How Long Do Job Interviews Last

Is there a set time for job interviews? Or does it vary from company to company?

According to career experts, here’s how long job interviews last and how to properly use the time you’re given.

Melanie Pump

Melanie Pump

Business Leader | CFO, Plank Ventures | Author, “DETOX: Managing Insecurity in the Workplace

Expect a minimum of 30 minutes for any interview to assess the basic criteria for a role

After a job interview, it’s common to anxiously assess whether the length of the meeting is an indication of the outcome.

  • Does it mean I got the job since the interview lasted over an hour?
  • Does the fact that the interview only lasted 30 minutes mean that they didn’t like me?

The length of the interview can sometimes be an indication of how well it went. However, that isn’t always the case.

Other factors, like the interviewer’s busy schedule or how clearly the needs of the role have been defined, can affect the timeline of the meeting. If the needs of the role have been precisely outlined, the interviewer can quickly assess whether a candidate is the right fit.

The length of a job interview can also vary depending on the complexity and impact of the role. The span of the interview typically correlates with the complexity of the position and the level of interaction the selected candidate will have across the organization or with external stakeholders.

The greater the extent of those elements, the more lengthy the interview.

When I have interviewed applicants for positions with well-defined entry-level responsibilities and limited interaction with customers or others in the company, such as data entry roles, the interview may only last 30 minutes.

This is long enough to determine the candidate’s:

  • Skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Reliability

However, when I’m interviewing a candidate who will interact with people across the organization or with customers, the interview will be more lengthy, typically an hour. This additional time is required to assess their communication skills, values, and temperament.

If selected in the role, the candidate will represent the company, so it’s critical to ensure they have the communication skills, judgment, and patience to provide excellent customer service and represent the company’s brand.

It also must be determined whether their behaviors will align with the organization’s values.

Interviews can extend beyond an hour or require multiple sessions in the case of leadership recruitment. Like other roles, it’s important to assess the candidate’s skills and experience as they relate to the specifics of the job.

However, a deeper dive into the individual’s character and values is also important when filling leadership roles. This consideration is critical since employees look to leaders to model behavior that is acceptable at the company. Therefore, it’s crucial to ensure the values of leadership candidates represent those the company aims to embody.

These are some “rules of thumb” to consider, but you can expect a minimum of 30 minutes for any interview to assess the basic criteria for a role.

May Thao-Schuck

May Thao-Schuck

Vice President of Career and Professional Development, St. Catherine University

Factors why some job interviews are lengthy and others are not

Many reasons can impact the process of job interviews and why some are lengthy, and others are not. Below are some factors that can affect the process.

The type of industry can impact the process

For example, there are multiple layers of bureaucracy and procedures necessary to fill a position in government, which may not exist in other industries such as the restaurant and food industry.

According to a 2015 study by Glassdoor:

  • Government positions can take 53.8 days
  • Restaurants and bars take 10.2 days

The job title or position can impact the interviewing process and length

Suppose a candidate is interviewing for an executive-level role. In that case, the process will likely require multiple meetings with different stakeholders or interview panelists over several weeks or even months.

However, an entry-level position will not need a meeting with numerous groups, expediting the process.

Other factors that may impact the process of job interviews and its length:

  • The company’s budget changes. A company’s budget may change positively or negatively during the recruitment and hiring period, delaying or extending the process. In some cases, a company may even take down its posting due to budget reasons.
  • The company modifies the job description. The company may decide to change its job description for some reason, which can also delay the process.
  • The company extends the number of days the job posting is open. The company decides to keep the job posting open longer to get a broader pool of candidates even though interviews have occurred. The candidate might be one of the first people the company interviewed.
  • A company may have staffing capacity challenges due to its company size. For example, they have only one HR person administering all their internal processes to fill the roles, with several open positions at the same time.
  • The hiring manager may have difficulty coordinating all of the key decision-makers’ schedules to finalize a decision.
  • The company may have two top candidates, and now they need to involved other interviews panelists or decision-makers in the process.
  • The company may offer the job to one candidate but want to wait until the candidate officially accepts to notify all candidates that the role is filled.
  • The company decides to make internal changes and not ready to move the process forward.

