When you go into a room for a professional interview, the hiring manager is likely to ask, "Would you work holidays/weekends?" Believe or not, this simple logistical question can often make the decision between rejecting and hiring a good candidate.
Some industries require workers to be flexible because of long hours of operation or frequent projects. When you respond, you need to weigh your personal endeavors against your flexibility.
Can you work holiday or weekend shifts? Do you want to work those shifts? Answering in the affirmative might get you a job, but you don't want to secure a position if you can't maintain the expected schedule.
Points to Emphasize
When you answer this question, try to be as accommodating as possible without misleading the interviewer about your timetable.
- Show some flexibility in your schedule.
- If you can't work weekends or holidays, give a viable reason as to why not.
- Emphasize your time management and efficiency while on the job.
- Be both tactful and confident in your response.
Be positive in your reply and show how excited you are to work with the company.
If you can, refocus the conversation back to what you can bring to the enterprise.
Mistakes You Should Avoid
As you respond to the question, keep in mind what the hiring manager is probably looking for.
- Do not commit to a schedule that you will not be able to maintain.
- Avoid concealing other time-consuming obligations.
- Do not disclose more information about your schedule than necessary.
- Do not forget to account for the industry you are working in.
You should tailor your answer without misinforming the hiring manager. Even if you think your response is not what he or she is looking for, it is better to be honest than to find yourself working more or less than you wanted.
Here are examples of good answers to the scheduling question:
I'm a single parent, so while I can pick up an occasional weekend shift, I cannot commit to working every weekend. However, my holidays are much more flexible as long as I set my schedule in advance.
I'm an efficient worker, so though I will gladly put in extra time as needed, I find I can get the vast majority of my work tasks completed during the regular workweek. Although, I have no problem with the occasional long work weekend or holiday.
Remember, be honest about your schedule. Employers are often willing to work around legitimate concerns such as family or education. Plus, you also want to make sure the position fits your expectations.