To ask at interview...

(33 Posts)
vic1981 Sun 03-Jul-16 16:12:45

If it is possible to work less hours than those stated? For some background, I am looking to return to work after being off for 5 1/2 years with my DD and have seen a job that I am hopeful of at least making the interview stage. The hours would be 9-5, Monday to Fri in a school.

The issue is the location, it is in an area where although it is technically only 20 mins drive away, is in actuality about 1 hours drive due to traffic. (Not in rush hour either!) I can put my child in before/ and after school care, without a problem in the mornings, but
am concerned that I would not make it back before 6pm, at which point a late fee fine would be payable.

It is not well paid, (approx £15,000) but I would really like to apply for it. However, I am concerned about the journey, I would not want the stress of worrying about being late doing the pick up for my daughter every day.

Should I reach the interview stage, do you think it would be really cheeky to ask if it is possible to finish at 4.30pm in order to address this issue?

razmataz Sun 03-Jul-16 16:18:18

Not at interview! If you get offered the job then you can negotiate hours - you might be able to take a shorter lunch break and leave half an hour earlier for example, rather than working fewer hours.

NeedMoreSleepOrSugar Sun 03-Jul-16 16:21:55

I wouldn't ask at interview, id wait until offered the job. At most I'd ask in general terms about their approach to flexible working.

Ilovetea82 Sun 03-Jul-16 16:24:21

If the core hours are doable and you could arrange alternative childcare then I would say that, but perhaps ask if there is any flexibility with the hours eg 8.30-4.30 as it would help your current childcare arrangements and traffic, but that you would be happy with the 9-5 if there is no flexibility, they may very well surprise you but I guess it depends what the role is.

3rdrockfromthesun Sun 03-Jul-16 16:28:44

Do not mention hours at interview. Talk about it if you get offered the job. Ask questions instead: why do you like working for this company (this one is gold), what would my typical day look like and are there training opportunities? Why did you apply for the job if you knew the hours were going to be a problem?

shazzarooney999 Sun 03-Jul-16 16:33:44

Good luck with the application,school jobs are extremeley hard to get, the competition is really really tough, ive applied for Ta roles in the past and you have Nqts going for the jobs, its bloomin hard,all im saying is dont get your hopes up xxxxx

vic1981 Sun 03-Jul-16 16:35:12

3rdrockfromthesun, on paper the hours are fine, it was only after submitting the application form and attempting a test drive to the location that I realised that it was a problem. I had no idea that it was a traffic black spot, and that 20 mins would actually be an hours journey! Tbf, I have only been driving for a year, when I have mentioned to others where it is based they have all pulled a face and said that it is a nightmare journey!

MollyTwo Sun 03-Jul-16 16:36:27

Goodness don't ask this at the interview! Shows that you already can't be bothered to do the job.

originalmavis Sun 03-Jul-16 16:36:56

I've just been offered 2 jobs that were advertised as full time but I asked at outset and explained why and how it would work. A couple of otheres said no from the start but I'd rather know sooner if they are flexible or arses.

threadender Sun 03-Jul-16 16:37:10

Don't ask at interview, even hinting the hours might be a problem could put them off. Could you put dd in childcare for an extra 30 mins or hour if you get the job, just until you know if there's likely to be a problem picking her up in time? That would also give you time to speak to your (hopefully) new boss about the hours.

Someone applied for a temporary shift working post at my work and stated they didn't like working shifts and would prefer not to hmmUnsurprisingly she didn't get the job, even though she was the most experienced candidate.

Don't blow your chances

vic1981 Sun 03-Jul-16 16:38:52

Thanks, shazzarooney, for your best wishes. I have been deliberately vague as to what my role would be as it is very specialised, I am cautiously optimistic! Thanks for the feedback everyone, will not mention should I get to interview stage.

jelliebelly Sun 03-Jul-16 16:41:32

Don't mention hours until you are offered the job. If you do your research there may well be alternative routes to avoid the traffic.

