How Long Do Interviews Last? (With Interview Types)
By Indeed Editorial Team
Updated 3 November 2022
Published 3 January 2022
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
Knowing how long do interviews last can help you prepare what you want to share to make the best impression on the hiring manager or recruiter in the allotted time. You can prepare your responses beforehand to ensure you stay within the timeframe of the average job interview. The length of the interview varies depending on what step in the hiring process you're at and what type of interview it is. In this article, we discuss the different types of interviews, how long the average interview is and how you can prepare for your next interview.
How long do interviews last?
As you prepare for an interview, you may wonder, 'How long do interviews last?' Interviews can last anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes to multiple hours, depending on several factors. For example, if this interview is your first with this company, you could expect that the interview may last 15 to 30 minutes. If you're on your second or even third round of interviews, you can expect that the company's representative may want to speak with you for longer, or even ask you to perform tests or do example work.
One of those factors determining how long an interview lasts is the type of interview you have, which could be one of the following:
open hiring interviews
Phone interviews can last from 15 to 40 minutes, depending on if the recruiter only asks basic clarification questions about your CV or if they're interested in understanding your work style. This is usually the first interview you receive in the hiring process. Phone interviews tend to be less intensive than following interviews. A recruiter or a human resources representative calls you to clarify the basics of your CV and your job expectations, which may include your available start date, the best time for you to have an in-person interview, salary requirements and any potential benefits you might receive.
The first round of interviewing can also be an opportunity for the recruiter to get to know your personality, which can help them determine how you could fit into the workplace culture. They may ask questions about how you function as part of a team, how you manage stressful situations, how you manage your time, your relevant work history and any specific work you've done at previous jobs that relate to the position you're interviewing for. From this series of questions, they can determine whether to schedule you for an interview with the hiring manager.
In-person interviews are typically 45 minutes to an hour and a half, depending on if you're only meeting with the hiring manager or if you're also going to be speaking to employees. Depending on the position you are interviewing for, your interview may even last a full day so that you can perform some of your primary job responsibilities under supervision.
You can expect that the questions you receive are meant to determine your ability to perform all the duties expected of the position. You may also meet your potential coworkers to see how well you might fit in with your fellow teammates. If you have a panel interview, you may meet multiple managers and colleagues at the same time. There may also be a final, in-person interview with a department head or your employer. These interviews are generally only 15 minutes just to review the basics of the position, such as your salary, your hours and details about your benefits.
Video interviews typically last anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour and a half, depending on if you're speaking to a recruiter or a hiring manager. These kinds of interviews could happen at any time during your hiring process, as the recruiter or employer may prefer video interviews to phone interviews.
They may want to see how you react to their questions, or they might just prefer face-to-face conversation as a method of getting to know you and an in-person interview isn't possible. If you applied to a position in a different location from where you currently work, or the hiring manager works in a different location from you, the recruiter may schedule a video interview in place of an in-person interview for the sake of convenience.
Technical interviews typically last between 45 minutes and an hour, similar to the first round of in-person interviews. Applying for a role in engineering, software development or other similarly technical positions generally means your potential employer may ask you to perform a technical interview. These could occur at any point in the hiring process, depending on the employer. These interviews test your technical skills about the position to determine if you're suitable for the role.
An interviewer may ask you to respond verbally to direct questions, or you may write your answers down on a sheet of paper, in an email or on a whiteboard to be reviewed by the recruiter or hiring manager later. The recruiter may even email you a technical interview questionnaire to fill out, and they may most likely specify the timeframe in which they want you to send your answers back to them. After reviewing your answers, they may determine if they can schedule you for your next round of interviews.
Group interviews typically last one hour, though the length of time can vary based on the size of the group and what the employer has planned. During a group interview, you and several other candidates meet with one or more hiring managers at the same time. An employer may opt for a group interview to see how the candidates react to one another, or they may do this to save time during the hiring process.
Open hiring interviews
Open hiring interviews can last typically 30 minutes to one hour. Some companies hold open hiring events or may attend career fairs to take walk-in interviews. The interviewer may review your CV and conduct the interview immediately. The hiring manager may even offer you a job right after you have completed the interview.
How to maximise interview time
Maximising the amount of time to speak to the hiring manager or recruiter about your suitability for the job can help your chances of getting the job. To ensure you make a positive impression while staying within a reasonable timeframe, follow these steps:
1. Create an interview plan
Developing a plan helps ensure that the interview runs smoothly on your end. Consider arriving early to the interview and being prepared with your CV, cover letter, a notepad and a pen. You're providing the hiring manager or recruiter an example of how you fulfil the role of employee, and you can use this as an opportunity to show you are prepared to accept the role you are interviewing for. You may also want to check your Internet connection or phone service before the interview if you're interviewing via video or phone.
Related: How to Prepare for an Interview
2. Prepare answers to common questions
There are standard interview questions that many recruiters and hiring managers may ask in the hiring process. Being familiar with these basic questions ensures you are ready to respond without taking time to think about the question. Expecting these questions may also help you consider what sorts of information the hiring manager or recruiter may want from you, and you can prepare accordingly.
3. Write a list of questions for the recruiter or hiring manager
Typically, the recruiter or hiring manager asks if you have any questions at the end of the interview. This is your opportunity to find out what the company expects of you beyond the job description, and by extension, you may express what you expect of the company. Specific topics you could ask about include your suitability to the company's culture, the people you may be working with and opportunities for advancement within the company. This ultimately may help you determine if you would be a good match for this company.
4. Stay on topic
You may find your interviewer especially interesting, either due to their personality or their role in the company. You may want to ask them more follow-up questions about their position or hobbies, and the interviewer may be willing to talk about themselves, but this could reduce the amount of time you may perform the interview. Creating an interview plan may help you keep the conversation relevant to the job interview while also ensuring the interview does not extend beyond the allotted time slot.
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