Tips on how to navigate a lengthy job interviewing process

Being brilliant at the basics is a critical strategy to navigating complicated and lengthy job interviewing processes.

Below are tips I feel every job seeker should master and use during the interviewing process:

  • Find out how many people will be in the interview, and always bring enough fresh copies of your resumes.
    • Make sure your contact information is accurate on the resume. I’ve seen candidates misspell their names or did not put their total phone numbers on their resumes.
  • Before leaving the interview with the hiring manager or the interview panel, always ask about the next steps in their hiring process, including the timeline. Never assume — ask!
  • Always send a thank you note or email to the hiring manager and interviewing panelists immediately following the interview. Never miss this critical step.
  • Ensure your references are aware of the employers who may be contacting them and be prepared for those calls.
    • Most importantly, make sure those individuals know they are references for you during the interviewing process.

Related: What to Do If You Don’t Have References for a Job

  • Keep your social media accounts updated and completed with the information you want employers to see or know about you.
  • Do not be afraid to give the recruiter a call about the status of the job if the process is taking longer than the time you were told by the recruiter, hiring manager, or interview panelists.
  • Always keep your possibilities open during the job interviewing process until you receive an official offer letter. Never leave your current job for a new one without having something in writing.
  • Know when it is time to move on and stay positive during the interviewing process. Remember, your delays are not your denials in getting the job you want. Therefore, do not get stuck and keep moving forward.

Vanessa Phan

Vanessa Phan

Managing Consultant for HR, Cardinal Education

Job interviews last about thirty minutes minimum and may go for as long as an hour

The job interview lasts about thirty minutes minimum and may go for as long as an hour, depending on the flow of the interview. Thirty minutes can be enough for one hiring manager to get the details they need from the applicant, including answering the questions that the applicant may have.

However, there are also different types of interviews that may influence the amount of time it takes to finish it.

These types of interviews are listed below:

Phone interview

This interview may last for about fifteen minutes. Only because as the first step of the company’s interview process, the recruiter calls to confirm your resume details and gauge how you’ll fit into the company culture.

This is also when they would ask to schedule the in-person interview or the second interview if also done via phone or virtually.

Related: How to Tell If Your Phone Interview Went Well

In-person interview

The in-person interview may take forty minutes to an hour and a half, depending on the hiring manager and how many people are interviewing you. The process may also involve having you demonstrate how you’ll interact with workmates or your abilities under their supervision.

Video interview

With the circumstances due to the pandemic, video interviews became more common over phone interviews or in-person interviews. The case is especially true for remote workers. It may take fifteen minutes to an hour to finish.

Technical interview

This interview lasts for about forty-five minutes to an hour. It is meant for engineering and software development positions where the process is similar to the in-person interview. This interview will consist of the hiring manager giving the applicant practical tests.

This also applies to remote workers when recruiters need to check if the remote applicant’s device is up to par with the job.

Group Interview

This interview may last an hour, but it also saves the recruiters a lot of time because this setup has multiple applicants and a panel of interviewers in one room where the interviewers observe how the applicants interact with one another.

Open hiring interview

These interviews last for about thirty minutes to an hour. These are also the interviews found in career fairs with impromptu interviews where the recruiter asks the applicant about their resume details. Sometimes, the recruiter also hires the applicant on the spot.

Related: 40+ Good Questions to Ask Employers at a Career Fair

Joe Flanagan

Joe Flanagan

Senior Employment Advisor, VelvetJobs

There is no universal formula to assess how long a job interview will last

The fact is that there is no universal formula to assess how long a job interview will last. The duration depends on:

  • The complexity or the seniority of the role
  • The abilities of the interviewer and interviewee

Don’t think too much about the time

The time taken to conduct the interview is not necessarily indicative of the chances of being selected. Most recruiters and interviewers lean towards a strong yes or no early on in the interview, and the answers of the candidate determine where that needle finally ends.

Interviews end when nothing that can be said has the ability to change the decision taken.

I have wrapped up some interviews in under five minutes because it was evident that the candidate wasn’t the right fit for the role. Similarly, there have been times when an affirmative decision has been taken in the same duration as well.

