How long should an interview last?

2 mins read
How Long Shoudl An Interview Last

3 months ago

​​​​Discover the full range of items to take into account when planning to interview a candidate

Interviewing candidates is often the most crucial part of any recruitment process. Our clients often ask the question, “How long should an interview last?”

Spending too little time in an interview can mean you don’t pick up on candidate skills. Too long and it you will experience a diminishing return on your time.

Commonly, face-to-face interviews tend to last no less than 30 minutes. Half an hour doesn't give either you or the candidate an accurate impression of each other. After all, you want to ensure that they are the best fit for the business.

Although it varies depending on industry, most interviews last between 45 minutes and one hour. This should provide sufficient time and flexibility from both sides to get to know one another.

But what works for one business may not work for you. The length of time spent in an interview is also highly dependent on how senior and/or specialist the role is, as well as the total time you and your staff have available.

So, to help you to decide on how long an interview should last, here are some items to consider:

Before the interview:

To make a good impression, candidates often arrive before their allotted time. Ensure either you or a member of staff has the time to greet them before the interview begins.

During the interview:

Making a firm decision on how an interview will be structured beforehand will help dictate the overall duration of the interview.

If an interview is a structured series of competency based questions then the overall time spent will be fairly consistent across multiple candidates. Rehearsing the interview process with another employee can help to gauge how long the interview will take.  

Less formal interviews often help to gain a better insight into a candidate and can help to build a greater rapport. If you're planning on a more relaxed interview style then extra time may need to be factored in depending how the conversation develops.

In certain industries, companies will often ask candidates for a demonstration of their skills alongside a traditional face-to-face interview. If there are any tasks, tests or formal presentations that need to be completed the time for these will also need to be factored in.

It is also important that a candidate has the opportunity to raise anything that they're unsure about. Remember to allow time for questions from the candidate at the end of the interview.

After the interview:

Once the discussions have taken place does the candidate need to be shown anything more, meet members of staff, or see your facilities?

The more you can plan your interview process, the better you will be at estimating how long the interview will take – which will give you a more effective recruitment process.

You may also be interested in...

Reed’s Turkey salary guide 2022
3 mins read
  1. Featured

Reed’s Turkey salary guide 2022

The pandemic left Turkey facing the highest inflation growth the country has seen in 20 years and a depreciated currency. Employers across the country now face the challenges of raising salaries to match the rate of inflation and competition for talent in a candidate-driven market. ​Our guide will help business leaders understand the extent to which they should raise their salaries to attract and retain the best professionals for their open roles. And on the flip side, ensure those looking for work are not demanding unreasonable salaries. ​Using data from the jobs we have taken across Turkey over the last three years, our guide provides the salaries expected in 2022. It is the best way to make informed choices about your current or future career, or ensure your company is offering what employees really want – helping you to stay a step ahead of your closest competitors by securing the right people. ​The guide also contains insight from a snap survey of professionals across the country to highlight what people desire from an employer; assessing salary, benefits offered, benefits desired and employee confidence. Who are these salary guides designed for?​Our guide has been designed to provide the latest insights for those looking for work, those currently in work and companies looking to hire.​Jobseekers can use the guides to assess what they should be earning in their new role.​Companies looking to attract new people to their workforce can stay one step ahead and benchmark their salaries and benefits to make sure they are attracting innovative professionals who are a good match for their organisation.​Employees looking for a promotion, or even to ensure they are being paid the going rate, can use the salary guidance to ensure their pay and benefits are in line with market rates.​What sectors do the Reed salary guides cover?​The guide covers seven of the biggest sectors in Turkey, assessing roles at all levels. So, whether you are looking to take the step from procurement specialist to procurement manager, or looking to hire for a sales director to spearhead your business growth, Reed’s salary and benefits insight will assist you in doing just that.​​Reed’s 2022 Turkey salary guide covers the following industries:​Accountancy & financeBusiness supportEngineeringHuman resourcesProcurement & supply chainSales & marketingTechnologyWhy should I download Reed’s salary guides?​Our guides offer you comprehensive advice and insight from industry experts. This, alongside data for some of the most popular jobs in Turkey – giving you a lower, average and upper salary band – will help you to make the right decisions.​The guide also provides in-depth analysis of what Turkish workers at all levels really want. Some key insight from our snap survey includes:76% of respondents said they were unhappy with their salary Only nine percent of companies allow employees to create a bespoke benefits package, while 39% want this option 65% said that it has become harder to find people with the right skills ​“Companies should adjust their onboarding, training and retention strategies to ensure they are ready to offer attractive salaries and benefits packages when suitable candidates enter the job market. The best way to drive business growth is through retention of staff and hiring the best talent.” - Asiye Yildrim, General Manager, Reed​Download Reed’s Turkey salary guide and get planning for 2022.

