Job interview statistics

The latest and most important job interview stats in 2021
 
Andrew Fennell Andrew Fennell

The job interview. One of life’s most nerve-wracking, yet potentially life-changing experiences.

If you want up-to-date info on interviews, we’ve compiled all of the latest essential job interview statistics for 2020-2021 right here for you.

From how many candidates secure job interviews, to how long it takes to get a job offer and everything in between.

 

Contents

Key job interview statistics 2021

Getting a job interview

 

Arranging and preparing for a job interview

 

The interview process

What happens during job interviews?

Video interview statistics

Post interview & job offers

Methodology & sources

 

 

Key job interview statistics 2021

  • Only 2% of candidates who apply for a job are selected to attend a job interview.
  • Employers will interview an average of 6 candidates for every job vacancy they advertise.
  • The average job interview process consists of 2 interview stages.
  • The average interview process in the UK takes 27.5 days to complete.
  • Pre-pandemic, the average job interview was conducted face-to-face, post-pandemic it is now carried out by video-call.
  • More than half of all candidates are rejected at the first interview stage.
  • An average job interview will last between 30 – 45 minutes.
  • The most common reason why a candidate would fail a job interview is a lack of understanding of the role.
  • 4 in 10 employers would reject a candidate if they showed no enthusiasm.
  • 78% of candidates say they find it difficult to find information about companies prior to interview.
  • There has been a 67% increase in the use of video interviews from 2020 – 2021
  • More than half of employers say they will continue to use video interviews after Covid restrictions are lifted.
  • The average time for employers to contact candidates with feedback after an interview is 12 days.
  • On average it takes 3 weeks for an official job offer to be made in writing.

 

 

Getting a job interview

Securing an interview is the first hurdle in the job interview process – here’s how candidates and employers are fairing.

 

How many people apply for one job?

  • In the UK a job advert will receive an average of 25 applicants (pre-pandemic)
  • At the end of 2020 employers received an average of 506 applications for low-skilled vacancies, and 56 applications for high-skilled vacancies.

 

How long do recruiters spend looking at CVs?

Recruiters spend 6-8 seconds reviewing a CV before they decide whether it is suitable for a vacancy or not.

 

CV reading statistics

 

How many candidates are selected for interview?

  • 80% of CVs do not get shortlisted by recruiters, meaning they do not make it past the first screen.
  • Only 2% of candidates who apply for a job are selected to attend a job interview.

 

How long does it take to get a job interview?

It can take anywhere between 1 – 34 days to receive an interview request from the moment a job application is made.

 

 

Arranging and preparing for a job interview

Once a candidate secures an interview, here’s what happens before they arrive.

 

How do candidates travel to interviews?

57% of candidates take public transport to interviews, 39% drive, and 4% walk or cycle.

 

Cost of attending a job interview

Attending a job interview costs an average of £58 including travel, clothing and occasionally accommodation. Graduates fork out an average of £506 in interview costs before securing their first job.

 

Can you claim expenses for interview travel costs?

Contrary to popular belief, you are not entitled to claim interview travel expenses from the employer. Some companies may offer to cover interview expenses, but there are no laws or regulations requiring them to do so.

 

What to take to a job interview

  • 84% of interviewers expect candidates to bring a copy of their CV to the job interview.
  • Only 9% of interviewers would expect candidates to bring a copy of the job description.

 

What to wear to a job interview

  • In 2021 only 37% of employers would expect men to wear a tie to a job interview.
  • 26% of employers require a formal dress code for interviews, 55% require smart-casual, and 19% have no dress-code requirements at all.

 

What to wear to a job interview

 

 

The interview process

What does a typical interview process look like, what stages are involved and how are they carried out?

 

How many people interview for one job?

In the UK & Ireland, employers will interview an average of 6 candidates for every job vacancy they advertise – which is slightly lower than the US & Canada where they interview an average of 7 candidates per vacancy.

Globally the average number of interviews carried out by employers before they make a job offer is 17 – considering that many candidates will attend multiple interview stages.

