What you can tell from the length of your interview (2023)

Remember those days in high school and university when you would walk out of an exam and immediately flip through your textbook to determine if you gave the right answers to those questions?

As part of human nature, we always over analyze our performance in nerve-racking situations to ensure that we put our best foot forward. Job searching is no different.

Immediately after leaving a job interview, your first thoughts are most likely “How did I do?”, “Will they call me back?”, “Did I give the right answers?”.

(Video) How to Know If Interview Went Well (4 Signs)

In some cases you may be sure that you completely flunked the interview, and in other cases you will have a more positive outlook – however, most of the time you just don't know.

A key indicator on how well your interview went is the time that you spent in the interview. Though you cannot use these rules to determine the success of every single interview accurately, it will still give you an idea in most scenarios.

We recently polled professionals on LinkedIn to find out how long they thought a good first interview should last. We’ve used the feedback and results to provide you with the following guidelines. 38 percent of professionals voted that a good first interview should last 45 minutes.

We agree! If your first interview lasted about 45 minutes, that is generally a good sign that the employer was interested in bringing you on board. If your interview was longer or shorter, keep reading.

15 minutes or less

We don’t like to start on such a negative note, but if your interview lasted 15 minutes or less – it was probably a bad interview. They may have realized when you arrived for the interview that you did not meet the minimum qualifications for the role, and therefore they were not interested in wasting their time.

(Video) The Right length for Interview Answers

Or, you may not have appeared as a good fit for their corporate culture based on your professional attire. First impressions are key, and something in yours told them that you weren’t the right person for the job.

30 minutes

If your interview was 30 minutes long, then it was just long enough. Hiring managers will generally schedule about 30 minutes to interview a candidate for most position levels. If you lasted the full 30 minutes, you know that you answered the questions well.

However, from the amount of time alone, we cannot determine whether or not you will be called back for a second interview. It is up to you to review your answers to each question to judge whether or not you wow’d the interviewer.

45 minutes

45 is the golden number in the world of job interviews. Along with 38 per cent of the professionals we polled on LinkedIn, we agree that a good first interview should last about 45 minutes long.

This means that you went slightly over the allotted time that the hiring manager had put aside, and that’s okay because you were answering the questions so well that they wanted to hear more.


1 hour

A 1 hour interview is a good sign for most career levels. Executive level professionals will find themselves in 1 hour interviews more often than all other levels of employees, due to the fact that the hiring manager will conduct a more in-depth interview for higher level candidates.

If during this 1 hour interview you were asked to meet with a secondary person, or complete some type of on-site proficiency testing, then you know that the hiring manager is seriously considering you for the role (or at least a second interview).

These timelines and rules will definitely change on a per-interview basis. There are other factors that will affect the length of the interview such as the level of position, the company’s hiring practices, and the hiring manager’s schedule for the day.

At the end of it all, if you are confident in the answers you provided and feel that you left a great impression on the hiring manager, then you will likely receive a callback for the role.

(Video) What Are Some Good Signs You Got The Job? - 7 Signs Your Interview Went Well

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Does a longer interview mean anything? ›

If you find the interview going on much longer than the scheduled time allotted, it's a good sign. Many hiring managers are busy and interviewing a number of candidates takes serious time. Therefore they're unlikely to spend excess time speaking with you unless they're genuinely interested in hiring you.

Does the length of an interview matter? ›

Takeaways. Ultimately, the length of the interview isn't something to stress over too much because 33% of hiring managers make their minds up within the first 90 seconds. This goes back to making a great first impression.

What does a 15 minute interview mean? ›

The idea of the 15-min phone interview is simple. You're only asking them a few short questions and the key things you're looking for are: Can they stick to the time they've been given? Can they convey their point concisely and explicitly?

What does a 10 minute interview mean? ›

This interview technique is similar to speed dating. Employers have the chance to assess multiple candidates within minutes and then choose those who are most likely to meet their requirements. The interviews can be conducted online or in person, but you may also screen candidates over the phone.