Remote onboarding: successfully settle into your new job online
4 mins read

Remote onboarding: successfully settle into your new job online

​Working remotely is not a new concept, but there are some employees who have never worked from home before. With organisations now looking to remotely onboard new employees, some may find it more challenging than starting a role in an office.This blog will explore the considerations you should make so that you can be an essential member of the team and acclimate quickly to your new role.Home officeOne of the first things to consider is finding a good working environment within your home, with minimal interruptions and maximum concentration. It doesn’t have to be an office of your own, just a place that is yours, that you can leave at the end of the day.Work-life balance is crucial to our mental health, but it’s impossible to completely maintain during the lockdown, so you need to compartmentalise and use indicators that let you know you’re either working or not working i.e. a desk for work use only.TechnologyYour company should send you all the resources you need, including computers, keyboards etc. but you need to prepare your home for the increased and prolonged use of technology. You may need to upgrade your broadband or the capacity of your own computer, for example. Your electricity and internet bills will rise, but there are tax reliefs for that, so look into how you can claim money back for the increased cost.Find out what platforms your team is using and how they want you to share your work or collaborate – then familiarise yourself with these systems and processes. Your routine may depend on that of others going forward. Get acquainted with their system in the first day or two so you can start contributing as quickly as possible without mishaps – this may require seeking out the best person in your team to be ‘on-call’ for any support.CommunicationWhen you’re in an office environment, it’s more likely that you’ll have casual conversations with your new colleagues in the vicinity. Now, you must make an effort to get in contact with them. You will likely have an introductory team meeting over Zoom, MS Teams or other software, but to get to know people better, you should be proactive. Aim to set up meetings with everyone individually, to find out who they are, what their role is, how you can support them – and also a bit about them outside of work.Most new starters, especially if they’re new to the industry, will need a lot of support and your team will expect you to ask for help rather than figure it out alone. Utilise the technology to keep in touch with your manager and colleagues as and when you need to. There will always be someone in your team who can help you out, but you need to ask. Find someone who can help you connect to others you need to know in the organisation.ExpectationsWhen anyone starts a job, you must first learn what your boss and team expect of you, and what you should expect from them in turn. Part of getting to know your team and their roles is learning what you will need from each other. You might find that your boss is checking on you a lot to begin with, but that will lessen over time as you build their trust by meeting or exceeding their expectations.Ask if there is anything you need to learn more about and aim to build your skills as you work – there are so many online resources and courses to choose from, it’s good to ask for some recommendations. Gaining relevant skills will benefit your team as well as yourself.Soft skillsCommunication is one of the most common soft skills that employers look for – others such as flexibility, resilience and time management are also highly desirable, especially during the lockdown. Having a good attitude, being eager to learn, and offering to do more to support your team will help you stand out as a valuable team member.Part of being proactive is having your own opinions and ideas, and sharing them in order to help the team. This may take a while to get right if you’re just getting the hang of things, so no one will expect perfect solutions right away – but if you do have an idea, don’t be afraid to share it because it may spark others’ creativity. The worst that can happen is they say no. It’s better to make mistakes and ask questions at the beginning so that you can learn and grow.You may be working from home for a long time, so make as much effort as you can to stay professional, stay connected, and make a good impression.If you’re still searching for your next remote role, or a talented candidate to share this information with, contact any Reed office via phone or email.

How to write a cover letter
4 mins read

How to write a cover letter

​How to write a covering letter. The bane of many people’s lives. But it really doesn’t need to be. Follow our simple tips and yours will stand out from the crowd.​Let’s start with the basics: what is a cover letter?A cover letter accompanies a CV (and/or completed application form). It can also be the email you send to a prospective employer with your CV attached – the lines are now starting to blur. It's an opportunity to highlight what makes you particularly suited for the job, but most importantly, should highlight your passions and motivations for the job and company in question.Why you need oneRecruiters get inundated with CVs from hundreds of people who apply for their vacancies, so the cover letter helps make you stand out. Send a good one, and they’ll probably spend more time on your CV.How to start and end a cover letterResearch the job you’re applying for and find out who the hiring manager will be and address it to them – brownie points for this straight away. This may involve a call to the recruitment team covering the role or you may prefer to do a bit of searching on LinkedIn. Once you have a name you should address the letter to that person and begin the letter, for example, "Dear Ms Jones," and end with "Yours sincerely, <your name>".If you can’t find the name of the person, but have a job title, such as the HR manager, you should address the letter to the HR manager, and include"Dear Sir or Madam," and end with "Yours faithfully, <your name>".You should include the job title of the role you are applying for somewhere clearly – in an email this could well be the subject line, or in a letter it could be in your opening paragraph. We won’t be more specific than this as, for the sake of job-hunting, there are more important things to worry about.A cover letter should always end positively and look ahead to the next stage, for example, 'I would be happy to provide further information at interview' or 'I look forward to hearing from you'.The meat of the matterAlways write a new cover letter for each job you go for: recruiters can spot a “copy & paste” job at half a mile. Your cover letter should explain why you are applying for this particular job. You should use it to expand upon areas of your CV that are relevant to the job you are applying for, and link them to your personal motivations. If you have a real interest in the company and its products, or you have certain qualifications that are suitable for this job, then say so. If you believe in the company’s values then tell them. If the role is the ideal next step in your career, explain why. If there is something about you which makes you particularly unique – personal recommendations, previous voluntary experience, or other anecdotes, use them. Remember you need to stand out as being passionate (without seeming desperate) and likeable.RelevanceEverything you write should relate directly to the job at hand: they won’t want to know that you like football or watching TV unless the job is about football or TV. And don't just repeat what's on your CV. The covering letter and CV work together, with each filling in the gaps of the other. Use the covering letter to shed additional light on the information on your CV.LengthYour cover letter should be well-presented and ideally fit onto one page – to a maximum of approximately 400 words. You want to entice the hirer to want to find out more about you, not tell them the whole story up front.Proof-readingThere’s nothing worse than seeing a well-written letter that’s littered with errors. Many recruiters will reject all applications with any spelling errors or typos without a second thought, so don’t let that be yours. This is especially important if you’re going for a job that requires any sort of attention to detail. Check your work thoroughly.A note on researchWe can’t stress the importance of this enough. Before you start, do some research on the company and the job you’re applying for. Things to know include what the company does, their competitors and where they're placed in the market.Not only will carrying out this research give you the knowledge you require to tailor your cover letter and CV to the style of the company, it also demonstrates that you’ve a real interest in the role and the company itself.A final thoughtYour CV shows you can do the job, your cover letter shows you will do the job. The two should complement each other.