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I've been offered a job interview which I'm really keen for, but they've set it to a specific time and date in 2 weeks time without any option to change it (at least none that they've mentioned anyway).

This is a much more formal of an interview process than what I'm used to, and unfortunately it will be very difficult for me to get time off from my current job on that particular day (but maybe not impossible).

Would it be a bad idea to request that they shift the interview to a different day? I feel it would be a little unreasonable for me to have no say whatsoever on when I'm free for an interview?

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  • Just out of curiosity, is this a government agency?
    – BSMP
    Nov 4 '21 at 20:40
  • @BSMP it's actually for a college
    – JJ8000
    Nov 4 '21 at 21:11
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    Yep, that tracks. In my (admittedly limited) experience, this is typical because they want you to be interviewed by folks who are in meetings all of the time. I don't have anything drastically different from the existing answers to say (it's fine to ask) other than 1) don't be surprised if they can't move it and 2) in this case I wouldn't necessarily consider it a red flag because these kinds of institutions are just like that.
    – BSMP
    Nov 5 '21 at 15:46
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    @BSMP thank you! as it turned out, I was able to book the day off work in the end afterall
    – JJ8000
    Nov 6 '21 at 13:19
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Another option you have is to take a day from your PTO/days off/etc and attend the interview the date and time it was set.

If this is not possible then politely write to them and ask if it would be possible to reschedule it to other time. Be sure to give them some alternative dates where you are able to assist without problems, as others have mentioned.

If none of the above things are possible then you have to make a choice: attend the interview anyways, but that would mean you will have an unjustified absence, or well politely decline the interview and move on.

I would expect any company to be reasonable and be open to some adjustments on the date, so both parts are ok with it. If they are not, that could be considered a bit of a red flag (zero consideration for candidates).

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  • Thanks! yes my PTO is what I'm hoping to do, but it will be difficult as one of my teammates is also off that day. But it may still be possible. But as you say, if the interviewer is unwilling to negotiate the day / time then maybe that's a big warning sign
    – JJ8000
    Nov 4 '21 at 20:28
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Would it be a bad idea to request that they shift the interview to a different day?

You can always ask. Decide ahead of time what you will do if they insist on the proposed date/time.

I feel it would be a little unreasonable for me to have no say whatsoever on when I'm free for an interview?

Perhaps. There may be reasons for the schedule, such as the only time when the interviewer is available.

If you feel that it's unreasonable/offensive for an interviewer to offer only a specific time and date, you can just decline the interview offer and move on.

Or, you can decide that the possibility of the job is worth the difficulty on your end of making that time work.

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Perhaps just inform them that this is an inconvenient time due to work.

But suggest other times/dates around that time that would be feasible.

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Unless the email says something along the lines of "this interview appointment is non-negotiable" there is nothing wrong with offering some alternatives when you are more easily available.

Do remember though that they are possibly interviewing many people and have to schedule many such interviews at times to fit around their other regular work - this is even harder if more than one person will be conducting the interview. We'd also allow time for interviews to overrun and also add a buffer on top of that to avoid candidates sitting around in reception.

That said, as long as you politely offer a couple of largish windows of availability close to the original appointment and explain the reason why you'd like to change it, I'd say there is an even chance they'd agree. I doubt it would reflect badly on you.

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