Multi-stage interviews should be navigated with consistency

Interviews that consist of tests, tasks, and multiple interviews should ideally be spread across a few days.

The interview process can be a daunting experience, particularly for freshers, and they are more likely to commit errors under high pressure. Candidates who undergo this process should demonstrate consistency in their skills and confidence across the different stages.

Design a positive and supportive candidate experience

Organizations must cultivate a pleasant and positive candidate experience to ensure that candidates are able to bring their best versions to the table.

Remember, the interview process begins the moment they are shortlisted, so be prompt with communication, updates, and scheduling the interviews. Furthermore, be sure to send the final verdict to all candidates, even if it is not in their favor, to create a sense of closure.

Related: How to Tell Someone They Didn’t Get the Job (With Email, in Person and Over the Phone Scripts)

Kevin Wu

Kevin Wu

Founder and CEO, Pathrise

Large companies generally require 4-6 interviews (one interview happening per week on average)

While interview length does vary somewhat from company to company, interview processes are pretty consistent. This is especially the case when you are interviewing at big tech companies like Facebook, Google, Apple, and Microsoft, like many of the fellows in our mentorship program often do.

These large companies generally require four to six interviews, and the process typically takes four to six weeks, with one interview happening per week, on average.

It almost always starts with a phone screen that is done by the recruiter leading the hiring for the role or another person in HR. This call is usually brief (30-45 minutes) and generally covers basic questions about the candidate’s:

  • Past experiences
  • Goals for their future role
  • Eligibility

The next step is one to three technical phone interviews and challenges with the hiring manager or members of the team. The specifics of these technical interviews obviously depend on the type of role, but the goal is to ensure that the candidate has the right hard skills for the job.

For example, software engineers can expect data structures & algorithm questions, product managers can expect case studies, and marketers can expect presentations.

Often the last round of the interview process is a full day or half-day onsite or remote interview series. These sessions are often a mix of behavioral and technical interviews and usually include at least one cross-functional session.

Candidates should prepare for these final rounds by:

  • Practicing their behavioral and technical interview questions
  • Researching the company and its various teams

Knowledge of their mission, values, and goals is extremely helpful, too.

Jordan Lowry

Jordan Lowry

Co-Founder, Resumoo

The average job interview lasts around an hour, but it could go longer or shorter

While the average job interview lasts around an hour, there are some instances where an interview could go longer or get cut short (and some ways job-seekers can maximize those opportunities):

Be mindful of scheduling

Hiring managers and HR professionals plan their schedules meticulously. Interviewees who are late or unprepared can throw off the rest of their day—not a great first impression.

Related: The Best Time to Schedule a Job Interview

Showing up 10-15 minutes early not only displays your punctuality and respect for others’ time, but it could also snag you some extra interview time.

A longer interview isn’t necessarily better

While an interview that runs over its allotted time could certainly be a positive indicator, don’t get your hopes up too high. There are several reasons why an interview could last over an hour, the most common one being that the interviewer is on the fence and needs more information.

To ensure you make it out of the pit of “maybe,” stay focused and answer the questions as clearly and concisely as possible. This doesn’t mean you can’t show your personality—you absolutely should!

But remember: The point of an interview is to showcase your strengths and experience, not to make friends with the interviewer. So keep the funny anecdotes to a minimum.

Do your homework

There are several resources where job-seekers can network with established employees at the companies they’re interviewing for. If you’re not sure what to expect, ask.

If cold emailing potential co-workers makes you squeamish, ask your HR contact what to expect. Regardless, try to budget as much time as possible to take advantage of impromptu opportunities for lunches, job shadows, or chit-chat that may pop up along the way.

Zoë Morris

Zoë Morris

President, Mason Frank International

You should expect to set aside at least an hour

There are no hard and fast rules for how long an interview should be, but as a guideline, you should expect to set aside at least an hour to allow the employer to ask you what they need to and leave time for you to ask anything back.

