Protect your data
Artwork by: Jane Izmailova
The interview process can be overwhelming, but not if you have the right information. This article will share all the facts, figures, and statistics you need to navigate your next interview with confidence.
Interviewing for a job can be stressful. Between crafting an effective resume, applying for jobs, worrying about interviews, and wondering if you'll get the job…it's a lot to deal with. But as the saying goes, "knowledge is power," and being armed with facts, figures, and statistics can help you understand what you’re dealing with and make sense of the job interview process. Things have changed a lot in the last few years, with companies shifting their business practices and adjusting how employees are interviewed and hired. But it’s not all bad news. The Covid-19 pandemic has created new avenues for companies to recruit top talent. Even with the current unemployment rate at 3.4 percent (as of January 2023), having a solid understanding of the up-to-date job market can help you better understand what potential employers expect from you, and what you can do to stack the odds in your favor to land the job you want. That begins with knowing these job interview statistics for 2023.
In this article, we’ll discuss the most relevant job statistics and how they can affect you, including
Landing an interview: facts and figures
Job interview trends
Hiring statistics you should be aware of
Virtual/online interview statistics
General employment statistics
Putting together your resume is only the first step — you have to get your foot in the door. After making sure that your resume is clear, concise, and has utilized keywords from the job description, it’s time to send it out or apply online for the jobs you’re interested in. Sometimes it seems like you’re shouting into a void, but there’s no reason for despair. Employers, as always, are looking for top-tier talent, and while it might seem challenging, it’s not futile.
Depending on your field, the competition can be stiff. On average, research shows that average job postings will receive 250 resumes, and of those resumes, only four to six candidates will get an interview, so the “rejection” rate, if you want to call it that, is fairly high. But it’s a bit of a numbers game — the success rate of these interviews means if you apply for 20 – 80 jobs, you have a 30.89 percent chance of actually getting a job, but oddly, your chances go down a little bit over 80 applications. Overall, the average length of the hiring process is 36 days, so patience is key.
You might wonder if a 30-minute interview is good. While there is a fairly solid range of time that can be considered a “good” interview length (although we can all probably admit that less than 15 minutes is probably not it), it seems that the 45 – 90 minute range is right on the money. It’s the perfect amount of time for the interviewer to get to know you, and it gives you the time to learn more about the company as well. But don’t forget — the first 90 seconds of an interview are enough for recruiters to decide if you’re “hire worthy” or not.
Actually, it does. If you’re looking for an entry-level job, the amount of experience needed will be less, but after that, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, almost 91 percent of hiring managers have said that they have a preference for significant work experience. To break that down further, 64 percent wanted applicants with relevant work experience, and only 26.1 percent said they just wanted to see general work experience. A small number — only 5.1 percent — stated that the amount of work experience isn’t a deciding factor in who they interview.
There are several reasons candidates don’t make it through the screening process. One of the worst things you can do is lie on your resume — and 75 percent of hiring managers have discovered falsehoods and exaggerations. Since most recruiters only spend less than a minute examining resumes, it might be tempting to embellish your background but don’t. The odds of getting caught are fairly high, and it can do long-term damage to your career. It’s ok to put yourself in the best light, but don’t invent experiences you don’t have.
Other reasons resumes get rejected are:
Typos (77 percent)
No quantifiable, measurable achievements (34 percent)
Wordy and excessively long experience sections (25 percent)
Generic resume (18 percent)
The resume is too long (17 percent)
No cover letter (10 percent)
Sometimes you get lucky and get a job right out of the gate, but more often than not, it's a lengthy process. From start to offer, it can take the average applicant up to 24 days to go through the interview process before being offered a job. Interviewing with an individual company before being offered a position (or not) can take an average of 23 days, and the typical applicant applies to 27 positions before even getting an interview.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, people who had at least one interview from applications made in the previous two months had about a 37 percent chance of receiving a job offer, and those without interviews had around a 10 percent chance of having received an offer.
But all of this depends on the individual employer. Some companies spend weeks on one phase, another may spend days. How many applications they received is also a determining factor. It’s important to know that you can’t make it move faster, so in the meantime, keep tailoring your resume for each job you apply for and keep getting your name out there.
