I received an invitation for an onsite interview but I am not available and not able to travel to their location for now.


I was wondering how I should deal with that situation.

Should I ask them to change the time (after 17 h or during lunch time) and the way of communication (phone or video call)? If so how?


I will move to another city, which is about an hour and a half away, to go to university soon. In the mean time, I am working from 8 h to 17 h during week day.

I have applied to become a responsible of my residence ("responsable de secteur" in french) while applying to an implication bursary (in the same email).

Other Details

Even if I prefer not doing that during day time, I can always ask to my boss as stated in a question.

There is also an other question that asks about changing the location, but I will not be able to move to my university location before the beginning of the trimester.

  • 4
    Taking leave to attend an interview is not unusual. Have you considered doing this? Commented Jul 20, 2019 at 22:47
  • Taking leave was not about having a car, you can use public transport...
    – Solar Mike
    Commented Jul 21, 2019 at 5:53
  • Just to confirm - this interview is a university interview. Not a job interview? And your university place is already guaranteed? If this is the case I'd pressure the university to change the time/location and see if they budge. If they don't budge and it is important then you have no choice but to take the time off work. Commented Jul 21, 2019 at 8:26

2 Answers 2


Should I ask them to change the time (after 17 h or during lunch time)

You won't have any success trying schedule an interview for after work hours. Asking for it to be during lunch is reasonable, but remember that the interview itself will probably take at least an hour, and you'll have travel time to and from it's location (even if they agree to a remote interview, you'll need to find somewhere quiet and private. A meeting room at your current workplace isn't a good option - it'll work if you're desperate, but there's a chance that someone will walk in mid-interview). It might be wiser to take half a day of leave from your current job.

and the way of communication (phone or video call)? If so how?

Use the same form of communication that they used to invite you to the interview. Tell them politely that you can't make it at the time they've requested, ask them if they'll consider a remote interview, and give them a range of times/days that would work for you. That way they can find a day and time that works for both you and all the interviewers.

  • 1
    @user I think I might have originally misunderstood what you were asking. I've edited my answer to make it hopefully more relevant.
    – Player One
    Commented Jul 21, 2019 at 12:43

You can always ask about an interview outside of normal working hours. While doing it within them is always more convenient for the hiring manager a reasonable employer will understand that it's not always possible if the person they want to interview has a job at the same time.

I've done phone interviews over lunch and both phone and in person ones after 5pm before.

If the recruiter or hiring manager balks at doing so, you've got a warning that they probably won't be overly flexible if you end up working for them, and have to decide if you want to proceed enough to take time off to interview during normal business hours.

  • 2
    Would a reasonable employer require their regular employees to work late to be able to conduct said interview? Commented Jul 20, 2019 at 22:45
  • @user No, I'm just pointing out it's about the needs and preferences of both interviewers and interviewees. Commented Jul 23, 2019 at 8:41

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