That being said, the length of time it lasts can depend on several things, including:

  • The candidate and their responses
  • The position being discussed
  • If there is a competency test involved

Similarly, suppose you’ve had to have more than one interview to get to the final stages. In that case, you may be facing much shorter encounters than when a company assesses your suitability over one longer interview.

Interviewers will usually be quite flexible to your schedule, so if there’s a certain day you know you’ll be pressed for time, try to avoid arranging it then.

In most cases, interviewers will give you an indication of how long they expect it will last, especially if they have a few candidates lined up to interview that day or have to provide a virtual meeting link that will cut out after a certain time.

If not, there’s no harm in asking how long it’s likely to last, but I’d only advise it if you’re trying to fit it into a packed schedule. Otherwise, it can potentially set off alarm bells that you’re keen to get it over and done with, rather than committing yourself to something that really isn’t that big an investment in time in the grand scheme of things.

Remember, your first impression starts with any communication before the interview, not just once you’re inside a building and shaking hands with someone.

Michael Trust, MPA, SPHR, PHRca, SHRM-SCP

Michael Trust

Human Resources Leader & Certified Mediator, Michael Trust Consulting

There is no set time that a job interview may last

Often, a preliminary phone screen may take 15-30 minutes, depending on the level of the role and the type of role. On the other end of the spectrum, an in-person interview (or series of interviews) for an executive-level role may take one to several days.

Generally speaking, for a professional level role, you can expect an initial phone screen, followed by at least one, perhaps more, in-person interview.

The in-person interviews will have a duration that’s likely dependent upon the person’s role — a direct supervisor of the role may spend an hour or two, whereas an internal client may spend 30-60 minutes. Potential teammates may spend 45-60 minutes or more.

Much of this is driven by organizational norms, culture, timing on the need to fill the role, and the like.

There is no “one size fits all,” except in public sector roles. In public sector roles, interviews are often driven by a very strict methodology such that there is an allotted amount of time for each person in the process — whether they finish early or never finish at all.

Generally, in these types of roles, there is a list of pre-scripted questions to be asked (except at the highest of levels).

In a larger private organization, you’re apt to see a more formal process and a longer process. In a start-up or smaller organization, you’re likely to see a much less formal process, and often, less time is taken in the process.

Even in the case where the process is short and moves fast, do not allow yourself to not ask questions that you think are pertinent — this is how you avoid taking a role that isn’t a good fit for you.

Lauri Kinkar

Lauri Kinkar

CEO, Messente

An interview typically lasts from 15 minutes to an hour

While you have prepared for the interview and are ready to impress the hiring manager, you can’t help but ask how much time does an interview take. How much time do you have to prove to the hiring manager that you are the right fit for the role?

To be honest, there are no hard rules as the interview time varies per industry. However, it’s crucial for a hiring manager to decide how much time to spend on an interview. The hiring manager might fail to get a better insight into a candidate if too little time is spent in the interview.

Typically, an interview lasts from 15 minutes to an hour depending on factors like:

  • The role you are applying for
  • The type of interview to be conducted
  • If there would be a demonstration of skills required alongside a face-to-face interview

For example, 15 minutes should be enough time for phone interviews as the hiring manager will only confirm basic details on your resume, ask a few questions to determine if you fit into the role, and may ask you the best time to come for a face-to-face interview.

For technical interviews to demonstrate your skills alongside an in-person interview, it may take 45 minutes to 1 hour.

To make the most of the interview time, prepare everything you need before the interview. Bring with you your resume, cover letter, and prepare to answer common questions. It’s also important to prepare relevant questions you want to ask the interviewer at the end of the interview.

Eric Kim

Eric Kim

Co-Owner and Program Director, LA Tutors

Job interviews can last anywhere from 30 minutes to multiple hours

Job interviews can last anywhere from 30 minutes to multiple hours (for each round of interviews). Our process falls somewhere in between:

  • an initial 30-minute phone interview
  • a second round technical interview which can take up to 90 minutes

Related: 25 Great Phone Interview Tips

It has become more common to have longer interviews in order to get a better sense of the applicant.

Interviews typically are longer and more thorough when the position is a management role or requires more experience and/or technical skills. In our process, interviewing tutors entails getting a sense of their experience and understanding their ability on a technical level.

