Interviews are a vital part of almost every hiring practice. Aside from an applicant’s qualifications, hiring managers rely strongly on interviews to discover more about the candidate’s suitability for the job. This is a chance for the applicant to make an impact and raise his chances of getting hired.
The duration of interviews is a usual consideration for the applicants. As a job hopeful, you might have asked at some point, “How long do job interviews last?” Understanding how long each interview stage commonly lasts will allow you to make the most of your time for your preparation.
In this article, we will discuss the various stages of an interview, their duration, and how to maximize your time to land the job you’re applying for. Let’s jump right in!
What are the Different Stages of the Interview Process?
Before talking about the length of the job interview, let’s get familiarized with the stages of an interview first.
Pre-interviews or the screening stage are done by hiring managers to evaluate your qualifications. Soft skills are often assessed at this stage to see how well you can fit in their working environment. This is usually conducted through a brief phone call ranging from 15-30 minutes. In this stage, the hiring managers narrow down their pool of candidates for the actual interview. This is a great opportunity to make a great first impression.
This stage usually takes 45 minutes to more than 1 hour. In the interview stage, various employer companies conduct different rounds of interviews. Each round may focus on a particular discussion, such as the first round which may focus on the applicant’s communication skills, while the next round may deal with technical skills. Employers may also opt to do a panel interview before the next round with the HR for the discussion of salary.
This stage concludes the hiring process. When the position has been successfully filled out, the selected applicant may be notified through email or phone call. This process commonly takes up to one week.
‘How Long Do Job Interviews Last’: Knowing the Different Types of Interviews
As discussed earlier, a typical interview may last up to more than an hour, and it can go on for as long as it takes. The length of the interview depends on what type of interview is being conducted, and it’s also based on the employer’s hiring preference. Here are a few types of job interviews:
Also known as the pre-screen interview, phone interviews are typically your very first interaction with the hiring manager. This usually takes 15-30 minutes of your time. The interviewer might ask for basic details in your resume such as your work history, the reason for your application for the position, your personality and qualifications for the role, and other questions to get to know you better before the actual interview.
Video interviews can take the place of phone interviews to better assess an applicant. When the pandemic started in 2020, video interviews also replaced actual in-person interviews. If the video interview is in the pre-screen level, it will take 15-30 minutes. If it’s in the place of in-person interviews, then this will take up to 1 hour. The duration of the interview depends on where the applicant is in the hiring process.
In this stage, you may likely attend different rounds of interview with various representatives in the company. The first round may be with a representative for the position you’re applying for, the second may be with the hiring manager, the third may be with the higher ups, and the last one may be with the HR. Each round may take up to 30-45 minutes. In this interview, you may expect to be asked questions assessing your suitability for the job description. Salary, benefits and hours of work may also be discussed.
This hiring process often involves exams to evaluate a candidate’s critical thinking and cognitive skills. Some hiring managers often use personality tests to see how well a candidate can fit in the company culture. This assessment usually takes 1 hour.
In this interview, you may be assessed for your technical ability to perform the role. This is usually done in professions that require a particular set of skills like engineering, and IT-related positions. Technical interviews may be done prior to in-person interviews, or may be conducted at the same time. You may be requested to complete a technical assessment test that usually takes between 1 hour to 2 hours.
Group interviews typically last between 1 to 2 hours due to the presence of multiple candidates. Employers use this process to save time and observe how applicants interact with one another. The interview may begin as a group and then split into individual interviews with hiring managers and supervisors.
A type of group interviews, panel interviews usually last from 1 to 2 hours and you may be meeting with three, four, or more people from the hiring company. It’s possible that you may have a panel interview done via video call as well. You will benefit from having the chance to meet the whole team at once, which usually means fewer steps in the interview process.
It’s recommended that you ask for a list of who will be on the panel and how much time you’ll need to allot for the interview so you can adequately prepare.
Open Hiring interview
Hiring companies hold open hiring events, such as career fairs, where you can connect with interviewers during the open hours. After they review your resume, they will conduct a brief interview, which can last anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. On the rare occasion, you may even receive a job offer immediately after the interview. Open hiring interviews are a great way to network and make connections with various companies.
How to Maximize Your Time During an Interview
During your job interview, you only have a limited amount of time to make a positive impression and demonstrate why you should be hired. Aim to stay focused and concise, and make sure to keep the conversation relevant. Answer the questions directly and avoid unnecessary details. Additionally, show that you have done your research and come prepared with questions for the interviewer about the job.
Below are some important points to remember to maximize your time:
1. Create an interview plan.
Having an interview plan will help you stay in the zone and keep your nerves in check.
Before appearing for the interview, make sure to research about the company, the demands of the job, and the employer’s expectation. Having this knowledge beforehand can help you provide relevant answers to the interviewer’s questions. During the interview, you can incorporate the information you have gathered while answering questions. This will show that you are knowledgeable and serious about the job.
Finally, have a plan in mind to help you navigate through the entire interview process. Arrive early, know when to leave, and how to get to the interview venue. Prepare a routine that involves gathering the required materials and setting up your internet connection for remote interviews.
2. Practice answers to common interview questions.
Preparing for an interview can be a daunting task. To make sure you are ready to ace the interview, you can practice answering common job interview questions with a friend or family member, or by yourself in front of a mirror.
Additionally, have a general idea of the points you want to make, rather than memorizing a scripted response. Doing a mock interview can help you time your responses and get comfortable answering questions. It can also help you estimate the duration of the interview if the employer doesn’t provide this information.
3. Prepare questions for the interviewer.
Asking questions demonstrates your enthusiasm and dedication, as well as providing an opportunity for a more in-depth discussion about your qualifications. Think carefully about what you want to know from the organization and tailor your questions accordingly. You can create a list of topics you want to discuss and any questions you have for the interviewer. This will provide you with an outline you can use to create a conversational discussion rather than simply waiting for the next question.
4. Keep the discussion relevant.
Strive to ensure that the conversation remains focused on why you are the ideal candidate for the job. This will help you make the most of the time you have and avoid missing the opportunity to discuss the things that make you the best choice.
To stay on track during the interview, it is helpful to prepare a plan that includes the topics you want to discuss and why you are the ideal candidate for the position. Be aware of the limited time you have, even if you have a general idea of the length of the interview. Keep the dialogue centered on the job and the reasons why you are the right person for it. Avoid asking irrelevant questions and stay focused on the topic.
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Remember: Preparation is key to landing your dream job. With the above tips in mind, you should be able to maximize the time you have during the job interview and make a lasting impression.