Job interviews can be an intimidating experience. They require preparation, practice and a lot of patience. Job seekers have many questions before they attend their interview, including, “How long do interviews last?”.
The answer to this question will depend on the type of interview you’re attending and the company’s hiring policies.
The length of a job interview can tell you a lot about how you did and the impression you left on your interviewer.
More extended interviews usually indicate positive results, while shorter interviews may mean that the company is moving on to other applicants. But what can you learn from each type of interview? Let’s take a look.
Length of the Interview Depending on the Type
The length of an interview often depends on the type of position being filled. A standard job that requires minimal training and skills may only need a 30-minute interview; however, complex positions requiring specialized knowledge or experience may require up to two hours.
Additional interviews, such as follow-up discussions or second-round interviews, may last longer.
Relevant factors also include the number of candidates applying for the role and if any tests are required before hiring.
An extensive, well-thought-out interviewing process is key to ensuring the best candidate is chosen for the job. Therefore, ensuring enough time has been allocated throughout all stages when creating an interviewing schedule is essential.
The duration of an in-person interview will vary depending on the company and the position for which you are applying.
Most in-person interviews typically last between 30 minutes to one hour, with some lasting as long as two hours for certain positions.
However, most companies want to keep their interviews within a reasonable time frame to prevent candidates from becoming overwhelmed or too exhausted during the process.
Phone interviews usually take place when a company is sifting through potential candidates for a position and wants to get a better sense of who each person is before inviting them into an in-person interview.
Phone interviews tend to be shorter than in-person interviews since they don’t require as much preparation or travel time.
Usually, they last between 10 and 15 minutes but can go longer if the interviewer wants more information from you.
Group interviews involve more than one applicant being interviewed at once by multiple recruiters or supervisors. This type of interview is often used in retail, where employers are looking for people with specific skill sets, such as customer service or salesmanship.
These types of group interviews can take up to two hours since there are multiple parties involved and plenty of questions needing answers from all applicants present.
What Can You Tell from the Length of Your Interview?
The length of an interview can be one of the most telling aspects of the process. A short interview may indicate that you have passed the initial screening, while a long one can sign that you could be asked to come in for further rounds or that they are seriously considering you for the job.
If possible, it’s worth gauging the duration of your time with the hiring manager or recruiter. If your interviewer seems rushed and has other things to attend to, it might not reflect a positive outcome for your candidacy.
However, if there is more time for conversation and questions and answers, this generally implies more interest from their side. Understanding how to read these signals can help guide your path as you proceed through an interview process.
Short Interviews (30 minutes or less)
A short (30 minutes or less) interview may indicate that the hiring manager has already decided and is just going through the motions to ensure they have completed all necessary steps in their hiring process.
It could also mean they do not think you are the right fit for the position and are moving on to other candidates.
Medium Length Interviews (45-60 minutes)
If your interview lasts between 45-60 minutes, it may be a good sign that things went well and that your interviewer is interested in learning more about you as a candidate.
This interview gives them more time to ask questions and get to know you better, which could bode well for your chances of getting hired.
Additionally, this length indicates an interest in getting to know both candidates’ professional and personal qualities since there should be enough time for both types of questions.
Longer Interviews (90+ minutes)
An interview lasting 90+ minutes is usually indicative of a great impression being made by the candidate during their meeting with the hiring team.
If this happens, it’s likely because they see potential in you being part of their team and want to hear more about what makes you unique as an applicant.
This type of length usually means that several people will be present at one time so it’s important to maintain good posture, be personable, and keep up with conversation throughout the entire duration of your meeting.
Ultimately, how long your job interview lasts depends on several factors, including the type of interview (in-person, phone or group), the position you’re applying for, and the company’s hiring policies.
Generally speaking, though, most job interviews range from 30 minutes to two hours, depending on what’s discussed and how many questions need answering.
Preparing yourself with knowledge about the company and role you’re applying for will help ensure that your interview runs smoothly and that you make a great first impression!