I have been offered an interview for a position which is right in the middle of my work day. It is on a Wednesday at 1pm. There is a group exercise in the morning, then an individual interview at 1pm.

The position is in the same industry, however it is a competing company. Is it OK to ask to reschedule my interview to earlier due to current work commitments? If so, how can I ask to reschedule my interview in my email?

p.s during the phone conversation with HR, the lady mentioned that she would try and get me in an early morning slot however she possibly has forgotten.

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    It is a good test to see how the company values you. If they are inflexible with this small thing, imagine what they are like if you would work there! So do call them. Emails are likely to be "delayed". – Juha Untinen Sep 21 '18 at 5:03
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    Good point! Thank you. How can I word this over the phone? 'I was wondering if there were any earlier interview times available due to current work commitments'? @JuhaUntinen – Debbie Williams Sep 21 '18 at 5:05
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    Exactly. They surely understand why, if they are a reasonable company. – Juha Untinen Sep 21 '18 at 5:14
  • I suppose that you could fib and claim a hospital appointment, or jury duty, etc. But @JuhaUntinen makes an excellent point, so I would concur that simply telling them the truth is the best way to go, plus it shows how committed you are to your job, and will be to them if/when they employ you – Mawg says reinstate Monica Sep 21 '18 at 6:54
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    Sorry for the confusion everyone. To clarify, there are two parts to the interview. 1st part is a group exercise early in the morning. Second part is an individual interview... I can make the group exercise but theres a 6hr gap between the group exercise and the individual interview. Thus I am just wanting to reschedule my individual interview earlier :) – Debbie Williams Sep 21 '18 at 10:26

I do this all the time. I have to do the school drop-off/pick-ups most days so this can impact my interview availability, and it's never been an issue. People in charge of recruiting recognise that the potential recruits are possibly in full time employment already which limits their availability (and if they don't recognise this, I would question their ability as recruiters).

You don't need to worry about what you say, just tell them that unfortunately you can't make that time. You needn't give a reason, I've never been asked for one, although if you feel better giving a reason then work commitments is perfectly valid. They know you're working, they won't be offended that your commitment to your existing employer trumps your commitment to a potential future employer.

If possible, have a few alternatives that you can offer them in terms of days/times e.g. "I can't make Wednesday at 1, but I can do any day this week before 10.30, or Fridays after 2.30". That will prevent them having to keep going back and forth to find a day/time that suits both parties, which would unnecessarily prolong the process.

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I've been in recruitment for 13 years. If it's not a face to face interview, then you are fine, especially if it's with the recruiter. If it's a hiring manager then this could be seen as negative but shouldn't be too big of a deal.

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