Again, there's no set answer to this question. It depends on the company and the position you're applying for. For a job that requires more experience, hiring managers want to find someone whose experience aligns closely with the job responsibilities (that's where your keywords come in!). They'll also want to find someone compatible with the company's culture and values, which means a longer, more thorough screening process. However, all things considered, the number of people in consideration for any given job is usually five to ten, depending on demand and the job market.
If you make it to the second round of interviews, consider that a good thing. At this point, a company has probably eliminated at least one or two candidates from the first round of interviews or phone interviews. And around two to four people generally make it to the final round of interviews. Generally, most companies have between two to four rounds of interviews.
Regarding the success rate of interviews, the current average interview-to-offer rate is 47.5 percent, which means that about 48 out of 100 interviewed candidates will get a job offer.
In an uncertain economic climate, employers have had to change their hiring and recruitment process, and job hunters have reassessed what their needs and values are. Also, with “Generation Z” making up to 27 percent of the workforce by 2025, a significant percentage of American workers will be searching for jobs with a different set of priorities and expectations. And employers have had to adjust the way they do business, including managing remote workers, inflation, and a potentially challenging labor market. By examining these trends, both employers and employees can better navigate the ever-changing workforce landscape.
Many companies have been dealing with a higher level of employee resignations over the last few years, either due to dissatisfaction with the job or the lack of a clear career path. While “talent mobility” has been shown to increase employee retention, a lot of companies simply don’t have programs in place to encourage it. According to a study done by Eagle Hill Consulting, more than 50 percent of employees recognize potential opportunities at their current job, but only 23 percent have transitioned into a new position within the company. And employers are aware of this issue, citing a lack of skilled talent as a potential challenge.
Focusing on retention, then, is vital to keeping a company competitive in its industry. Employees know this too — in a survey of 1,200 people, 58 percent reported that they would be more likely to quit if their employers didn’t provide continuing professional development and career advancement. So, to retain the talent they already have on board, providing employee development will be critical for a company's success. Keep this in mind when doing your interview research.
According to a Gallup poll, “70 percent of the variance in team engagement is determined solely by the manager.” It should be clear that keeping employees engaged is a manager's main responsibility, making sure that their team members know what their job responsibilities are, providing support, and setting defined goals that align with the company's overall success.
Unstructured interviews (a method that relies on asking participants questions to gather information) have always been a mainstay of recruiting and hiring practices, but it looks like companies are realizing that they are not good predictors of the employee’s potential job performance, and are shifting more towards structured interviews and assessments, which provide a clearer picture of a candidate’s aptitude and work ethic.
According to a study in the Journal of Applied Psychology in 2022, structured interviews “emerged as the top-ranked selection procedure” and two-thirds of surveyed HR professionals feel that structured interviews lead to “better hiring decisions.”
How candidates apply for jobs will have to be upgraded as well. For example, 75 percent of Generation Z candidates have abandoned an application, either because they received another job offer while waiting to hear from the first company (31 percent), a lack of communication from the company (17 percent), or the application processes being too long and cumbersome (27 percent).
Establishing a streamlined application process, with consistent communication, will help employers keep candidates engaged and interested. A survey by Glassdoor demonstrated that an easy-to-use onboarding system could increase new employee retention by 82 percent and overall productivity by more than 70 percent.
How companies recruit and hire employees is an evolving process, whether it is making the process easier to navigate, utilizing new technology, or integrating unbiased assessments and structured interviews into the talent selection methods. The Covid pandemic has forced employers to reassess how they manage all facets of their business, whether due to employee illness, the resulting recession, or the shift to remote work for their workforce (with a 135 percent increase). Over the last few years, a few clear trends have emerged:
Virtual/online recruitment has become the most common method to hire new employees.
Millennials and Gen Z place more importance on an inclusive work environment, with 53 percent of millennials indicating that if they could find the same job at a more inclusive company, they would leave their current job.
According to 86 percent of recruiters and 62 percent of employers, the labor market is candidate-driven.