  • Does this applicant have the content mastery they claim they do on their resume?
  • How would they approach a particular situation with a client?

These are important questions we want to answer before we entrust our clientele with an employee.

Dana Case

Dana Case

Director of Operations, MyCorporation

Phone interviews tends to be no longer than 15-30 minutes

I manage hiring and operations, and I think the length of a job interview depends on the type of interview.

A phone interview, for example, tends to be no longer than 15-30 minutes. This call acts as an introduction to learning more about the company, the position, and the potential hire.

Lengthier interviews take between 1 hour to 1 hour and a half

The lengthier interviews tend to be the second and third sessions. These interviews may be anywhere between an hour to an hour and a half long. It often depends on the position that the candidate is applying for and the number of people that meet with the candidate during the interview process.

Each person will have questions to ask, and the interview may even run to be slightly longer than intended if there is a solid rapport and flow between candidates and their potential hires.

I believe the length of a job interview tends to differ depending on the role that the candidate is being hired for, but I do not think that job interviews should be viewed as an activity that is done and completed quickly to hire an employee.

Magda Zurawska

Magda Zurawska

HR Specialist, ResumeLab

On average, an interview lasts 30-60 minutes

It truly depends and can oscillate greatly based on a variety of factors. The job interviews can last anywhere from a few minutes to a couple of hours or more, taking into consideration a mutual cultural fit between:

  • The candidate and the organization
  • The type of role being discussed
  • Level of experience
  • The company’s interviewing process

For example, it’s no secret that an aspiring intern might need just a couple of 20-30 minute interviews in order to be selected. Meanwhile, a potential C-suite executive will need to meet with multiple people for at least an hour or more each, over a span of several weeks or even months.

On the other hand, if the conversation is going poorly or either party notices an issue they don’t feel comfortable might cut the conversation short, and rightfully so. There is no need to force the issue when the two sides are too far apart.

Similarly, if the role does not seem to reflect the job description or the candidate his/her resume, then it might be time to end the meeting.

Hence, while, on average, an interview lasts 30-60 minutes, it’s not out of the ordinary if they take much less or more time.

William Taylor

William Taylor

Senior Recruitment Advisor, VelvetJobs

45-minute interviews are a good timeframe to work around

An interview typically takes more or less 45 minutes, but it is truly unpredictable, and the duration of an interview can mean different things.

If an interview is cut short, it can either mean:

  • It went so bad that the interviewer won’t bother to get to know you more professionally.
  • It can mean the interviewer doesn’t need to know the bits and pieces because he/she can already tell that you are qualified and fit for the job.

But personally, 45-minute interviews are a good timeframe to work around. It is ample time to introduce yourself and discuss experiences or anything the interviewer asks. Although, you have to keep in mind that every person has different interviewing strategies, so it can surely vary.

Magda Klimkiewicz

Magda Klimkiewicz

HR Business Partner, Zety

The vast majority of job interviews last between 45 minutes and an hour

While it certainly depends on the industry you’re in, the vast majority of job interviews last between 45 minutes and an hour. That should give the employer enough time to:

  • Assess your value proposition
  • See if you’re a good fit for the company culture

That said, if you’re applying for a more senior position in the org chart, be prepared to spend a bit more time with an interviewer.

In rare cases, you might also be expected to interview with a company for 8 hours (full working day) to perform your primary job duties under supervision and collaboration with prospective coworkers.

While it might feel overwhelming, some employers do it to see how well you’d gel with the team.

Susan Norton

Susan Norton

Senior Director of Human Resources, LiveCareer

I always remind the candidates that if this information is not given to them — they should ask for it

I will use my favorite phrase that applies to many HR topics: It depends.

While most interviews take around an hour, this time may vary depending on the company’s hiring strategy and the recruitment stage you’re in. For example, interviews usually take longer if more participants, such as department managers or team members, are included in the recruitment process.

You can then expect more questions as there will be more people evaluating your performance. Also, sometimes an interview can involve completing a task or taking part in a personality test, extending the interview time.

As a hiring manager, I find it essential to inform the applicants about the details of our recruitment process. However, not all companies follow this practice and leave the candidates clueless about what they should expect.

