How Long Does a Job Interview Last Usually?
Preparing for an interview is a nerve-wracking process. Job interviews are essentially the last gate standing between you and the job. An email invitation to an interview often does not contain much vital information. You are clueless about what it might contain and how long it will last.
A typical interview will last between 30 minutes and an hour. However, this can vary.
During the pre-employment assessments, candidates could encounter several rounds of interviews. Read on to learn how different interview processes are broken down and how long they can last.
Table of Contents
How Long Does a Job Interview Last?
If There Is Just One Round Of Interview
For junior positions, there is usually only one round of interviews. It directly determines your candidacy. The interview will usually last from 30 minutes to 60 minutes.
The whole interview process involves some basic self-introduction, interviewers explaining the nature of the job, and candidates talking about their strengths. At last, candidates can ask questions about the job.
This type of interview is typically more relaxed. It involves mostly casual conversations as the interviewers see how your previous skills can translate to the current job with your experience. Also, it gives them the chance to analyze your personality and see how it fits their company.
In some cases, you may be asked to do a small assessment test at the end. It will likely be verbal questions given by the interviewers. You will be asked questions related to the job and how to solve some daily tasks. They will examine your ability from it.
If There Are Multiple Rounds Of Interviews
For more senior positions or when there are a dozen of suitable candidates, multiple rounds of interviews may be adopted to further put your skills under the microscope. The first interview will stay roughly the same as mentioned above, which lasts for around 45 minutes.
The interviews that come next will be increasingly challenging and academic and can last for two hours. They aim to evaluate your professional knowledge in a specific field. The duration of the interviews will increase as they turn more assessment-based.
From graphic to theory tests, you will be given different sets of assessments that align with the job duties. Your interviewers will review your answers immediately, or you may discuss the solutions together.
Multiple rounds of interviews give interviewers a better understanding of your leadership and problem-solving skills. They also allow existing senior members of the company to view your profile.
You will face different interviewers each round for everyone to decide your candidacy. Hence, for managerial roles, you will often be asked to attend at least three rounds of interviews.
If It Is An Assessment Day
Professional jobs like pilots or government roles often include an assessment day when candidates have to spend an entire day at an assessment centre. Typically, you will spend at least 8 hours in the centre for the whole process.
The assessment day comprises different elements. There will be a group test where all candidates complete a set of physical tests. Then, candidates are divided into groups to attend group interviews, followed by an individual interview or vice versa.
Usually, companies run an assessment day because they want the potential candidates to be a team player and able to cope well under immense pressure. Therefore, high-ranking positions may require an assessment day.
The assessment can last for up to 3 hours. It is conducted in paper format or online. You will sit in an examination hall to give your answers among all the other candidates.
The assessment directly accesses your level of expertise to match your application. Results may or may not be instantly given. If it is given immediately, candidates that fail this round have to leave the venue.
Group interviews often last for 20 to 30 minutes. In a group interview, you have to demonstrate exceptional leadership and communication skills. The group has to work together to solve the puzzle.
The puzzle may or may not be work-related as it aims to measure your intellectual level and willingness to cooperate. It is not your personal show. Candidates should not try to steal the spotlight. Otherwise, you are seen as a bad team player.
After the group interview, you will be taken to another room for an individual interview. This part will last for another 20 to 30 minutes. You will be asked to talk about your skills and experiences in-depth. Aside from your professionalism, interviewers will judge your characteristics to see if you can add value to the team.
Assessment day processes thousands of candidates in one day, which is a big reason that it is favoured by international corporations and the government.
What Is a Job Interview?
Job interviews are vital parts of the pre-employment process. Potential employers use the opportunity to converse with candidates to access their qualities and personalities to see how well they will fit the job. It can be virtually or physically conducted, depending on the requirements.
Most of the time, job interviews are only given to candidates after the initial screening to save resources. Hence, if you are asked to attend an interview, your CV has been processed and the company acknowledges your potential for the position.
Depending on the position you are applying for, there can be multiple rounds of interviews in various formats. Candidates should understand the differences between these job interviews to better prepare for them.
How To Prepare For a Job Interview?
Do a Trial Run
It does not matter how many interviews you have attended in your life. It still makes your stomach sick to think of the upcoming one. The reason is that you are not preparing for the specific one correctly.
The preparation materials include study guides created by experts in the field, mock assessments, and interview hacks. In the end, candidates will have a clear picture of what they are dealing with.
You will never be able to convince someone to hire you if you do not believe in yourself. Give confident answers even if you are unsure. Interviewers want to hire smart candidates that can be calm in a situation. Your analytical skills and logical reasoning are much more important than arriving at the right answers.
Confidence is a personality trait crucial to most positions, particularly the managerial role. Interviewers will only give a pass to those that demonstrate strong confidence in their works. Avoid using the terms “I’m not sure if I’m correct” or “I think so” because you should believe in your answers.
Be a Reasonable Team leader
During group interviewers, you should show the ability to lead other interviewers without denominating the scene. You should communicate in a way that takes into account the best ideas and transforms them into actions.
Every company wants its new hires to be equipped with appropriate leadership and communication skills even if the position does not require them. It is beneficial for your future promotions as well.
Show Up 20 Minutes Early
You should never show up on time to an interview as you may have to fill out some forms beforehand. Give yourself plenty of time to get to the venue in case of unforeseeable incidents. Doing a trial run never hurts, so you do not get confused about the right entrance to the office.
Showing up early attests to your hardworking personality too. It leaves a good impression on your potential employer. Besides, it shows respect to the company to reserve more than enough time for the interview.
Time Your Speech
When you get around 45 minutes for the whole interview, there is not much you can talk about for each section. You must time your speech so you do not waste time dragging on useless points. Make sure to condense your speech so only the essence is shown.
Practice your speech in front of a mirror before the interview. Highlight the points that you want to convey and focus on delivering the speech in a precise manner.
Interviewers screen through a dozen of people a day. It can be difficult for them to remember a particular applicant. To make your profile stands out, drop the biggest achievement you have as early on in your speech as possible.
Get Enough Sleep
Getting enough sleep is the most natural way to keep your brain fresh. When your interview is tomorrow, it will probably be better for you to just forget about it and enjoy the day as preparation should have been done long before. Give yourself a good night’s sleep for the best results.
The duration of each job interview depends on the job’s nature and the format. It can last from 30 minutes to 8 hours. To land the job you want, you need the specific study guides for the company and the role you are applying for. The most reliable place to look is Job Test Prep. Sign up now so you do not miss the discounts.
Sarah is an accomplished educator, researcher and author in the field of testing and assessment. She has worked with various educational institutions and organisations to develop innovative evaluation methods and enhance student learning. Sarah has published numerous articles and books on assessment and learning. Her passion for promoting equity and fairness in the education system fuels her commitment to sharing insights and best practices with educators and policymakers around the world.