interview for full-time post, but need to go part-time...

(19 Posts)
waterdragon Thu 17-Jan-13 15:51:14

Hi,

I don't post much, but lurk a lot, but I am now in need of some advice.

I have finally got a job interview for a post that's a bit out of my league, it's a post-doc research post. The main problem is that I haven't yet finished my PhD. I know from other people's experiences that that won't necessarily rule me out for the job, but I will need to get the PhD finished as soon as possible. And I also have a 16 month old. So working full-time is not an option if I'm going to get it done, I'll need to work 3 or 4 days a week ideally.

The job is being advertised as full-time, but with the usual public sector type disclaimers about flexible working and options for job share, so theoretically it should be possible for me to get the job but not work full-time.

So I suppose my question is at what point to talk to them about all of this. Do I bring it up at interview? Or will that blow my chances and give them the opportunity to just pick a candidate that has no problem working full-time? Or should I just gloss over any of those issues in the interview and then negotiate if they decide to offer me the job?

Having started to work on the presentation today, I actually think I could do the job! So now I'm panicking about blowing it before I even get a chance to prove myself.

mellowcat Thu 17-Jan-13 15:53:16

I think you should bring it up at interview, will save problems later.

waterdragon Thu 17-Jan-13 22:25:52

Thanks. Guess I'm just nervous of wrecking my chances before I start, if youknow what I mean!

housesalehelp Thu 17-Jan-13 22:33:37

hmm - could you find out about the research group - if there are other people working part time that might give you hope - I would wait until you get the offer - I have done it twice and it worked ok

housesalehelp Thu 17-Jan-13 22:35:08

the other thing is could you delay start date a bit so you could do a few weeks of hard work on your Phd before starting? and also university do normally give decent holiday so that will help

waterdragon Fri 18-Jan-13 07:46:03

Cheers. I don't think delaying the start date would help much. I'm too skint to pay out a lot of childcare with no income, and can't get anything done that uses my brain with DS running round. My supervisor isn't being the most helpful either in terms of getting stuff back in good time. Holiday time will be useful though. I will ponder it a bit more, and have a nosy on the website to see what I can work out is going on there already!

housesalehelp Sat 19-Jan-13 14:13:21

you could see if any of your contacts know people in the group - linkedIn might be helpful - if you are not working then I think any job is better than none!

Jeggie Sat 19-Jan-13 14:19:59

I personally would not mention in interview. I recently applied for a ft job and once they offered it explained my situation and that I understood they might need to withdraw their offer if it couldn't work. They spent a week shuffling things about, before confirming 3 days for first 6m then 4days. They were very nice and understanding throughout.

I was under no illusion they might have to say no, but I think you do yourself a disservice if you tell them before they've decided they like you and want you.

artyflarty Sat 19-Jan-13 21:50:44

This question is posted time and time again on here.

It's advertised as full time for a reason (i.e. because they want a full time person). Do not waste their time by going along for an interview (or two) then announcing, "Ooh actually, I rather fancy working part-time...". Can you imagine how bloody annoying that is from a recruiter's point of view?

Ask them before you apply/go for interview. Chances are they will probably say no but if you are a brilliant candidate they might consider you.

I disagree with artyflarty - jobs are generally advertised as full time as a default. People don't think "we have an 80% job here, we will advertise it as 80%", they think "we have an 80% job here, we will scrabble around to find 20% more work to fill the role up".

4 days is not a lot less than 5. I work 4 days in a job that was advertised as FT. I was quite lucky as the agency which put me up for the job did write on my application that I wanted PT, but my employer didn't notice this on my application until I had been to the first round interview. My employer considered me to be the best candidate for the job even doing 4 days rather than the 5 that the other candidates could offer. Obviously it is also cheaper to employ someone for fewer days.

I would bring it up at the "do you have any questions" point of the interview. I would focus on the finishing your PhD aspect and refer to the disclaimer in the job advert as this indicates that you would not be wasting their time applying.

