming back to an office for 5 to 12 interviews, you’ll lose interest in the job and the company. 

In the past, Google would subject candidates to a grueling 12-interview process in order to get the perfect candidate. In an effort to check if the interview process was right, Google’s People Analytics Team examined five years of interviewing data and feedback. They wanted to pinpoint how many interviews it would take to predict whether or not a candidate would receive an offer. Google found that four interviews were enough to predict if a hire should be made with an 86% probability.  How does this Rule of Four work exactly? Let’s take a look:

Reducing time-to-hire.

Time to hire is calculated by the total number of days the positions or roles are open, divided by the number of positions filled. For example, a company has three management roles they need to fill. The roles have been open for 45 days, but you only get to hire two out of the three management hires on the 45th day it’s been open. Your time to hire is 45/2 = 22.5 days. For extra days the remaining management position remains open, the company spends more money on job posting fees, reviewing resumes and management time, not to mention opportunity cost.

Freeing up employees.

The interview process takes a lot of employee time – preparations for the interview, assessments after making the final decisions during discussions, and feedback. This is precious time they cannot take back, which could have been dedicated somewhere else, especially since those on the interviewing panels are more likely to be the company’s major decision-makers.

Improving candidate experience.

We equate candidate experience with the impressions candidates have on a company during the application and hiring process. Great candidate experience can raise employee engagement and increase the ability to compete for top talent. By way of Google’s cutting off a 12-interview process to the Rule of Four, they helped complement its brand with a very efficient hiring process. 


Kael Campbell is President and Lead Recruiter of Red Seal Recruiting Solutions, a company providing recruitment services in mining, equipment and plant maintenance, utilities, manufacturing, construction, and transportation. When he is not recruiting, Kael spends as much time as possible with family in the great outdoors and on the water. He volunteers his time as a Board Member of the Entrepreneurs Organization of Vancouver Island. We have a wide variety of services to help you find the best employees. See how we can help on our Recruiting Solutions page.