A hiring manager reached out to set up an initial phone interview. I am pretty flexible as I am currently unemployed. I gave them my availability which was a 6hour time frame. I assumed they would reply back and set up a specific time for the call, but instead said they would call me during the time slot I gave. Surely, he can't expect me to be sitting around all day waiting for a call. Like I said, I am flexible, but I have other things to take care of throughout the day such as errands and what not and I would want to make sure I am not in the middle of something when the phone rings. Is this normal? I never had anyone not set a specific time for a phone interview.

  • 2
    And what happened when you responded asking for narrowing of the slot for the call?
    – Aida Paul
    Nov 16 at 20:59
  • 7
    Don't give someone a 6 hour window. You're not a cable company. Give them distinct slots that do not connect. This forces them to choose one and be on time. Nov 16 at 21:00
  • @TymoteuszPaul They gave me a 3 hr window instead of 6, which I still feel like is a long time
    – user142543
    Nov 16 at 21:04
  • There could be some miscommunications between you and the interviewers. They may have thought that you were available all those 6 hours. To fix this problem, you can call or write them to tell them that they need to pick exactly 1 hour for the interview, and you can't wait for all 3 hours. Trust me. Most companies will understand this. Nov 17 at 3:44

3 Answers 3


I gave them my availability which was a 6hour time frame.

and from comments:

[regarding what they told you asking to narrow that down] They gave me a 3 hr window instead of 6, which I still feel like is a long time

I totally get you. You expressed your time-window in 6h time frame, hoping this person would then pick an exact hour inside that frame to have the call. This is what I believe most people do and what I think is reasonable.

However, this hiring manager thinks different, and technically, you got what you asked for (oh, you said 6 hour frame? great I'll call you at some time in that frame... hehe). In fact, you then asked to reduce that time frame (you didn't ask for a specific time) and you again got what you asked for (3h frame instead of 6)... see what I mean?

So, you must try another approach (a more direct one) if what you want is an exact hour to have the call. That is, explicitly propose some time and then go from there.

Hello Hiring Manager. Like I shared with you before, I'm available between 12 and 6 pm to take the call, but we need to agree on a specific time so we can both organize the rest of our workday accordingly and be ready to take the call. How about 3:30pm?

  • I couldn't agree more! Sadly I know many, many, many people which I had to put in the category of "When setting a meeting with that person, always explicitly propose a precise time, do not give them your availability, do not offer to let them choose the time, past experience has shown that they are incapable of choosing a time".
    – Stef
    Nov 25 at 8:42

Much like people new to the job market don't know how to write good resumees, interview well, or look for jobs.

People who are new to recruiting don't know how to conduct interviews, setup interviews etc..

It is likely that this hiring manager is new to the job, and just didn't think of this.


How badly do you want a job? I wouldn't have given them a 6 hour window. Seeing that I have a mobile, I wouldn't have put any restrictions on it.

If I didn't have a mobile then I would have said anytime except the slots I had to be away.

Better still use a mobile. If you don't have one, then consider borrowing one for a few weeks. Just like you have things to do, so do they!

  • 11
    The type of phone really isn't relevant. The concern is that OP isn't taking a phone call for a job interview while at line in the bank, or during a parent-teacher conference, in traffic, or myriad other serious adult activities where trying to conduct an interview would prove disastrous. It's better to be prepared for the interview so that it's not a disruption and that there are no distractions. It's hard to reasonably do that with a six hour window.
    – Xavier J
    Nov 17 at 4:55

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