How long should be the User Interviews?

I work at a SaaS company, building an app for recruitment. From time to time I have a need to perform In-depth interviews. But we have a process in place for requesting Users (so we don’t bombard them with too many messages). The person who is in charge has never worked in UX and decided we cannot have calls longer than 45 minutes. I disagree, obviously. There is no one-solution-fits-all when it comes to interviews, so it should be decided upon individually. But what is your take on this?

My thoughts are this, I have seen too many times where people in charge don’t fully understand what it takes to do good UX in general. If you are working in-house and your leader is leading a team that consists of different skill sets, and not full UX, find a compromise. Maybe try to find some data that will show how your 45 min interview vs a shorter interview will bear more fruit.

I recommend you to use platforms to collect feedback “in the moment”. This works great in saas products. In this case, you don’t need to do a lot of long surveys to better understand users. When we ask questions to users at the moment of using the product, we can get a lot of insiders.

And yet, it all very much depends on what kind of survey you are doing. If this is an external link survey, then this is one story. If this is an in-product survey, then we ask 1-3, but that’s enough.

If you are interested in this topic, I can tell you more about it. I have worked a lot with similar cases.

Obviously ‘it depends’, but 45 minutes feels quite good to me. The attention span of someone who does not inherently care, is limited. If you feel the conversation is going great, I wouldn’t cut it short, but would ask them ‘Hey we are going over time, is that ok with you?’.

Main thing I always keep in mind is to be clear from the start how long it takes, what the goal is for the test (and you appreciate their time).

And to start with very open questions, so you learn from perhaps misunderstandings they have about your service, or out-of-the-box ideas, etc.

Also; have a little bit of buffer time between multiple calls. You want to reflect (with your colleague) on how to do next interview better, take some notes, go to the bathroom, etc.