Do you know of anyone who might be interested in a job share with you?

chutneypig Sun 20-Jan-13 09:38:01

It also depends on how the post is funded. If its an externally funded post in some cases it may be possible to extend the length of the post by being part time. This may have advantages for the group, depending on the project, work, team etc etc.

It's not unusual for people to not have written up when applying for postdocs. Id be almost certain they would ask you about your planned submission dates and then a conversation would naturally follow.

Field is a big factor too. In my area, science, experiments don't lend themselves to part time work. But that's not necessarily true for all science areas and for other areas, no idea.

waterdragon Mon 21-Jan-13 08:31:29

Didn't realise I'd had more replies, thanks! I've been thinking about it over the weekend, and I did put interested in job.share on the form, although not sure how well the job will lend itself. It's qualitative social science, as is my PhD, so flexibility is not a problem generally. I was thinking that it will almost certainly come up in the interview, and they will have seen its not submitted, so they will be aware of implications of that. I think I'll wait till it arises in the interview and talk it through with them from there. Part-time for the first few months is a definite possibility to get it handed in. It's not clear from the info but it looks like a pretty new project, so I imagine funding can be shuffled if the job would work over less days.
I would generally agree that any job is better than none, and I've been applying for all sorts, but the logistics of full-time with a toddler and a commute and spending time working away mean that I would not be able to finish my PhD, and given the work that's gone into it already that's not really an option, so I'm just gonna cross my fingers and give it a go!

housesalehelp Mon 21-Jan-13 19:10:42

breatheslowly -I agree jobs are advertised as full time as default and also in general - when they are advertised part time they tend to get less responses -excluding term time TA type jobs of course - it does depend a lot on the field and the organisatin a lot though

EATmum Sun 27-Jan-13 22:07:18

IMO you shouldn't mention it at all at interview. Wait till you get an offer, then you can do the deal. HE is generally pretty good at flexibility, and open to different ways of doing things.

I speak as an HR person in higher education, and as one who gets frustrated by people wasting their 'have you any questions for us' time trying to negotiate terms for a job they've not been offered. Instead try to see it as the perfect time to show your interest in the research, to ask pertinent questions and show your own knowledge. Just my views, sure others will think differently.

SizzleSazz Sun 27-Jan-13 22:13:46

My job was advertised as full time (by default I think) and I am doing 3 days a week. BUT most definitely told them at application stage. I personally don't agree with interviewing as if you are able to do full time and then springing it on them. If I were the employer I would be feeling very hoodwinked.

Good luck, hope it works out for you smile

Tasmania Wed 30-Jan-13 00:55:48

Academia IS better at flexibility - however, it often depends what department you are in. Social sciences / humanities are mostly more flexible than sciences where the people I know had to work the full whack in the department - or much more (70+ hrs per week not that unusual... so no wonder, some left to work in the City for the same number of hours, but twice or even triple the pay).

Salbertina Wed 30-Jan-13 07:26:46

I agree that public sector posts often advertised as f/t by default and it can help employer in terms of staff budgets to pay you say 80% of what was anticipated.. It does depend though and i think anything less than 4 days from employer's pov is a very different prospect unless you've teamed up to jobshare.
I would wait until/if they wanted me and then ask, good luck.

AmandaGetPaidToDotCom Wed 06-Feb-13 13:24:05

If it's through a recruiter ask the recruiter how they think it's best to manage it and let them decide. If it's a direct application then def bring it up at the end of the interview when you can ask questions. Don't keep it hidden til the end of the process... good luck smile

gruffalocake Sat 09-Feb-13 16:30:41

I'm just finishing my phd with toddler and baby and am applying for a job which I know I could only do 4 days a week tops. I have emailed in advance to say this is my situation and they have emailed back saying they are very happy with all kinds of working arrangements which is great.
I recommend doing that as you will feel more confident about going forward and can concentrate on selling yourself at interview rather than fretting about negotiating hours. I now won't mention it again unless they bring it up or I get offered the job and then I am happy to be flexible and negotiate whatever would work for both of us.

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