The Graduate Recruitment Bureau has condemned interviews lasting longer than it takes to run a marathon.

The Bureau performed a survey of more than 500 newly qualified or final-year graduates and found that over 25 per cent of candidates have to endure interviews that are up to two or more hours long, with 7% saying interviews lasted for two-three hours, and 7% ran for more than three hours.

Dan Hawes, co-founder of the Graduate Recruitment Bureau said: “In these difficult times, candidates probably feel they have no choice but to endure whatever interviewing techniques are thrown at them.”

The news comes on the same day as the CBI and recruitment agency Harvey Nash announced its first ‘encouraging signs’ of a rise in graduate recruitment. A year ago nearly two-thirds of companies had a recruitment freeze in place. This fell to 37% six months ago and it is currently 5%.

The outsourcing company MITIE, announced it was launching its first-ever graduate leadership programme, expecting 10 graduates to join this year.