The job interview is the most important element of the hiring process. It’s also the most excruciating and nerve-wracking. The latter is especially true for jobseekers.

Everyone knows that a job interview is their time to shine. They have to make a positive impression on the recruiter. But what does it mean if they only talked to you for 15 minutes? What if the interview was a grueling hour long? How long is a job interview supposed to be in the first place? This post will shed light on this all-important question.

How Long is a Job Interview?

Experts say a typical interview is often around 30 to 45 minutes long. An interview can also be as short as 15 minutes or can go beyond an hour. The type of interview will also determine how long you’ll be answering questions.

Many recruiters do an initial phone screening. This is often short and lasts only 15 minutes. A final interview is much longer though. You can expect to be talking to the interviewer anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour. It can even run as long as an hour and a half if it’s a panel interview.

You won’t be doing all the talking though. Hiring managers will always allot some time for job applicants to ask questions. A 30-minute video interview often means the last 10 minutes is for the applicant to ask questions.

Why Do Interview Lengths Vary?

There’s no set time scale for interviews. It’s because each type evaluates something different. An initial interview is often brief. The recruiter will only need 30 minutes at most. This is the “getting to know each other” stage. They’re checking if the applicant meets the requirements. It’s also a way to assess how interested you are in the job.

The succeeding interviews are longer because the interview is evaluating you. They’re assessing how well you can do the job. The questions are deeper and need more insights from you. The last few rounds of interviews often involve more people. You might be facing a panel of interviewers. They can be people from HR or your potential team. The questions asked will tell them something about your personality. It can help them see if you’re a team player or if you’ll fit in their work culture.

The style of the interview will also affect how long the interview is. One-to-one interviews are the most common type. It can last anywhere from 45 to 90 minutes. This depends on whether the applicant will present or perform a task.

Video interviews are an integral part of the hiring process now. One survey showed that 82% of companies do virtual interviews. The pandemic might have popularized it, but it’s here to stay. These interviews can run from 30 minutes to two hours. This is again based on the stage of the interview process.

You might also go through a group interview or a competency-based interview. Many recruiters use group interviews when they’re hiring for many postings. They’re also used if they’re building a team or if teamwork is a core need. Group interviews often last for an hour. It can be longer if the recruiter is talking to a larger group.

Competency-based interviews are different. They’re also known as situational or behavioral interviews. These can last anywhere from 45 to 90 minutes. Interviewers will ask applicants what they’ll do in certain situations. The interviewer is gauging how jobseekers will use their skills to handle problems. An extended time frame is necessary. It’s because candidates have to explain their prospective actions.

Regardless of how long the interview is, you need to prepare for it. Your career path depends on it. Think of the questions the interviewer might ask and come up with good answers. You should also prepare your interview materials, like your resume. Make sure your phone or internet is working before you do a virtual interview.

One Last Thing

Interviews are serious business. It’s why you should prepare for it. Companies like NW Recruiting Partners are thorough when it comes to interviews. It’s because we’re one of the top full-service recruiting companies. We find the best people for industries like construction and manufacturing. We specialize in recruiting professionals that will fill in mid-level to executive roles. We also look for candidates who excel in admin, sales, and marketing. You can reach us here or at 206-343-8732.