89 percent of job seekers consider their mobile devices their primary tool for looking for a job, and 45 percent use them at least once per day.
80 percent of respondents to a LinkedIn survey say soft skills like creativity, adaptability, and collaboration are imperative to a company’s success.
51 percent of companies are looking to hire temporary/contract employees, and 44 percent are planning to hire full-time employees.
Along with the rise in remote work, how interviews are conducted has changed as well, Virtual recruitment is on the rise. According to a recent survey, 82 percent of employers surveyed use virtual interviews, and 93 percent of employers plan to continue using them even after the Covid pandemic has eased. Not only are virtual interviews more time-efficient, but they also cost companies less than in-person interviews. Plus, more people than ever are familiar with video conferencing applications (such as Zoom or Google Meet) than ever before. Virtual interviews benefit companies as well as job hunters: 74 percent say it hastens the hiring process, and 79 percent say the process is easier to administer things like online assessments. Additionally, 77 percent say that online interviews have improved the candidates’ overall experience since they no longer have to travel to get there, and many candidates feel more relaxed in a virtual interview than they do in person. Some companies utilize a “self-paced” or “one-way” interview, which is designed to streamline the interview process and is usually made up of several preselected interview questions that candidates answer by recording their answers on a smartphone or personal computer. However, in-person interviews aren’t going away any time soon. According to a Jobvite survey, most recruiters still feel that meeting a candidate face-to-face provides a better interview experience, although the percentage is decreasing, from 77 percent in 2020 to 62 percent in 2021.
Ultimately, recruiters will have to decide what is best for both the company and the candidates and provide the greatest chance for a real connection.
Once you've landed an interview for a job, you're not out of the woods yet. In-person or virtual, unstructured or structured, through potentially multiple rounds, there are still important statistics to keep in mind while navigating the interviewing process to make the best impression possible.
Dress for success. 71 percent of interviewers wouldn’t hire someone who doesn’t follow the dress code for their company.
Body language is key. It might seem trivial, but 40 percent of interviewers feel that a candidate’s voice and a lack of confidence were reasons for not moving on to the next round of interviews. 65 percent of hiring managers said that they would eliminate candidates who didn’t make eye contact and 40 percent of interviewers thought that not smiling was a disqualifying factor. And 22 percent of hiring managers think having a bad handshake is a major interview faux pas.
Other mistakes to avoid:
Do your research! 47 percent of hiring managers say they wouldn’t hire an applicant who doesn’t know much about their company.
Don’t forget about your soft skills. 69 percent of hiring managers say “adaptability” is the most looked-for quality.
Job satisfaction in 2022 was at 60 percent, higher than it has been in over ten years. It may be due to the tight labor market, which allows people to find positions that match their interests and how they want to work (i.e. remotely).
According to a Career Builder survey, 71 percent of companies check out a candidate’s social media profile. So if you’re not sure if something is appropriate to post, or if you’re looking for a job, it’s better to err on the side of caution.
Looking for a new job can be daunting. You have to do your research, personalize your resume, use the STAR method, ensure your resume will pass an ATS scan, and prepare your interview questions…sometimes, your interview "to-do" list can seem unending. But understanding what you're up against, in the form of facts and figures, can help you get through the process like a pro.
“Forewarned is forearmed,” as the saying goes, and being armed with the right knowledge will help you get the right job for you and set you up for your deserved success.
Research shows that on average, a job posting will receive 250 resumes, and of those resumes, only four to six candidates will get an interview.
The best interview length is between 45-90 minutes, although many hiring managers make up their minds within the first 90 seconds.
75 percent of hiring managers have discovered false information on a resume. Other reasons for disqualification include typos, no measurable achievements, and excessively long resumes.
More and more recruiters are utilizing virtual interviews, which saves the company money and expands the talent pool.
Jennifer Inglis is a freelance writer and content creator. A former public school teacher, she has expertise with English literature, writing, and public speaking, as well as an extensive professional background in advertising and media analysis. Jennifer has a bachelor’s degree in Theater and a master’s degree in Education, and is the author of two published novels.