How Long Do You Expect to Interview?

The length of an interview depends on how well you impress the interviewer.

The length of an interview depends on how well you impress the interviewer.

The dynamics of an interview an vary widely. Position, level of responsibility, professional chemistry and the type of interview conducted shape the interview and determine its approximate length. Couple these factors with an interviewer's level of interest, and your interview could last hours. If the interviewer sees no cultural fit, the interview can end very quickly. Hiring managers have no time to waste, but will spend their time wisely on a viable candidate.

Stress Interview

Stress interviews are designed to be long and to seemingly waste your time. The idea of a stress interview is to see how you handle pressure.The interviewer might make you wait longer than expected to start the interview to build up your frustration. Then when she calls you into the office, she will watch you how your handle the pressure. Stress interviews might contain an arsenal of questions, some relevant and some irrelevant; this will take up a lot of time. This type of interview tends to be one of the longest interview processes and can easily stretch longer than an hour.

Telephone Interviews

Most telephone interviews are designed to quickly get to the point of determining whether or not you have the skills to do the job. These interviews typically last about 30 minutes give or take specific questions. The interviewer will screen your background and decide if you will be called back for a face-to-face interview. A position requiring leadership and management may prompt scenario questions about how you handled stressful management situations, so this type of phone interview may take longer.

Lunch Interviews

An effective lunch interview typically lasts as long as a regular lunch hour. The purpose of a lunch interview is to see how you conduct yourself in a social setting. As a general rule, interviewers will not drag out a lunch interview so you can expect to done in about an hour. However, if the interview goes well, you may be asked to extend your interview time by heading back to the company's office to meet other staff.

Routine Interview

Interviews without gimmicks are the hardest to predict when it comes to length. Overall, interviews can range from 10 minutes to three hours. A hiring manager might be so impressed with you that she shows you around the office and introduces you to many people. You may be asked to stay for an immediate second interview which could double your time at that interview site. Simply having a good conversation can lengthen the interview time. Look at lengthy interviews as a good thing. The more interest a company has in you, the longer the interview will take.

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About the Author

Michelle Dwyer is a U.S. Army veteran writing fiction and nonfiction since 2003. She specializes in business, careers, leadership, military affairs and organizational change and behavior. Dwyer received an MBA from Tarleton State University/Texas A&M Central Texas and an MFA in creative writing from National University in La Jolla, Calif.

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