Interviewing/Work Schedule Request

Updated on July 08, 2011
K.B. asks from Saint Clair Shores, MI
8 answers

I have an interview next week. I came across this job when I was having a very bad week at work and so I applied. I am not that happy with the work I am doing, but I stay there because the pay is good (plus raises/bonuses) and it is very flexible which I really need considering I have 3 kids under 5. I work 4 days a week and I am usually allowed to work one day at home (that one day at home is still with the kids gone). If my kids are sick, I have appts for myself or my kids or anything at school, I can almost always get the time off without having to use vacation time (of which I do not have alot). I am on a project where some travel will be required for a few months at the beginning of next year. And there is always potential to be put on a project where I would need to travel more in the future. Also, my office is an hour drive. I go to the office 1-3 times per week, depending on whether I have meetings at other places. Anyway, the job I am interviewing for is 10 minutes away and no travel would be required. It also sounds like a job that has more of what I would be looking for than what I have in my current job (but it is along the same lines, so I still have a good amount of experience related to it). Of course, I will find out more when I interview. So, to get to my question. I am 90% sure I would not want this job if it meant I had to work 5 days a week without being able to work at home (which I know I wouldn't be able to work at home with the new job). Would you bring up the possibility of working 3-4 days per week during the interview or wait to find out if I actually get offered the job? The field I am in is not typically part-time so I am thinking that if I asked initially, they would say no, but if they decide they want to offer me the job and then I ask, maybe they would consider it. So, either way, any input on how I should go about bringing it up/asking for it (if I should at all)? Maybe someone out there that is in HR/hiriing/managing that has any input? I may start inquiring more about moving to another position internally at my current place of work, but my preference would really be to move companies if I could work it out at all. Thanks!

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answers from Washington DC on

It never hurts to ask - the worst that they can do is say NO.

it may be something they are willing to try on a temporary basis to see if will work and you can be the guinea pig...

Good luck on your interview!



answers from New York on

I would not come right out and ask "can I work 3 or 4 days" or "can I work from home". However, part of the interview should include the working hours. If this isn't in the interview, you can bring it up at the end. Something like "Could you tell me what your office hours are? Is there any type of flexibility available? "


answers from Milwaukee on

It really depends on how much they want you and if there are others who could also do the job who applied. It never hurst to interview and put out the feelers. Personally I do not like people who come in invterview, we offer them the job and then request a "specail" schedule... I would much prefer that they would be up front towards the end of the interview as to what they are looking for. If they are good enough we might be will to work with them as long as the work gets done.

It does not hurt to ask but be prepared for a no. Also if you really need a job to help pay the bills I would not risk "being a guinea pig" if the new company wants to try it out, because if they do not like it and you have left your other job now you are stuck with conforming to what the company wants or having no job.

When we hire we want people who will get the work done and is at work on time. The longer someone is at work with us the more we are open to being flexable with their schedule, but in the end we need them at work to get the work done.



answers from Orlando on

it would be Ok to ask if the position is, or has any potential for telecommuting. Not all companies practice this, even if it seems like a simple thing to you or I, it may be against their policies. Although, it seems like you have a lot of flex time at your current job, not many employers are as accommodating, but an hour drive is terrible too. Tough situation. I hope it works out in your favor :)



answers from Oklahoma City on

I think if it sounds like a good job and they offer it to you that you could try the working the days they want to prove you are a good employee and able to manage your work well. Then ask if it's all right to start doing some of the work at home. They may not say yes but at least you have shown you can work and do the job without having to be redirected back to work all the time.



answers from La Crosse on

I agree with all of the responses. I would wait until you are asked to ask questions. I would make a list of questions before you go the interview. Do you know someone that works at the company now? Maybe they can give you some information. I think you have to ask yourself why you got mad at your current job and work on fixing that, if you really feel it is worth it.



answers from Chicago on

i've been in hr for the last 12 years and i agree with asking at the end of the interview. of course also have other actual job related questions too- ask those first and then finish with the workplace flexibility, etc.

i work for a very progressive organization where we have much of our workforce telecommuting. it's an excellent work/life benefit and i probably wouldn't be there if that benefit was taken away. i'm surprised many companies don't put more emphasis on this work/life balance.

you say you're not "that" happy with your job. just imagine if the work/life benefits were removed. also, what's said in an interview about work/life balance may not hold exactly true when you start your job.

also, at some companies you have to earn the that extra work/life balance so as you gain more years of service, maybe you can work virtually more often or flex your time, etc.

sounds like you may have a good gig already =)



answers from Dallas on

I believe if you couch it the right way you can bring up at initial interiew, but definately not the time to begin negotiating or tell them the job is off the table if flex time isn't available. Usually at the end of each interview the interviewer asks. . ."Do you have any questions about the position/job/company?" You could respond by asking about their flex time policy, vacation and other family benefits.
Don't tell them it is deal breaker, but once/if they offer you the position, you are really in the seat to negotiate and even tell them, "Gee, I would love to work for you all, but the flex policy is really a deal breaker. Is there a way you can work out the same kind of situation I currently have?" and then work it that way:)
Good luck on the entire process!!

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