After my interview I realized that the interviewer didn't ask when I could start but did ask for my reference list, which I supplied.

Is it a bad sign that if the interviewer didn't ask when I could start? Or they would normally ask when they offer the job?

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    It's like a date. Try not to microanalyze everything. – user42272 Oct 6 '16 at 4:55
  • Next time, put your availability period in your cover letter and/or CV/resume, as appropriate to local practices. – AakashM Oct 6 '16 at 8:02

Is it a bad sign that if the interviewer didn't ask when I could start?

No, not in most cases. They either already know, assume a standard two week notice period, or are working with an open opportunity where timing is not crucial.

Or they would normally ask when they offer the job?

Companies are most likely to ask that question if:

  • they have a specific position in mind
  • the position needs to be filled quickly
  • overlap might exist between your notice period and the start date

If you are in the initial stages of the interview process, or if a company is trying to identify potential candidates for future roles, that specific question may not apply to you.


Usually for me, they ask this question before the personal interview (probably on the phone call before calling for the interview). If they have a urgent requirement which I cannot conform to, they probably would not call me for the personal interview. In case, you are a fresher or a student just graduated they might skip the question. Anyway, the interviewers are also humans like us and might not have a fixed list of questions or he might have forgotten the same. Maybe he was just there was checking your technical ability and the 'when could you start' question might come later in a HR round.

Nothing to worry. Always stay positive. All the best !!


Many interviewers would not ask this question until they have interviewed everyone and are making an offer. After all it makes the person feel as if they are going to be offered the job which is an impression you don't want to give until you know you are hiring that person. Hiring is a competition, you don't know if the next person you interview will be better or worse than this person. Often several of the people interviewed would be capable of doing the job, but you only have one opening. Leading someone on to think they are getting hired when ultimately someone else gets hired would make people more upset with the company than being neutral.


It's not a negative, but by the same token it's not a positive either. One thing I always taught job seekers is "ask for the job". In the future, if the interviewer doesn't ask when you can start, ask the interviewer, and get in a statement about how you really want to work there.

Given he asked for your references, I'd say that you're not out of the running. Hiring is a huge pain for employers and they won't waste a picosecond bothering with someone they are not seriously considering.

To sum up: If they asked for your references, they are interested. Don't worry about it, but keep applying, the job isn't yours until you're sitting at your desk.

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