Which interview time slot is the best

When interviewers ask about a time slot for availability, they often ask why I'm unavailable during times when I haven't made a list.

I had a telephone interview and at the end of the interview the interviewer asked when I would be available for a face-to-face interview. Since he gave me a choice, I said I preferred afternoon and evening. He clarified this (and mentioned that they would not be there in the evening) and said, "Why not in the morning?". My answer was I have to run errands in the morning, but if he really needs it, I'll be sure to come in. He said, "Oh no, I was just wondering why not in the morning."

I mentioned that I would be available 9-5 for the actual job.

It was for a part-time student position at the university.

I just wonder if it is customary for interviewers to question the times that I am unavailable.


He probably wanted to make sure that you were or not working full-time elsewhere.


@JoeStrazzere Anyway, I just found it very specific and felt like I didn't need to give a reason. If it's customary, I thought it should be something I need to be able to answer comfortably.

Richard U.

It just sounds like you surprised her. Do not worry.

Chris E.

I have never been asked this question in 30 years of interview. Personally, I think it's none of their business. Even so, I wouldn't be offended or upset and would answer it honestly.

There are several ways he would ask this:

  1. Ask if you already have a job.
  2. You are wondering if you have obligations that you cannot change for the job.
  3. He might be wondering if you are unavailable in the morning because of a hangover. You'd be surprised how many people would freely admit that they like to hang out in bars at night.
  4. He might just be trying to get a general sense of your personality and make small talk.

Personally, I would guess # 1 or # 4. Anyway, don't sweat it.

Lilienthal ♦

Yes, that was never asked either, but I never said I'd prefer afternoon and evening slots for an interview, so that's to be expected. Given what the OP mentioned and especially, That this is a student position, I am not at all surprised that he would ask this follow-up question.

Chris E.

@djechlin Unfortunately there are many students out there who haven't yet learned the art of "growing up" (or at least how to be a functioning alcoholic) so I could see how that questioning is used to determine where the priorities are of the student lying.

Steve Mangiameli

Although I didn't specifically ask this question, I was asked if I had suitable transportation! Who knows, maybe the interviewer had a lot of people with car problems who couldn't make it through the morning, or they had to drive in from a remote location. Follow-up questions are fairly common, even if some of them seem off the wall.


I would only have replied with "all the personal tasks I like to do in the morning". I've never been asked this question by an interviewer in over 40 years of work, but I wouldn't be overly concerned about it either.


When he asked when you were available, did you mention afternoons or evenings. That's a strange reaction to me as jobs usually end between 9am and 5am. The question of whether I would like to be available for an interview in the evening sounds a bit outside the box.

So he probably tried to find you out without asking.