When beginning the interview process with a candidate I often am asked how many interviews they should expect to go through to be considered for hire or placement. That is a good question and the answer depends greatly on what type of position you are interviewing for and what type of company you are applying to. Below are some examples of various interview processes that would be considered industry standards. Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule.
If you are interviewing with a Consulting Firm:
For Permanent Employment (salaried): You can expect 3 interviews: 1 with a Recruiter, 1 with a Peer, 1 or more with people from the Executive team. Your Recruiter should be in regular contact with you to assist you through the process.
For Contract Engagements (W2 hourly or 1099): You can expect at least 4 interviews: 1 with a Recruiter, 1 with a Peer, 1 with an Executive team member and 1 with the client you are being submitted to. Again your Recruiter should be in regular contact with you to assist in the process.
If you are interviewing with a Staffing Agency:
For a Permanent Position at a Healthcare Facility (salaried/internal): You can expect at least 2 interviews: 1 with the Staffing Firm Recruiter and at least 1 with the Healthcare Facility.
For Contract Engagements (W2 hourly or 1099): You can expect at least 1 interview with the staffing agency Recruiter. Some clients will request to interview, others will just expect the agency to send the best qualified candidate.
If you are interviewing directly with a Healthcare Facility:
For a Permanent Position: You can expect at least 3 interviews: 1 with an internal Recruiter, 1 with a peer and possibly a panel interview* with a few people from the team you will be joining if hired.
For a Contract Position (normally 1099): You can anticipate at least 2 interviews: 1 with an internal Recruiter, and 1 with a Supervisor from the department you would be joining if selected.
Normally when being considered for a permanent / salaried role you will be expected to speak to more people, this is due in part because the company will be investing more time, energy and money into your career and they will want to make sure your qualifications and personality are a good fit for the team you will be joining. Often times people become exasperated by having to go through multiple interviews. Keep in mind that when a company hires you, whether it is an agency or firm or healthcare provider... you will be a direct reflection of that company, so they want to make sure they are making a smart hiring decision. Most professionals want to go to work for a company that makes a commitment to their employees, not one that uses the "Spaghetti Theory" and throws people against the wall to see if some will stick. More interviews (within reason) allow you to gain valuable information about the company, the people you will be working for and with and the responsibilities you will be expected to handle once on-board.
For more information on what questions to ask during an interview or tips on phone or Skype interviewing please see my previous posts on those subjects.
*panel interview: when a group of people from a company all interview the candidate at the same time, usually over the phone.