Lack of Common Sense Cost him Job Interview (& Job)

Raghuram Sukumar Career 31 Comments

Students and job seekers – you need to have common sense along with technical expertise.

This article is about common sense and how a person failed in job interview even before the interview process was setup.

Job Interview Process and Common Sense

Student X is from India, currently pursuing Masters in US University.

  • Student X is doing Masters in Computer Science and looking for an internship position.
  • Student X came across an internship position posted online.
  • Student X  forwards his resume to the contact (Contact Y) listed in the job posting.
  • Contact Y forwards Student X’s to the hiring manager.
  • Within 30 minutes Hiring Manager send email to Student X asking his availability/time to schedule a phone screen.
  • Student X replies back saying “I’m available on Saturday at 2 PM”

Due to lack of common sense Student X  just lost an opportunity to get  internship interview, internship position and potential full time position at the same company.  There are so many computer science graduates looking for internship and Student X threw away a golden opportunity. There are lot of lessons to be learned from above experience.

Question to You

Let us put this question to readers here and see how they should have responded. If you can post your comment and answer the following questions

  • Do you agree to Student X’s response?
  • What would be your response to  phone screen set-up email request?
  • Why do you think Student X lacked common sense?


  1. I think the student was right in specifying the time but was wrong in the way he specified it.

    It would have been much better had the student first found out if an interview on Saturday is possible and then say his/her suitable timing.
    In specifying the timing also the student should have provided not a specific time but a time range like 2-4PM.

    Also the way X responded sounds very unprofessional and demanding. Any hiring manager would surely get a bad impression. And since it was a phone interview, some time during workdays could have been much better.
    All it takes for the interview is a connection and a silent room, not a big deal even if you work part-time.

  2. There is nothing wrong in what the student said.As a software consultant I have taken interviews on saturday night and sunday afternoons.Not jus one in my career.I can say atleast 6-8 interviews.It depends on who is the client and how the inerview takes it.Common on..What if the student is working part time on weekdays.Can he take interview during the job?Lot of companies today adpet to your request and make necessary arrangements to get qualified candidates.

    There is nothing wrong in what he said.

  3. since he has told i am availble on a paticular time he has lost the oppurtunity

    we should always say i ready for at any time is this the reason

  4. Hey friends,
    The statement that the student made seems highly irresponsible and it portrays the lack of interest. He did not even know that no company stays live on Saturday in the US. This shows the lack of common sense. He did not even bother to greet the Hiring manager. One line reply would have seriously irritated the manager and he did not even bother to mention the local timings. He failed to bag a wonderful opportunity just because he did not use his brain. He must have provided a convenient timing or he must have said something like "Anytime this week between 3.00-4.00 PST" or "anytime today sir"…. So the Indian students really need some basic training in these aspects. The colleges are now trying really hard right from the freshmen year to impart these skills in the students and equip them for the future interviews. A lot of mock interviews must also be conducted so that the students do not suffer in the later years when they are to face a real interview. So get yourself equipped and never ever lose opportunities in life. Cheers.
    Your loving friend,

  5. I think because the student said he is available on Saturday.

    While actually saturday is not business hours.

    All companies are closed at that day.

    Then he will have an interview with ghost.. hahaha…

    Except, if the employers give chance for him to conduct interview on that day.

  6. he should have told the interviewer to make a call at any time ..this will show is need for job and the aim to bag a good job

  7. in my opinion.. he lost his chance because of his bad english..
    he would have said like " I will be available this(or next) saturday at 2 PM "

    May be this.. ???

  8. In my opinion the reply should be any time during the working days. I mean for a phone interview all we need is a silent corner.

    More over its we that want a job. I am sure the interviewer must have lots of same looking resumes.

    Any time during working days should be decent time. As the interviewer must be more busier then us in any conditions. His convenience is of more importance here.

    So theme of the reply mail should be like…..

    Sir i am always available for the phone interview in working hours on all working days.

  9. 1.X must provide weekday timing

    2.He must give multiple time so that manager must be free up.
    ex:Any time this week between 2-5pm.

    3.The closer time given the better.

    4.Date must be specified there are so many Saturdays coming how to know which one.

    5.Local timing must be said.(And also by specifying which standard time it is).

    These are all i feel to be there for the better responce.

  10. Saturday is a weekend folks!

    Nobody works on weekends in the US and absolutely not the hiring manager.

  11. Hsb


    for my understanding

    "# Within 30 minutes Hiring Manager send email to Student X asking his availability/time to schedule a phone screen.

