4 Ways to Make Interviews More Difficult - and Why You Should - Glassdoor for Employers

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4 Ways to Make Interviews More Difficult – and Why You Should

4 ways to make interviews more difficult

What does the difficulty of a job interview have to do with employee satisfaction? According to a 2015 Glassdoor Economic Research study, more difficult job interviews are statistically linked to higher employee satisfaction across the six countries examined: U.S., UK, Canada, Australia, Germany and France.

In examining 154,000 pairs of interview reviews and company reviews submitted to Glassdoor for the same company by the same individual at two different points in time, we found:

The optimal or “best” interview difficulty level in every country is 4 out of 5 – an interview experience that is difficult but not overwhelmingly so for candidates.1

Overall, a 10% more difficult job interview process is associated subsequently with 2.6% higher employee satisfaction.1

Candidates who go through a rigorous interview process can perceive that the company places a high value on finding employees who are a good match for both the position and the company culture.

Four Ways to Make Your Interview Process More Difficult

Whether you adopt one or all four of the following tactics to make your interviews more difficult, planning and prepping interviewers is key.

1. Use Creative Interviewing Strategies

Determine defining factors for skill fit and culture add before starting interviews so that you can conduct your evaluation based on the same standards for each candidate.

  • Use behavioral interviewing techniques to find out more about how a candidate behaved in similar situations in the past to help you predict how they will perform in the future.
  • To interview for cultural fit (or culture add), ask questions that will help you determine if factors you defined prior to conducting interviews are strong.
  • Consider adding an oddball interview question to your list to spur creative conversation.

2. Put Candidates to the Test

Assign a test or written project to go deeper in assessing competencies. Design it toso it prompts a true representation of the work a candidate would be doing in the role.

  • Determine objectives of test or assignment: personality, values, skills, etc.
  • Decide how candidates will be moved forward or eliminated based on test results (scoring thresholds, ideal profile, unacceptable answers, etc.).

3. Conduct a Panel Interview

Gain greater perspective while minimizing the potential for bias by bringing a candidate in to meet with a larger group at once.

  • Identify a panel leader, but be sure everyone is prepared.
  • Assign roles to each interviewer based on job function or expertise.

4. Require a Presentation

Gauge a candidate’s written and verbal communication skills by asking for a presentation to be delivered during the interview loop.

  • Determine evaluation objectives in advance, and give specific direction to the candidate.
  • Suggest the ideal template or format for slides or other presentation materials.

Remember, difficult should mean rigorous, not deflating or confusing. Candidates want to feel as though their experience and intelligence is valued. By developing a well-defined interview process, conducting formalized post-interview debriefs, and ensuring prompt response times, you’ll make better hires and prevent “disorganized” from being equated with “difficult.”


  1. Glassdoor Economic Research, Do Difficult Job Interviews Lead to More Satisfied Workers? Evidence from Glassdoor Reviews, October, 2015.