How do you know if you're a top candidate? ›

Here are some of the secret signs that those on the hiring team see you as a top candidate, according to recruiters and career experts:
  1. They are super responsive when following up with you. ...
  2. They introduce you to other team members and give you unplanned tours. ...
  3. They ask if you're interviewing with anyone else.
Nov 23, 2022

What are some good signs you got the job? ›

Table of Contents
  • Specific compliments of your skills or experiences.
  • Engaging you for longer than scheduled.
  • Discussing benefits and rewards with you.
  • Showing positive body language.
  • Giving you specific dates on when you will hear back from the company.
  • Discussing salary expectations.
  • Showing you around.

How do you know if hiring manager wants you? ›

  1. The discussion extends beyond what you had anticipated. ...
  2. They're not at all distracted. ...
  3. Your interviewer asks you questions about your long-term objectives. ...
  4. The interviewer speaks specifically about salary and other compensation. ...
  5. At the end of the interview, the hiring manager offers positive information about the next step.
Feb 13, 2015

How do you know if you didn't get the job? ›

How do you know you didn't get the job?
  1. The interview was cut short.
  2. You don't hear back after a job interview.
  3. The interviewer repeatedly cut your responses short.
  4. The interviewer did not share details about the job's duties or its salary.
Sep 19, 2022

How do interviewers decide who gets the job? ›

Personality, technical proficiency, education, and cultural fit are just a few of the traits hiring managers consider when deciding which job candidate to hire. During an interview, job candidates are also measured on their accomplishments and potential value to the company.

What does a quick interview mean? ›

That said, a short interview doesn't always mean you're out of the running. On the contrary, a short interview could actually mean you are the ideal candidate. In other cases, it might simply be a result of poor scheduling by a swamped recruiter, points out Glassdoor.com.

Is a 30 minute interview short? ›

If your interview was 30 minutes long, then it was just long enough. Hiring managers will generally schedule about 30 minutes to interview a candidate for most position levels. If you lasted the full 30 minutes, you know that you answered the questions well.

What does a 20 minute interview mean? ›

Some times a 20 min interview is done to just evaluate your experience to see if you are a good fit or not. And it is basically done by a recruiter. In that case 20 min interview is ok. But if your interview is scheduled for 1 hour but it ends in 20 min then it's a sign that they don't want to proceed with you.

Can a good interview be short? ›

Short interviews with good signs

You can tell a lot in about 30 minutes, even if you need more than that to make a final decision. So short interviews aren't necessarily a bad thing. Then again … sometimes a short interview is simply because we know right away, for any number of reasons, that it's a bad match.

What to say to impress an interviewer? ›

Mention the company's goals or mission in your response, connecting them to yourself. Tell stories. Add personal stories to your interview answers that create interest and make you memorable. Use examples to show how you solved problems or accomplished things in the past.

Why was my job interview so short? ›

Sometimes interviews are short because everyone in the room has all the information they need. And often times, when everyone's on the same page this quickly, it means you did a pretty good job. So if an interviewer seemingly cuts a meeting short with you, don't panic. It's not necessarily bad news.

Do strong candidates get interviewed first? ›

HR professionals should keep these biases in mind; they should schedule a strong candidate first, perhaps the strongest candidate last and the weaker candidates in the middle of the process. Doing so will help hiring managers focus and find the best person for the job.

Do best candidates get interviewed first? ›

The recency effect results in better recall of the most recent event or information presented. These two effects combined are said to lead the earliest and latest event or information being recalled best, for instance the first and last people interviewed will be better remembered than the middle candidate.

How do you know if you failed an interview? ›

6 Signs of a Bad Interview that Mean You Didn't Land the Job
  1. The interviewer seemed uninterested in you. ...
  2. The interview was suddenly cut short. ...
  3. There was absolutely zero chemistry. ...
  4. That killer question stumped you. ...
  5. The interviewer didn't tell you about the role. ...
  6. You failed to ask any questions.