    # Student X replies back saying “I’m available on Saturday at 2 PM”

    the student should have seen the urgency and invitation from the hirer

    it was for phone screen only

    he could have offered his time at once

    that would have got him the job

    why should the hirer wait for the student time

    as it was only phone interview

    what a wonderful opportunity missed

    to get exposed

    Oh my goodness

    hope our young minds takes a clue

    and grab the opportunity

    then and there

    thanks for posting very interesting information



  12. i guess that he wasn't wrong!!!! i think Mr. Y responded back to the student only because his profile is good….i believe that there is no harm in scheduling for a particular time(by the student) as long as it is not a holiday

  13. Hi HSB, is this the full reply of the student or some part of the email has been chopped off? This is because the email looks too terse. I don't think anybody would send a 1-liner like that without even a greetings or best regards and so on. Can we have the transcript of the full email instead of quote and unquotes?

    1. Answer is not one liner but the message is the same "I'm available on Saturday at 2 PM for Phone interview".

  14. I recently told my job interviewer anytime but the sooner the better. I wanted to hopefully get a better time than others who took longer to reply

  15. No, it was'nt appropriate at all….
    He would have asked the recruiter to fix the time whatever goes well with him.
    The reason may that he was a little frivolous or arrogant or may be totally out of any professional experience(but that's not expected from somebody pursuing a masters degree)

  16. I feel that Saturday is a holiday and therefore, he lacked commonsense.

    You need not be so polite to ans. "Anytime you say, Sir”. Or “I am ready right now, Sir". He is asking you for timing which will be convenient for you. Maybe he could have said I am available from 2:00 pm to 3:00pm from monday to saturday. There are some timings when you are travelling or busy or doing your daily chores. Such timings are not convenient for you to answer the call. Instead of answering call me after 1 hr or half hour, just tell them the timings which are not convenient for you.

  17. i believe that the student x went wrong at two points…
    1. he sh have given more possible timings and consider the availability of his hiring manager… that way it would have been pleasing to the manager..
    2. student x jus gave a blank statement "I’m available on Saturday at 2 PM".. he didn mention the local time of that place which should also be considered…..
    hope my comments were reasonable..:–)

  18. This Shows that the student X is not that responsible. Moreover,employers look for the interest the person shows on to get on board with the company and his readiness.

    Saturday is a weekly off and its so foolish that the student scheduled it that day. Incase the schedule was so tight that he couldn attend on any weekday,the reply would have been like

    Dear Sir,

    I would like to thank you for an opportunity for the interview. However due to my classes, i will not be able to make it on a weekday. Requesting you if we can have the interview scheduled at 2pm on saturday.If not i will try to make it up on a weekday trying to squeeze in between my sched (fri 2pm)

    Looking for your affirmative response


  19. Hah! That sounds truly stupid. Guess, many of our Indian Folks still belong to the previous league & are yet to come to terms with the basic requirements of recent times. They seriously need some training in Basic job etiquette… 😀

  20. I think he should have explained the recruiter about his college timings and should have just said anytime after college hours would be perfect.

  21. he should have simply said "anytime is ok sir",as he is the one who the job.

  22. We are recruiters and we get these responses all the time; unfortunately usually from Indian computer types. The response that the fool made is great! It helped weed out someone that thinks they are empowered or owed a job. Archishman's response above was perfect – "Anytime you say, Sir”. Or “I am ready right now, Sir”. You want a job in these tight times, you be easy to work with.

  23. Well i feel firstly saturday is a off day and also secondly he should also try to ask politely if the employer is available or not on the time suggested

  24. He should have said, "Anytime you say, Sir". Or "I am ready right now, Sir".

  25. Its obvious that Saturday is not a working day! The student was foolish to have given the availability on a Saturday. And also only one date and one time makes it look how disinterested you are for the job. The interviewer will also have his own appointments and work and might not be available on one specific time you suggest. The most important part is that they dont conduct interviews on weekends! unless the interviewer is very busy and asks to schedule on a weekend which happens sometimes.

  26. From the top of my head: Saturday is a holiday, and hiring people would not prefer to call him them?
    Or maybe, One-line response shows lack of interest?

    1. That answer itself shows his lack of interest in Internship…If at all he is interested he would have asked employer about his available timings……

      1. Phone screen is the synonym for phone interview right? If X even has time to forward his resume just a moment ago, why didn't he spend a couple minutes to answer the hiring manager's interview question on the

        I think probably he mistook phone screen.. as the actual face to face interview (due to nervous perhaps)

Leave a Comment - Your Thoughts Counts

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.