 

How many stages in an interview process?

  • The average job interview process in the UK consists of 2 interview stages.
  • Senior jobs usually have a minimum of 3 interview stages, and will always include at least one face-to-face interview.
  • Entry-level positions usually require only 1 interview stage.
  • Public sector roles can require as many as 6 interview stages.

 

Who do candidates meet in job interviews?

  • The average job interview is attended by 1 person from the employer.
  • 2 in 10 interviews will be attended by more than one person from the employer.
  • On average a job applicant will meet 3 members of the employer’s staff, if they make it through the entire interview process.
  • Only 36% of interviewing candidates will meet the hiring manager of the vacancy, which equates to less than 1% of the total job applicants.

 

How long does the job interview process last?

  • The average interview process in the UK takes 27.5 days to complete.
  • Professor roles have the slowest interview processes at an average of 60.3 days, and waiters have the fastest at 8 days.
  • In the UK, Guildford has the longest interview process with an average of 33.1 days
  • Public sector interview processes take the longest, with an average of 53.8 days, and Hospitality roles have the shortest process at 10.2 days.

 

Average hiring duration by country | Glassdoor data

Country Average length of interview process (days)
Brazil 39.6
France 38.9
Switzerland 37.6
Italy 36.0
Belgium 36.0
United Arab Emirates 35.8
Egypt 35.2
Spain 31.7
Mexico 31.2
Japan 30.9
Germany 28.5
United Kingdom 27.5
Poland 25.9
Ireland 25.5
Netherlands 25.4

 

How are job interviews conducted?

Pre-pandemic, the average job interview was conducted face-to-face, post-pandemic it is now carried out by video-call.

Pre-pandemic 79% of employers conducted first-stage interviews via telephone or face-to-face meeting. As of January 2021, video-interviews are the most popular method of conducting first-stage interviews with 86% of employers favouring it.

Pre-pandemic 94% of final interviews were carried out face-to-face, post pandemic this figure has dropped to just 17%.

 

Where do job interviews take place?

88% of face-to-face interviews are carried out at the employer’s office, with 12% taking place in public meeting spaces such as coffee shops and restaurants.

 

How many candidates reach final interview?

39% of interviewing candidates make it through to the final interview stage. More than half of all candidates are rejected at the first interview stage.

 

Best companies to interview for

According to Glassdoor’s candidate reviews on interview process experience, these are the top 10 companies to interview for in the UK, with Rentokil leading the way.

 

Highest rated companies for interview experience UK | Glassdoor data

Company Positive candidate experience
1. Rentokil 97%
2. Salesforce 92%
3. Metrobank 82%
4. Primark 80%
5. Explore learning 77%
6. Marks & Spencer 77%
7. Royal Mail 77%
8. B&Q 76%
9. NHS 75%
10. Tesco 74%

 

 

What happens during job interviews?

What goes on inside job interviews, what is being discussed and why are candidates passing or failing interviews?

 

Job interview first impression statistics

  • 33% of hiring managers claim to know whether or not they would hire a candidate within 30 seconds of meeting them.
  • 71% of employers say that visible tattoos on a candidate would put them off.
  • 62% of employers say that a candidate’s dress sense will affect the hiring decision.
  • 2 in 10 interviews go on for 30 minutes after the interviewer has already decided they will reject the candidate.

Interview lateness

  • 84% of interviewers regard lateness (without forewarning and explanation) as the worst interview offence possible.
  • 67% of interviewers can forgive a candidate being late, if they call ahead to explain and offer a reasonable explanation.
  • 60% of employers think that a candidate arriving more than 20 minutes early is a sign of poor time-keeping.

 

How long do job interviews last?

An average job interview will last between 30 – 45 minutes. Recruiters say that if an interview finishes in less than 20 minutes, it is a sign the interview has not gone well.

Roles in the IT sector have the longest interview duration with an average of 1 hour. Hospitality roles have the shortest interview lengths with an average of 15 – 30 minutes.

