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working late

(10 Posts)
Soopermum1 Fri 05-Aug-11 14:13:36

Have a job interview next week, in an industry that is notorious for not finishing on time and working late. I have to finish on the dot, due to childcare issues. I have a feeling I may be asked as to how flexible I am and am not sure how to handle it without scuppering my chances. In my previous job, while I was by no means a workaholic, I did sometimes finish off work at home in the evening, and I was contactable out of hours on the phone/BB, which was absolutely fine with everyone concerned. What should I say? I think physical presence in the office out of hours may be more important in this job than it was in my previous one.

CMOTdibbler Fri 05-Aug-11 14:16:14

Do you have no flexibility at all ? If you even had one day a week that your partner could pick up, that would help

magicmummy1 Fri 05-Aug-11 14:19:05

I'd just be honest if I were you. If they are not happy for you to work around your childcare commitments, do you really want the job anyway? Do you really want to feel guilty every day about walking out of the door on time?

Ellypoo Fri 05-Aug-11 14:22:16

I wouldn't lie about your ability to be flexible with your finishing hours in your interview - if you will always need to finish at, say 5.30pm, then you need to be honest about that so that they can make an informed choice. If there may be a possibility of staying late, if necessary, on certain days though, I would say that. Perhaps you could start earlier/take a shorter lunch break rather than staying later in the evening?
Maybe the other people in the office would appreciate it, once you start to leave on time, it may help others to be able to follow suit perhaps?
There is no point in saying that you are able to stay late if/when necessary if you know you won't be able to, but maybe say that you are an efficient worker and always aim to get your work done within your contracted hours?
I once asked for a payrise, and my boss said 'but you always leave on time' to imply that I didn't deserve one - when I pointed out that I don't spend any time during the day chatting and wasting time like others, I always get my work done and more and that I prefer to 'work smarter rather than longer' I got my point across and got the payrise!!
Now, I never ever only work my contracted hours of course, and am virtually working 6.5 days/week!!! We may all have a shock when the baby comes!!!

Soopermum1 Fri 05-Aug-11 14:22:43

Yes, I could be flexible, with a bit of notice, however, the problem is, the kinds of things that would come up would be without notice. I'm worried I'll be in a position where all hell is breaking loose and I have to walk out on the dot, and they'll be concerned about that, and may ask me about it.

Soopermum1 Fri 05-Aug-11 14:27:22

yes, I think you guys are right. I am super efficient by nature, it's just encouraging others to be that's a problem. I'll just have to say that I am efficient and am very good at tackling issues out of hours on the phone.

CMOTdibbler Fri 05-Aug-11 14:31:50

Then I'd tackle it head on - 'I appreciate that situation x, y can happen, requiring a rapid response. As I would have to leave the office at z time, I can see that people might be concerned about how I would cope, but I have used these tactics (blah blah) successfully in the past'.

You do need to think about what you are prepared to offer - as a colleague, if they know you are leaving in the middle of a firestorm, but will vpn in later and do a couple of hours, or can be relied on to volunteer to do a conference call at 9pm with the US there'll be no hard feelings

Andrewofgg Tue 09-Aug-11 18:44:33

Of course if the work is work which physically must be done in the office and without a break while you go home then you are applying for the wrong job.

Andrewofgg Tue 09-Aug-11 18:45:10

Of course if the work is work which physically must be done in the office and without a break while you go home then you are applying for the wrong job

northerngirl41 Wed 10-Aug-11 11:32:14

You can either do the job or not - if it requires working late, and you can't work late, then you aren't the best candidate for the job. Sorry!

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