Applicants often don’t know who they’re going to meet with, what additional tasks they’ll be asked to perform, or how much time the interview will last.

I always remind the candidates that if this information is not given to them, they should ask for it.

Recruiting is like a partnership. The company wants to get to know you, but you also want to find out as much as possible about the company. So don’t be afraid to ask questions! It only shows that you genuinely care about your application and want to prepare the best way you can for your interview.

Related: 30+ Great Questions to Ask Recruiters Before an Interview

Tom Mercaldo

Tom Mercaldo

President, Aquinas Consulting

The length of an interview depends on job responsibilities and the impact of the position

The amount of time spent in the interview process is inversely related to the organizational significance of a role.

An interview process for a senior professional might include bringing back a candidate as many as 6 times, while the process for a more junior position might not last more than an hour.

Applicants should be concerned if a company does not have a robust enough interview process; it might be indicative of an employer that doesn’t screen well and has adapted a hire/fire culture.

Conversely, if a company cannot make a decision within a 3-step interview process, be concerned the employer is overly bureaucratic or can’t make decisions. That sort of organization may not be an ideal place to work.

The length of an interview very much depends on job responsibilities and the impact the position will have on the overall organization.

Eric Rohrback

Eric Rohrback

Chief Marketing Officer, Hill & Ponton

A typical in-person interview lasts between 30 and 45 minutes

The length of the interview is generally a good sign of how well it went. Depending on the industry, the position, the organization, and the hiring manager’s schedule, many types, formats, and styles of interviews are used.

But, at the end of the day, the interview is when you make your first attempt at building a relationship with your prospective boss.

One or more persons may interview you, which may change the amount of time you need to set aside for your interview. Employers frequently inform you ahead of time if your interview goes longer than usual.

It’s safe to estimate that a typical in-person interview lasts between 30 and 45 minutes.

If you had a shorter interview, it’s possible that you came highly recommended for the job and top management simply wanted to get to know you before hiring you. If, on the other hand, you are given a longer interview, the hiring manager may have some reservations about your fit for the job or may not know exactly what they are looking for.

Christa Juenger

Christa Juenger

VP Strategy & Coaching Services, Intoo USA

The length of an interview and the entire interview process ranges widely

The length of an interview and the entire interview process ranges widely, depending on the position and stage in the process. For example, most corporate interview processes begin with a screening interview with someone in HR.

This interview is often 30 minutes or less and covers just enough information to ensure that the candidate’s expectations and experience align with the hiring manager’s needs. Subsequent interviews, which can follow the screening soon after or longer, depending on the ability to coordinate schedules, can be lengthier.

During these interviews, a candidate might meet with one or more people on the team, including the hiring manager, peers, and even more senior members of the organization. These interviews can last an hour or longer. One might meet with a single person for 30 minutes or several people for 15 minutes at a time.

As a candidate advances through the interview process, the interview questions can become more specific and the durations of the meetings shorter, as those hiring look to narrow their selections and hone in on remaining details that might make a distinction.

Depending on the number of candidates in consideration, the urgency to hire, and the number of people involved in the selection process, the entire interview process can take a couple of days or a few months.

Don’t be discouraged if you don’t hear back in a timely manner, as hiring managers are often very busy and may have a number of other priorities they’re dealing with.

The important thing is to sporadically follow up with the hiring manager or recruiter you’re interacting with about the position to see where they are in the hiring process and to reinforce your interest.

Lucy Smith

Lucy Smith

Founder and CEO, DigitalGrads

If your interview lasts longer than you expected, this is normally a great sign

A standard junior recruitment process typically has two interview stages. These interviews will usually be anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. Some sort of task or assessment is becoming more widely accepted as an important stage of the interview process to test skills fairly and eliminate bias, so expect to see one too.

For more senior roles, there will typically be a few lengthy interviews as part of the process. For example, if a company is hiring a new C-Suite executive, the interviews will often be long, involve panels of people, and have numerous steps.

Interviews with panels typically last longer than 1-on-1 interviews.