 

Why do candidates fail interviews?

  • The most common reason why a candidate would fail a job interview is a lack of understanding of the role – followed by lateness, poor people skills and dishonesty.
  • 4 in 10 employers would reject a candidate if they showed no enthusiasm.
  • 85% of employers would consider rudeness to be an instant reason for rejection.

 

What do recruiters look for in job interviews?

Employers expect candidates to know the following factors when they attend a job interview (in order of importance):

  • What the job entails
  • Why they are suitable for the job
  • Basic details of the employer’s business

Conversely 78% of candidates say they find it difficult to find information about companies prior to interview.

 

Most common job interview questions

The most common interviews you should expect to hear in an interview are:

  • Why do you want this job?
  • Why are you leaving your current/previous job?
  • Tell me about yourself
  • Why should we hire you for this role?
  • What do you hope to achieve in the first 3/6/12 months?

 

More than half of employers would not ask a candidate to discuss their weaknesses, and 100% of employers will ask candidates to explain a gap in employment if they spot one.

 

Interview nerves

93% of candidates admit to experiencing job interview anxiety at some point in their career.

41% of candidates worry about not being able to answer a difficult question, and 20% worry about looking nervous.

 

Is salary discussed in interview?

  • 91% of employers would expect candidates to know the salary on offer before attending an interview.
  • 78% of candidates say that employers do not always make salaries clear during the application process.
  • Only 1 in 10 recruiters are not happy to discuss salary during a job interview.
  • Changing salary expectations at the final stage is cited as the most detrimental thing a candidate can do in remuneration discussions.

 

 

Video interview statistics

Due to lockdown restrictions in the UK and across the globe, video interviews have seen a huge surge in popularity – but how are they being used, and are they here to stay?

 

Video interview statistics

 

How many companies carry out video interviews in 2021?

Pre-pandemic 22% of employers incorporated video interviews into their interview process – as of January 2021, 79% are now conducting video interviews regularly. Overall there has been a 67% increase in the use of video interviews from 2020 – 2021.

 

Are face-to-face interviews required after video interviews?

  • Less than half of employers would still require a face-to-face interview in 2021 if the candidate passed the video interview stage.
  • For remote roles, 90% of employers would not require a face-to-face interview at all.

 

Will companies continue using video interviews after Covid?

Although most employers have been forced to adopt video interviewing due to lockdown restrictions, more than half of employers say they will continue to use them after restrictions are lifted. 45% of recruiters say that video interviews help them to speed up their interview process, but 22% say they will scrap video interviews as soon as lockdown is over.

 

 

Post interview & job offers

What happens once the interview is over? How are candidates getting feedback, rejections and job offers?

 

Do recruiters always feedback to unsuccessful candidates?

98% of recruiters say that they always give feedback to unsuccessful candidates after an interview, yet 30% of candidates say that they have attended at least one interview from which they never heard back from the employer.

 

How long after a job interview should you hear back?

The average time for employers to contact candidates after an interview is 12 days. 1 in 10 employers will take longer than 1 month to feedback to candidates.

 

Should candidates follow up after interviews?

27% of employers said that a post-interview follow-up email would have a positive effect on a candidate’s job application, 61% said it would have no effect, and 12% said it could negatively affect the application.

 

How long after an interview is a job offer made?

On average it takes 3 weeks for an official job offer to be made in writing, from the day of the final interview.

A junior/entry-level job can be offered in less than 2 weeks, and senior jobs can take longer than 6 weeks to reach offer stage.

 

Methodology & sources

The research for this study was carried out in three phases.

The first was a survey of 102 hiring staff from a range of UK employers, whose jobs included hiring managers, internal recruiters and HR department members. We surveyed a mix of organisations across the full range of UK industries, and company sizes from 5 employees through to 50,000.

Secondly, we surveyed a group of 97 job seekers on their experiences with the job interview process – with a mix of junior level candidates and experienced workers across a mix of industries.

Thirdly, we pulled together some of the most interesting data from the following job interview research pieces below: