In answer to the question, "What's your typical day like?", can I include the evening or perhaps night activities, too?

I had an interview the other day and the interviewer asked me this question and I just answered, "I go to work at 9 and come home at 2." Then it came to me when someone asks you this question, are they interested in your daytime activities (mainly your job) and they're wondering what you do for a living or is it a casual question and you can include anything you mainly do in 24 hours.

  • 3
    This is entirely situational. It could mean the workday or the calendar day. The meaning is entirely in the head of the asker.
    – fixer1234
    Commented Feb 22, 2017 at 9:31
  • @fixer1234 So it can include evening and night too. Anyway, should I ask for clarification like asking what do you mean? or wait for them to let me know if my answer was irrelevant?
    – Yuri
    Commented Feb 22, 2017 at 9:46
  • Not really an English question, but it sounds like an open-ended, purposely ambiguous interview question. The idea is just to see how you interpret it and how you respond. If you wanted to be a smart-ass, you could turn it around. "The question is kind of ambiguous. I'm not sure what aspect you're asking about. Give me an idea. How would you describe your own typical day?"
    – fixer1234
    Commented Feb 22, 2017 at 9:53
  • @fixer1234 exactly, that guy was interviewing me! I see it now :) thank you.
    – Yuri
    Commented Feb 22, 2017 at 10:38
  • Now that you've given us context (an interview), I can better tell you that the person had probably meant about your work day and the activities you do from when you get in to when you leave. Or do you think that the interviewer had, in actuality, been interested in knowing about your whole day (including evenings, nights, etc.)? Commented Feb 22, 2017 at 10:59

2 Answers 2


According to an elementary textbook The New English File (starting with chapter 3/B daily routine), your day starts when you wake up and ends when you go to bed.

But yes, what people mean in real life depends on the situation. On a job interview I wouldn't include the parts of my day that's not related to work but in a different situation, e.g. a journalist asking it, interpreting when your day starts and ends may depend on you.

So, generally speaking, it does include all 24 hours of the day unless the question is about a specific part of the day or you have reason to interpret it as such.


I think that if you are interviewed by your future employer, the question "What's your typical day like?" refers to the working day.

The interviewer might ask you that to make sure that your experience matches the new job requirements. The follow-up questions and your answers might help him or her to decide whether you have the personal qualities the company looks for in an employee, such as organization, the ability to work well with others, and an aptitude for facing challenges directly.

What your favorite pastime or daily routines are is something they might be much lesser, if not at all, interested in.

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