How do you know you nailed an interview? ›

1. INTERVIEWER SHOWED CONNECTION AND AGREEMENT. If the interviewer seemed to be in agreement with what you were saying, then that's a good sign that you checked all the right boxes. Every time they said “Okay” or “Sure,” they meant that you were giving the kind of answers expected of the right candidate.

What day is most common for job offer? ›

What days of the week do employers make job offer calls? While employers can call with a job offer any day of the week, Tuesday is statistically the most popular day to send out offers, closely followed by Thursday.

What impresses a hiring manager? ›

12 Interview Tips to Impress Any Hiring Manager
  • Research the company and your interviewers. ...
  • Dress for the company. ...
  • Show up early to your interview. ...
  • Clarify your personal mission statement. ...
  • Be fully present. ...
  • Bring a copy of your resumé or portfolio. ...
  • Don't lie or overshare. ...
  • Be yourself.
Nov 9, 2021

How do I not look desperate in an interview? ›

10 Steps To Avoid Looking Desperate During A Job Interview
  1. First impressions count. ...
  2. Temper your humour. ...
  3. Be balanced with your answers. ...
  4. Don't make excuses. ...
  5. Don't play the blame game. ...
  6. Alleviate the nerves. ...
  7. Don't use desperate language. ...
  8. Don't act too available.

Is it good if the interviewer talks a lot? ›

The more the interviewer talks about what is going on in their company and how you will fit in, the better. It means they are selling it to you and potentially see you as the answer to what they want.

At what point do you assume you didn't get the job? ›

If after about ten to fifteen days, you have not received any follow-up emails or phone calls to tell you about the “Next steps”, this usually means you did not get the job. If even after sending a thank-you email to the interviewer they never get back to you, this is a sign that you are not going to get the job.

When should you assume you didn't get the job? ›

In general, if you don't hear back from the hiring manager two weeks after they told you they'd be in contact, you can probably assume the company has decided to go with another candidate.

What turns off interviewers? ›

Tardiness or not showing up for interview on-time. Personality problems or irrational behavior. Overly aggressive or manipulative behavior. Unrealistic goals, career and job expectations.

Who has final say in hiring? ›

Hiring managers and recruiters work closely together to hire for open positions. The hiring manager will be your direct supervisor if you are hired. They are the final decision maker on job offers. Your earliest interviews (after the recruiter screening) will likely be with the hiring manager.

Do interviewers hire on the spot? ›

Do open interviews hire on the spot? Yes, in many cases a job offer is made at the end of an open interview. However, sometimes an employer will request that the candidate return for a second interview or they state that they will inform the candidate of their choice in the near future.

Is a longer or shorter interview better? ›

38 percent of professionals voted that a good first interview should last 45 minutes. We agree! If your first interview lasted about 45 minutes, that is generally a good sign that the employer was interested in bringing you on board. If your interview was longer or shorter, keep reading.

How long is too long interview? ›

In-person job interviews last between 45 and 90 minutes on average. If an interview lasts 15 minutes or less, it's probably not a good one. If it's 30 minutes long, it's just not long enough. That said, 45 to 90 minutes is the golden number - and that's not just one of the random interview facts.

How long is too long after a job interview? ›

A brief expression of gratitude will help fix you in the employer's mind and speaks to a polite, professional disposition. Once you've dispatched that, the real waiting game begins. As a general rule of thumb, you're best to wait between one and two weeks during the interview process before reaching out again.

How long is too long for an interview process? ›

The recommended timeframe for this is between two and four weeks. If the process takes any longer than four weeks, the risk of losing those A-level candidates to another company rises dramatically.


1. Signs Your Interview Went Well - 7 Signs An Employer Wants To Hire You
(Professor Heather Austin)
2. Signs Your Interview Went Well and You Could Get The Job
(EMMOTION by Marat)
3. Signs Your Interview Went Well (5 SIGNS)
(Darnell Clarke)
4. How to Know If Your Interview Went Well - (10 signs they are interested)
(Ben Talks Talent - Interview Advice)
5. Does the interview length mean anything?
(All Things Employment With Noks)
6. Signs Your Interview Went Well (Find Out If You Got The Job)
(EMMOTION by Marat)
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