Job interviews can be stressful. Even if you felt like you created a good impression with a hiring manager, delving into your skills and abilities and explaining why you would be a great candidate for the position, you could still feel like it ended too soon.
In this highly technical and digital age, opinions on how long interviews are supposed to last are shifting. If you are used to in-person interviews and have switched to doing phone and video interviews, you may be asking yourself, "How long does an interview last?"
Don't stress! We are going to be looking at how long job interviews typically go, as well as discussing some new trends emerging from the prevalence of online video interviews.
In this article, we will discuss:
- What can the length of an interview tell you about your chances?
- How long do phone interviews last?
- How long does a video interview last?
- How long do group interviews take?
- How to maximize your interview time.
Interviews are tough, and that's why you should have somebody in your corner. Enhancv has a wonderful team of career counselors who can help you gain the confidence you need to succeed in your next interview.
What Can the Length of the Job Interview Tell You about Your Chances?
There really is no set time that an interview can take. Depending on the circumstances and the style of the hiring manager you're meeting with, it may take a short amount of time to figure out whether you’re a good fit for their company.
During your interview process, you may notice that one company interviews for a short period, while another draws out their interviews into several hour-long sessions. It doesn't mean that one interviewer does it better than another, it's just a preference of the interviewers.
Let's look at some key details about the common length of an interview:
On average, in-person job interviews last between 45 and 90 minutes
The majority of in-person interviews that you go to will last roughly an hour in length. During that time, hiring managers are able to assess your skills and abilities and learn if you are a good fit for the company.
But interviews may vary depending on the field that you're applying for. Some technical interviews may take longer, as applicants have to be verified in their ability to work on complex systems and showcase proficiency.
Is a 20 to 30-minute interview too short?
No, a 20 to 30-minute interview isn't too short, and in fact, it could mean that you are the perfect fit for the position.
Think about it like this: during the hiring process, the hiring manager may look at dozens of different applicants. But imagine you walk into the room and wow that hiring manager with your unique skill set. Sometimes, a recruiter may just know when somebody is right for the position.
But even if you're applying to several different positions, interview length may vary. Shorter job interviews may result from several factors, including being able to fit you into the hiring manager's schedule.
Shorter initial interview
As well, you may notice that your first interview is significantly shorter. During that initial meeting, a hiring manager and a job applicant are getting to know one another. The manager may share the primary job duties and general information about the company's culture, while a job applicant may be able to give a brief description of their skills and abilities.
As the interview process continues, interviews may vary in length, especially if you are involved in a panel interview, where two or more people interview you at the same time. You may notice that your second interview lasts significantly longer than your first one.
How Long Do Phone Interviews Last?
Phone interviews are shorter than in-person interviews because they offer the first form of communication between a recruiter and an applicant. Recruiters have a long list of pre-screened questions for applicants, and they typically use phone interviews to quickly go through dozens of candidates at one time.
The primary reason for the call is to see if you have what it takes to move on to the next round of interviews. Therefore, phone interviews may last between 15 to 20 minutes, following a pretty straightforward conversational style.
How Long Does a Video Interview Last?
The popularity of video interviews has skyrocketed since the global pandemic. Before the pandemic, 79% of employers would conduct a first interview either on the phone or in person. But since 2021, 86% of employers would choose to do a video interview first.
Since video interviewing has only recently caught on, you may not have direct experience with it. Video interviews tend to last about the same length as phone interviews, but there's a lot more emphasis on appearance and presentation than a phone interview or in-person interview.
Here are some interview tips to keep in mind when conducting a video interview:
- Test drive the software before the interview
Way before your interview, download the software onto your computer and test it out for a bit. Adjust your audio and video settings to make sure that you're presenting yourself in the best light. Also, make sure that you have a good internet connection.
A microphone might help to make yourself heard, as well as headphones to properly hear all the questions being asked.
- Adjust the lighting
Another important tip about video interviews is that you need to have proper lighting in order to be seen. Be sure to have a light source in front of you, one that doesn't blind you or make it difficult for you to see the screen.
- Clear the clutter
There is nothing worse than having a cluttered background in your video interview. The best way to root out clutter is to turn the camera on your computer on and look into the background. Clear all the clutter that you see in the background.
How Long Do Group Interviews Take?
Group interviews offer recruiters interesting insights into how an applicant will work within a team environment. There are two different types of group interviews that you may be a part of. The first one involves being in a group with other applicants with one interviewer.
Another style of group interview is when one applicant is interviewed by several different recruiters. This is also commonly referred to as a panel interview. Since there are so many people in the interview, ir may take more time. As a result, group interviews last at least an hour.
How to maximize interview time
First, practice answers to common interview questions
The best way to prepare yourself for an interview is to look through a list of common interview questions, and coming up with answers to each of them. You'd be surprised at how often certain interview questions come up, and therefore it's a good idea to prepare yourself before.
One good tip is to have someone that you know, either a friend or family member, quiz you on these interview questions.
If you're interested in finding the most common question you might come across in a job interview, check out this blog post:
Second, prepare questions for the interviewer
It's always a good idea to have a list of questions ready to ask an interviewer before you head into an interview. The reason for this is that it shows that you put in the time and effort to research the position and the company that you're applying for.
In fact, having a list of questions ready can show that you are interested in the position. Below, you can find a link to two articles that provide you with questions to ask an interviewer:
- How To Answer The, "Do You Have Any Questions For Me?" Interview Question
- The Top 15 Questions to Ask at the End of an Interview
Job interviews can vary in length, so don't worry too much if your last interview was on the short side. The hiring manager may keep an interview brief because they know that you are the perfect person to fill the position. Also, you may notice that a phone interview may be shorter than an in-person interview.
The most important thing to keep in mind for your next interview is how prepared and ready you feel you are for it. You could do that by preparing yourself with a list of common interview questions and coming ready with your own questions for the recruiter.
Whether you're looking to get better at face-to-face interviews or develop your communication skills, Enhancv has a dedicated team of top-notch career counselors who can help you make the best first impression at your next job interview.