Job Seeker Blog - Spark Hire

Scheduling an Interview: How Flexible Should You Be?

When you’re applying for a job, it’s easy to feel like you are at the mercy of your interviewer. After all, you want to make a good first impression on your potential employer. But what most job candidates don’t know is that you still have a voice, even in the early stages of applying for jobs.

Interview scheduling can be a stressful situation for any job applicant. In the case where a company asks to schedule an interview last minute, you as the job applicant are faced with a tough decision: Do you call off work without advance notice and risk getting in trouble at your current job? Or, do you ask the company you’re applying to, to accommodate your schedule and risk coming across as too demanding?

For a last minute interview, in a situation where you cannot take time off on that short of notice, you need to consider how much you really want the job. It’s also important to think about the implications of a last minute interview and what that says about the company. It may be that the situation is rare. But it could mean that the company is disorganized and does not value its employee’s time.

During your job hunt, you will have to take time away from other things. This is unavoidable. But if an interview jeopardizes your current job, you’ll need to thoroughly consider how much you want the new job.

If a company contacts you and asks your availability, here are some tips to consider when picking an interview time:

  • Avoid early morning interviews. Meeting first thing in the morning means your interviewer may still be settling in for the day and have other things on their mind. Avoid early Monday morning if possible.
  • Mid-morning or mid-afternoon. Scheduling a meeting from 9-11 AM or 2-4 PM is ideal. You don’t want to meet with your interviewer directly before or after lunch, since they might be preoccupied or drowsy from a meal. These times allow for an hour between your interview and their meal.
  • Tuesdays. Writer Kate Parham, as reported on, suggests that Tuesday morning is the best time for an interview. On Monday, companies are organizing their week ahead, and by Friday they are thinking towards the weekend.

These are tips and not hard and fast rules. Plenty of people have gotten jobs after interviewing on a Monday. But, if you’re looking for ideal times to schedule an interview, consider the list above.

What time did you interview for your current job? Do you think that made a difference? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below!

IMAGE: Courtesy of Flickr by photosteve101

Ali Kelley

Ali is a freelance writer who blogs about nonprofits, tech and social media for Chicago startups, Zealous Good, Dabble, and Eventbrite. Since graduating college in 2009, she has learned a ton about job searching in a recession, and is excited to share her experiences. In addition to writing, Ali enjoys the finer things in life like pajamas that double as jeans.

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