How Long Should A Phone Interview Last?

Interviews can make the best of us feel anxious and nowadays the interviewing process is becoming more and more advanced. You have face-to-face interviews, interviews via video chat and through the phone.

However, no matter how the interview is conducted it is still important to go in professionally and ready to sell yourself.

With the standard face-to-face interviews, you can already go in with an idea of how long it will last, but is this different for phone interviews?

How Long Do Phone Interviews Last?

A phone interview is just as important as any other. It is the time for you to sell yourself and show you are worth considering for the position.

It is common that with a phone interview, this is a casual introduction and a way to analyze the individual as a person before moving onto the next stage (this will be a face-to-face interview).

Because of this, you should expect this phone call to last anywhere between 15 minutes and 45 minutes (leave yourself an hour in your schedule to be safe).

What To Expect From A Phone Interview

During a phone interview, this is the perfect opportunity for your potential employer to get to know you. You shouldn’t be expecting any difficult questions and you shouldn’t be expected to be tested either.

This interview is purely for the employer to understand your character and also as a way to make you feel settled and comfortable.

Although this interview will be more casual, it is still worth preparing for potential discussions. To help, we have come up with a list of example questions:

“Tell Me About Yourself”

This statement is guaranteed to pop up during an interview. It is the starter for a general discussion and allows the employer to get to know you. To answer this question, don’t think too much about what the employer wants to hear and be completely honest.

Talk about your interests, your hobbies, what you like to do for fun. This is the time to really reveal your personality and promote your likability.

“What Motivates You?”

This is another question which may be asked during the interview and this is the chance to impress your employer. Speak about what motivates you in life, what you strive for, and bring in some details which links to the role you are applying for.

Here, the employer is wanting to understand your passions as well as seeing if you are motivated enough to work under them.

“What Are Your Strengths And Weaknesses?”

A question on strengths and weaknesses is a typical question you will find at an interview. With this, it is worth writing done a list of your strengths and weaknesses beforehand so that you are prepared to answer.

Try not to be too stereotypical – you want to make a lasting impression. Instead of “I am hardworking”, say “I am always ready to take on new challenges”. This makes you stand out and shows your determination.

“What Do You Know About This Position?”

“What Do You Know About This Position”

Always do your research into the company and what you are applying for. It is likely that you would have applied for countless jobs and with that you may forget what a company stands for.

Show that you care about the company and your potential job position by explaining clearly what you know.

“Where Do You See Yourself In 5 Years?”

This question allows the employer to see your goals for the future. They will be able to acknowledge your ambition and determination. When answering, answer truthfully. Even if you don’t have any concrete goals, this should be mentioned.

If you do have future plans, speak of them honestly and realistically. You are not trying to overly impress your employer at the telephone interview stage. Your employer simply wants to get to know you.

“Do You Have Any Questions?”

This will be the question to end the interview. You may find that you do not have any questions to ask, however if you do then you should be particular about what you ask. You don’t want to come across as rude or demanding but assertive and curious.

How To Guarantee A Smooth Running Phone Interview

Since this interview is on the phone, it can be easy to slack when it comes to professionalism. It is important for the interview to run smooth and make a good first impression, and you can achieve this by making note of these steps to success.


Before your interview it is necessary to choose a suitable location. You don’t want to be on the phone in an area prone to bad service or somewhere busy and loud. Choose somewhere quiet such as your dining room table or study.

This way you are able to immerse yourself in the conversation without any disruptions.


Being on the phone, this means distractions are always lurking.

More than likely you will be having this interview in the comfort of your home and homes are cluttered with distractions (television, children, pets, etc.) It is important to pull yourself away from things that may distract you.

You want your full attention on the employer.


Avoid the money question. It would be a lie to say that we haven’t all been tempted at one point or another to ask about the pay. Although this can be a valid curiosity, this isn’t an appropriate question for the first interview.

Try looking this up and if you still can’t find out, what until a later date to ask.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to phone interviews you shouldn’t be expecting the worst. These interviews typically last no less than 15 minutes and no more than 45 minutes – this is simply a chance for the employer to get to know you.

There are a number of questions which can be asked which we have come up with above however you still don’t know what to expect. Just make sure to be yourself, talk in an appropriate setting and do your very best.

Jamie Willis
Career Specialist at BecomeopediaHi, my name is Jamie Willis, and I have been helping students find their perfect internships and education paths for the last ten years. It is a passion of mine, and there really is nothing better than seeing students of mine succeed with further studies.

One thought on “How Long Should A Phone Interview Last?

  1. Sophie Harmon says:

    I don’t think it matters how long should a phone interview last. As long as the interviewer gets all the details he/she needs from the applicant.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *