Job Interview 101: How Long Should it Take and Why it Matters

November 27, 2023
Job Interview 101 How Long Should it Take and Why it Matters

There are many kinds of interviews, like phone, video, in-person, technical, and group or panel. Each has a unique purpose, and recruiters often set up multiple rounds of different kinds to finalize the best candidate.

As a candidate, you must be familiar with the different kinds and how long do interviews last to ensure you prepare right. In this article, we will provide a comprehensive guide to nail every interview type by sharing how long do job interviews last and what to expect.

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How Long Do Job Interviews Last?

Knowing how long do interviews last can help you not only prepare beforehand but also plan right. Mostly, recruiters share upfront the time and the length of the interview, so you, the candidate, can plan accordingly. However, this is not always the case.

Sometimes, the initial screening or the first calls don’t come with any details about the length. Here, you need to know the initial calls or screening sessions, conducted usually by hiring managers or human resources, are the shortest.

The first phone call usually lasts around 10-30 minutes, where the recruiter asks general questions to inquire about you, what you do, your current employment status, availability, and expectations.

The best is to set aside 40 minutes for the first calls to stay on the safe side. Further, a recruiter or hiring manager plans these calls methodically to keep the talk open-ended and two-way. Good ones often set aside a few minutes for the candidate to inquire about the company.

So, don’t feel shy, and if the recruiter doesn’t show any urgency or rush and ask you whether you have any queries, ask away.

Remember, recruiters evaluate many traits on a call, including your willingness and interest, so ask smart questions and create a solid first impression.

How Long Do In-Person or Virtual Interviews Last?

The next in the recruitment process is an in-person or virtual interview. These are more planned, and their length is defined, in the mail or on the call. Typically, in-person or virtual interviews usually last 30-60 minutes, and here, the recruiter manager asks questions to evaluate your attitude, proficiency, and compatibility.

To nail the second-round, in-person or virtual interview, you must delegate 8-10 hours beforehand to learn about the company, prepare apt answers for the common interview questions, and create a strategy.

Knowing these interviews can clock an hour, and sometimes more, it is essential to know what to say and come prepared.

How Long Do Panel Interviews Last?

The next on the list are panel or group interviews conducted by managers and potential colleagues. In such, you either meet and sell yourself in front of a panel of three or four interviewers or have a series of shorter ones with multiple managers. Their length often stretches beyond an hour, as some include an office tour, where you meet the team to get to know the work and the culture better.

To nail a panel or group interview, you must polish your technical proficiencies, as they often entail more technical queries to test your mettle. However, don’t fret, as panel or group interviews are scheduled in the latter rounds, and making your way to it usually implies you have what it takes. So, approach it confidently and let your expertise shine.

What Can You Know From Interview’s Length?

Knowing how long do interviews last can tell you a lot about your odds and your performance. However, short isn’t always bad, and there are many factors that contribute to an interview being a hit or a miss.

For instance, the first round of interviews, usually a phone call, is the shortest and lasts 10-30 minutes. However, here, a 10-minute call doesn’t necessarily mean a miss, as their goal is to help the recruiter know the basics, and some only need a few minutes to do so.

In contrast, an interview that was pre-scheduled to be an hour or two long yet got cut short abruptly often implies a miss. However, keep your fingers crossed, as you never know. Maybe the interviewer had an emergency, or you wowed them in minutes. So, be positive!

Final Word

No matter how short the interview, you must maximize every second to score a win. Don’t let the clock make you turn complacent and present your best self to work your way through the rounds and secure the position.

That said, knowing how long do interviews last can change the game entirely, as it helps you prepare beforehand and pace your answers rightly. Remember, don’t be the one who wastes time in short calls and give one-word answers in detailed in-person or virtual interviews.

Read more: 10 Key Leadership Fundamentals Every Leader Must Know

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