Of course, there is always an exception to this. I’ve heard of people being hired after one interview and of people being hired after ten — it depends entirely on the employer and how they like to do things.

As a general rule, if your interview lasts longer than you expected, this is normally a great sign that the interviewer likes you and thinks you’ll be a great hire. If it is cut short, you might be out of luck.

Ryan Zofay

Ryan Zofay

CEO and Founder, We Level Up

Interview length should be between 30-45 minutes

Job interviews can vary in length, but how long do they last, or should they last? As the founder of multiple substance abuse treatment facilities, I manage a staff of over 200 employees.

Interview length, in my opinion, should be between 30-45 minutes. It’s important to me to get a feel for the new potential hire, but I don’t like to waste time with small talk or off-topic conversations.

In order to facilitate this, I like to have a quick pre-screen phone call in order to be sure the applicant has the appropriate experience or credentials for the position.

As far as my timeline, I like to keep it fairly conversational and organic.

  • I use the first 5-10 minutes for introductions and sharing work experience.
  • In the next 10 minutes, I go over the position in more detail and cover any unique qualities or benefits of the position.
    • After that, I invite the applicant to explain why their experience will make them best suited for the position.
  • The last 10 minutes or so are for both of us to ask any further questions.

Related: 50+ Good Questions to Ask in an Interview as an Interviewee

Perry Zheng

Perry Zheng

CEO & Founder, Cash Flow Portal

In the realm of job interviews 45 is the magic number

The time length for business interviews varies depending on the type of business and what they are looking for.

I hate to start on a bad note, but if your interview lasted fewer than 15 minutes, it was most likely a lousy interview. They may have understood when you arrived for the interview that you lacked the required qualifications for the position and hence did not want to waste their time with you.

Face-to-face interviews are usually no less than 30 minutes long.

A half-hour interview does not provide you or the applicant with an accurate reflection of each other. After all, you want to verify that they are the perfect fit for the organization. Moreover, your interview was just long enough that it lasted 30 minutes.

For most job levels, prospective employers will set aside roughly 30 minutes to interview an applicant. You know you answered the questions correctly if you lasted the entire 30 minutes.

Although the length of an interview varies by business, most last between 45 minutes to one hour. It should give both parties enough time and freedom to get to know one another.

However, what works for one company might not work for you. In the realm of job interviews, 45 is the magic number. We agree that an excellent first interview should last roughly 45 minutes, and it is a good sign because this shows that the employers are interested in you.

The role’s seniority also determines the time spent in an interview and specialization, and the availability of time you have is a significant factor.

Alexander Lowry

Alexander Lowry

Executive Director of Career & Connection Institute, Gordon College

Job interviews are typically between 30-60 minutes

It varies between which round of an interview someone is in. For example, the initial screening interview to ensure a candidate is a good fit might be as short as 15 minutes but usually lasts a half-hour.

In contrast, a late state interview with the hiring manager takes up to an hour to ensure someone is the right person to fill the role.

John Berry

John Berry

CEO and Managing Partner, Berry Law

An interview can run around 30-45 minutes during the first round

The length of an interview session depends​ on the position of the job itself. You can only spend so much time inquiring on whether or not the person is fit to be a decent dishwasher. Yet, if they are pursuing a job with greater responsibility, it takes more discernment and greater questioning.

That said, typically, an interview can run around 30-45 minutes during the first round.

This gives enough time for light banter, steady questioning with thorough answers, and a closing statement. If the interview pleases both the employer and the prospect, a second-round is usually beneficial for confirmation and to compare the candidates closest to acquiring the role.

Jim Jacobs

Jim Jacobs

CEO and Founder, Focus Insite

It takes a minimum of 30 minutes to determine whether or not they fit into our company culture

We’ve hired about 20 team members in the past six months. We book 30 minutes for our first initial interview. Small talk and the things they don’t say are just as important as what they do say, and how they answer a question is every bit as important.

The days are long gone of hiring a person to only focus on one specific task.

Culture trumps strategy, and it takes a minimum of 30 minutes to determine whether or not they can not only do the job but also fit into our company culture and mesh as part of the team, which is every bit as important as “can they do the work.”

