When you really want a job, the interview process seems to last forever. As a result, it can be quite difficult to get an objective sense of how long it’s actually taking — you probably wouldn’t be able to say whether or not your interview experience is slower than average, quicker than average or right on par. Fortunately at Glassdoor have more than 50 million reviews and insights that provide a unique glimpse into the job search, including interviews.
Average Interview Duration
Overall job seekers in the UK spend an average of 27 days in an interview process when applying for a job. Considering that people change jobs an average of six times in their life, this results in over five months (162 days) spent in interview processes throughout your lifetime. Of course, this can vary significantly based on factors like your industry and company.
After looking across a number of different industries job seekers looking for consulting jobs faced the longest interview process with an average duration of 55 days. Travel and tourism came in second with 49 days, and investment banking closely followed with 45 days. This probably doesn’t come as a surprise to those familiar with the rigorous, multi-step interview processes that take place in these fields.
Confirming what we saw reflected in the previous graph, two of the companies with the longest interview duration are Big Four consulting firms, with companies in the travel and investment banking industry represented as well.
The Good News
While the thought of a lengthy interview process might seem intimidating, it can actually be to your benefit.
“On an industry level, interview duration correlates with interview difficulty, indicating that job seekers are being put through their paces in the longer recruitment drives,” said Glassdoor Community Expert Jo Cresswell. “This is ultimately a good thing for job seekers, as previous research shows that more difficult job interviews are statistically linked to higher employee satisfaction.”
It makes sense — the more time you spend interviewing with a company, the more you learn about the company culture, the people you would potentially be working with and the role itself. Candidates who stick it out after all that time, rather than dropping out early on, are more likely to be great matches for the position.
No matter how long the interview process takes, though, it’s critical that you familiarise yourself with the organisation. Look up some of the basics about the company, such as their industry, competitors and the name of their founders, as well as recent news and events about them — dropping your knowledge of any of these topics shows that you’ve done your homework, and is sure to impress your interviewer! Beyond the concrete facts, make sure to research some of the company’s more intangible characteristics as well, such as their culture, mission and values. In addition to reviewing a company’s Glassdoor profile, you can learn more about the company from their career site, social media channels and good old-fashioned searches.
Interviewing might be a pain, especially when it’s a long and drawn-out process, but remember — ultimately, this will help you better assess whether or not the job and company are right for you. And if you can take the time to properly prepare beforehand, you might even find that you enjoy the interview experience.