LolaStarr Sun 03-Jul-16 16:42:23

molly can't be bothered to do the job? It's a childcare issue, not that she can't be bothered hmm

Op as others have said wait and see if you get offered the job then mention it. Good luck!

dogdrifts Sun 03-Jul-16 16:50:36

Childcare issues are the reason lots of parents stop working school-based jobs.
Good luck op, but as others have said - wait until you actually have been offered the job, and even then, research if there is any way around it at all (childminder with previously arranged longer hours etc) before you ask.

MollyTwo Sun 03-Jul-16 16:55:51

Lola yes. The op has been out of the job market for a long time and one of the questions she wants to ask is shorter hours? That doesn't sound very committed.

vic1981 Sun 03-Jul-16 16:59:44

Molly, I am really am committed... However, I appreciate your blunt response. If this is how it comes across, I will definitely not be saying anything about hours at the interview stage.

originalmavis Sun 03-Jul-16 17:00:52

It depends how you ask. I told them that I needed condensed hours so that I could maintain consistency if home life for child and keep a decent work/home balance that I would stop me feeling stabby (but in a nicer way). I also pointed out that I was bloody brilliant and capable of doing my job.

I really hated it when I had to think 'what day is it? Hmm Tuesday, so that's late finish, after school club, straight over to school bus Tesco to pick up tea... hope the tubes are running ok'.

Liiinoo Sun 03-Jul-16 17:02:38

I applied for an admin job in a school some years ago. At the end 0f the interview I said I was very keen on the role and was there any negotiation on hours - it was advertised as a 5 short days a week role and the rush hour journey was a nightmare. It was agreed I could do three longer days on the spot starting earlier to avoid the traffic.

I think it is better to be honest at the start rather than let them offer you the position and then start moving the goalposts.

MollyTwo Sun 03-Jul-16 17:04:32

Sorry op didn't mean to be harsh, just thinking from pov from prospective employer. If you had loads of experience or something to bring to the table to negotiate with then I would think maybe at a stretch its ok to ask. But right now you don't have that much bargaining power, and besides lots of people have childcare issues and have to make it work. Rather get the job, trial for a few months and then broach it after with the company.

MollyTwo Sun 03-Jul-16 17:05:00

Sorry op didn't mean to be harsh, just thinking from pov from prospective employer. If you had loads of experience or something to bring to the table to negotiate with then I would think maybe at a stretch its ok to ask. But right now you don't have that much bargaining power, and besides lots of people have childcare issues and have to make it work. Rather get the job, trial for a few months and then broach it after with the company.

vic1981 Sun 03-Jul-16 17:07:13

No worries, Mollytwo. I came on here for honest answers and this feedback may well prevent me from alienating a potential employer, so it is all for the good.

Ememem84 Sun 03-Jul-16 17:16:11

Agree don't ask at the interview.

Personally I'd be happy if someone on my team asked this on the basis that they took half hour lunch.

If they came in for a full time job and asked for part time hours not so much

ExtraHotLatteToGo Sun 03-Jul-16 17:18:06

It's a gamble either way to be honest, but here in the UK it seems to work out better if you get the job first then negotiate either.

However, in your situation I'd try to find a childminder or friend/family to pick up either after school or after 'after school club' Give this a go for a couple of months and see how it goes. Then approach them with it if necessary.

ExtraHotLatteToGo Sun 03-Jul-16 17:18:52

Either > after.

Fairyliz Sun 03-Jul-16 17:18:56

Sorry op think you need to reconsider your career choice. I have worked in school admin for 16 years and never managed to get away on time. I work at least 20 mins and up to 1.5 hours unpaid overtime every single day. Its not just me, every person I know who works in schools does the same.

School are underfunded and so they cannot have additional support staff at the expense of teachers. If you ask for shorter hours you will probably get them but obviously be paid less. The work will still need doing so one of your colleagues will probably end up doing more unpaid overtime. You won'tbe popular!

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