Frequently Asked Questions 

How many rounds of interviews can I expect?

The number of rounds of interviews can vary by company and position. In some companies, there is only one round of interviews, while others may have two or three. In some cases, there may even be a fourth or fifth round.

Remember that each round is an opportunity for the company to get to know you better and assess your skills and qualifications. Typically, the first round of interviews is with the HR representative or recruiter, while subsequent rounds are with hiring managers or other decision-makers.

If you are unsure how many rounds of interviews to expect, you can ask the recruiter or hiring manager for more information. They should be able to tell you exactly how the interview will proceed and what to expect at each stage.

Are there strategies to help me prepare for a long interview?

Yes, there are a few things you can do to prepare for a long interview:

– Make sure you are well-rested and well-nourished before the interview.
– Bring a bottle of water and a snack in case you get hungry or thirsty during the interview.
– Be sure to research the company and the position thoroughly so you can answer all questions with confidence.
– Practice your answers to frequently asked questions ahead of time.
– Dress appropriately and arrive early to allow time for unexpected delays.

Can I inquire about the interview duration before the interview?

Yes, it’s perfectly fine to ask about the expected interview length before the interview. In fact, it may be a good idea to ask about it so you can plan your schedule accordingly and ensure you have enough time to focus and prepare.

When you receive the interview invitation, you can respond and ask for more information about the interview, including how long you expect it to take. Alternatively, you can ask the recruiter or hiring manager during the initial phone interview.

Remember that while the estimated length of the interview can give you a rough idea of how much time to set aside, sometimes interviews can take longer or shorter than expected. So it’s always a good idea to be flexible and adjust your schedule as needed.

What if I have a scheduling conflict with the interview time?

If you have a scheduling conflict with the interview time, you should communicate honestly and transparently with your interviewer. Rescheduling is not always possible, but there may be other options you can consider.

It is essential to try to find a mutually convenient time that works for both you and the interviewer and not force a time slot that does not suit anyone.

When communicating your scheduling conflict, you must express your interest in the opportunity and thank the interviewer for considering your application. State the earliest possible date that works for you, and be open to possible suggestions.

Also, confirm the details of the new appointment, such as the location, format, and names of the interviewers.

Always be flexible and understanding, as the interviewer may have other applicants who also need an appointment. And remember, good communication is the key to a successful and productive interview.

Is it possible to talk too much during an interview?

Yes, it’s possible to talk too much during an interview. While it’s essential to answer the interviewer’s questions thoroughly and give examples of your skills and experience, it’s also important to listen to the interviewer and be mindful of the time.

If you talk too much, you may come across as overeager or disorganized and may not have enough time to address all the crucial points you want to make. Also, if you talk too much, you may miss important cues from the other person or fail to address their needs or concerns.

Here’s how to avoid talking too much during an interview:
– Try to be brief and focused in your answers.
– Answer the interviewer’s questions directly and give specific examples of your skills and experience that are relevant to the job.
– If you find yourself rambling or getting off-topic, try to get the conversation back to the point or ask the interviewer if they have any specific questions or concerns.

The interview is a two-way conversation, and it’s important to listen as well as talk. Take the time to understand the interviewer’s needs and concerns, and ask thoughtful questions that show your interest in the company and the job.

How can I speak more naturally in a job interview?

Speaking naturally during a job interview can be challenging, especially if you’re nervous or want to make a good impression. However, there are a few tips you can follow to speak more naturally and confidently:

Practice in advance: Take the time to practice your answers to common interview questions. This will help you feel more comfortable and confident during the interview.

Be yourself: Being authentic and genuine to yourself during the interview is essential. Don’t try to be someone you’re not, and don’t be afraid to show your personality.

Listen carefully: Pay attention to your interviewer’s questions and answer thoughtfully. Take the time to understand the questions and give a thoughtful, relevant response.

Use stories and examples: Instead of simply answering the interviewer’s questions, illustrate your skills and experience with specific examples and stories. This can help you speak more naturally and make your responses more engaging.

Take a breath: If you notice yourself getting nervous or anxious, take a deep breath and pause for a moment. This can help you gather your thoughts and speak more naturally.

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