Yesterday, I had an in-house interview with two engineers and then later the owner of the company. It lasted three hours. Not sure what to make of a three hour interview about just work history and aspirations. Is that standard?
There is no standard. Different companies have different hiring practices. Some focus on personal interviews, some on your on-paper qualifications, some focus on standardized tests. Also, companies tend to invest more time into hiring decisions when it's about a more important position. You wouldn't spend as much time on picking a janitor as you would on picking a branch manager. So depending on the job and the company, job interviews can take anywhere between a few minutes to several hours.
But when an interview takes longer, that's usually a good sign. It means everyone is interested in you. When they would have found some reason to not hire you early, they would have cut the interview short and gotten back to their actual work, not needlessly waste your and their time by extending the interview.
At my current job, the interview was rather long. I spent 30 minutes with the recruiter, then 30 minutes with the manager I would report to, then just over an hour with the team i would be joining, then a little more than an hour with the IT directory (above the manager). Then 10-15 minutes with team and manager. Then we all went out to lunch. We only spoke of personal interests during lunch. Then back to the office where i spent another 30 minutes or so with the manager.
Your (pre-edit) question was,
Is that standard?
It's hard to answer what is standard for interviews because policies will vary from position to position and industry to industry. That said, a 3-hour interview is certainly not unusual for many positions, and the structure you experienced (team technical interview, followed by a one on one interview with a leader) is pretty standard for a longer interview.
I don't think there is a standard. Shortest interview I had didn't even last 10 minutes (I did get the job), longest I had was 7 hours: twelve 30-minute interviews with peers, followed by a one hour interview by the manager. And I've had everything in between as well.
At my current job, if you get to the stage of face to face interviews (we start off with phone interviews and coding tests), the candidate starts off with 30 minutes with a recruiter (mostly about the process of hiring/relocation), then has 2 one hour interviews with 2 peers (so 4 peers in total), followed by a 30 minute interview from someone from management. And then they see the recruiter again.
From my (limited) experience, both as a candidate, an interviewer, and from talking about others about hiring processes, I'd say that 3 hours is far from unusual.