I have been looking for a job and had been applying through recruiters and independently. Today I was contacted by a recruiter who said I have a phone interview tomorrow, and another company emailed me asking when I’m available for a phone interview tomorrow too. I also have my normal job tomorrow in the evening/night. Also I just got a message from my landlord saying the washer and dryer are being replaced tomorrow. I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed, is there anything I can do? Is it normal to be given less than 24 hours notice for an interview? I had applied for these jobs several weeks ago and have been applying for others one’s since, so I haven’t been thinking of the one’s I have interviews with tomorrow.

Considering I had applied for the job several weeks ago, it wasn't at the top of my mind and I needed the chance to re-read the job description and brush up on the company vision etc.

  • @JoeStrazzere it was more so the day they picked was a bad day in general
    – JoeT
    Commented Jan 28, 2017 at 14:38
  • I will volunteer that I've had the experience of being contacted for an interview on the same day. What was intended to be a get-to-know-you phone screen was a full-blown technical interview. This was done less than 2 hours after I had set up initial contact. No, it's not normal.
    – Makoto
    Commented Jan 28, 2017 at 23:27
  • @JoeStrazzere yes I think that's right. Initially I tried adjusting my other commitments so I had more time that day, but since it was only the next day I didn't have time to make alternative arrangements.
    – JoeT
    Commented Jan 30, 2017 at 13:02

2 Answers 2


I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed, is there anything I can do?

Two things. 1) tell the recruiter that you need to postpone those interviews as tomorrow is too soon, and 2) if you even still want to work with that recruiter, tell them they need to ask you if you're available, not tell you when you have an interview.

I'm not sure the recruiter you heard from is very good, it shouldn't be any sort of surprise to them that people have lives and are not always available on a day's notice.

Is it normal to be given less than 24 hours notice for an interview?

I can't say without knowing what field you're in. In my field, software development, that would be extremely unusual and probably a red flag. In other fields with high turnover, it could be normal to need new people immediately and to interview them ASAP.

  • 1
    I'm in software (but not working for software companies) and I've had a couple instances in the past 18 months where I've been asked to come in on 48 hours' or less notice. You have to push back on these - in part because you need to be able to safely take the time off from work (I can't drop "oh, I'll be out tomorrow morning" on my team at 3 PM), and in part because you shouldn't let people think you're available to do their bidding at the drop of a hat.
    – alroc
    Commented Jan 27, 2017 at 12:17

Everyone wants you to interview as soon as possible because that's what's best for them and might work for you.

You should try saying something like "I'm not available today, how's Thursday?" etc. This may be unintuitive to you but at this point in recruiting they are sort of like a business contact on equal footing. The usual expectations you have of a colleague, acquaintance, classmate, that you have learned over years of being a social human being, are about what you need to know.

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