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Should I say I want to work from home a couple of days a week before the job interview?

(15 Posts)
GeorgeEliot Wed 14-Sep-11 20:17:41

I have an interview for a job in London next week. I live about 1 1 /4 hours away by train, (whereas my current job is only 15 minutes drive away), and the only way I would consider the new job is if they agreed to let me work from home for some days per week - I couldn't afford the commute and wouldn't want to do it. (DC are at school so it shouldn't be a problem for me to get the work done). Should I email the CEO, who is interviewing me, and explain that beforehand - so i'm not wasting any time if that wouldn't be appropriate, or should I wait until the interview?
Thanks.

rubyslippers Wed 14-Sep-11 20:19:38

No - I would negotiate afterwards

But that's me ....

NoGoodAtHousework Wed 14-Sep-11 20:25:24

Ditto I would negotiate after
But.....
Silly question-why apply for a job you can't afford to commute to/don't want to commute to?

GeorgeEliot Wed 14-Sep-11 20:28:37

Because it's a good job - and I wouldn't mind going to London say 2 days a week, but just not every day. I work in the 'ethical' sector and there is often some flexibility about working arrangements.
But on reflection I'm not sure I should have applied ... just so fed up with my current job. Sod's law I have been shortlisted!

cat64 Wed 14-Sep-11 20:29:43

Message withdrawn

godzuki Thu 15-Sep-11 09:17:27

I'd wait and see if you get the job - and then negotiate. That's what I did and it worked for me.

Hatwoman Thu 15-Sep-11 09:30:07

I would also wait - but Iwould do as much research as possible on how likely/feasible it is.

BUT I'd be wary about saying that you're relying on school to cover you for childcare - and, indeed, not just wary about saying this, but wary about doing it. You're not just asking to wfh you're also proposing (I guess) that you finish at 3.15 and then make up the hours in the evening and/or while the kids amuse themselves. This is not as easy as it sounds, believe me. It's hard work. As an employer I would exercise healthy scepticism about its feasibility. I'd rather give someone a slightly reduced hours contract tbh.

flowery Thu 15-Sep-11 10:12:17

I disagree with the others actually. If it's a dealbreaker for you, in other words you would not accept the job if they refused your request, I think it's only fair to ask the question beforehand. You say you wouldn't mind going to London two days a week - if it's a full time job then you are asking them to allow you to work from home the majority of the time - ie not one day a week or something - from day one, which is a big ask.

How about giving HR a call and saying hypothetically do they think some working from home might be a possibility. If hypothetically it isn't a complete no, then go to the interview.

hairylights Thu 15-Sep-11 11:57:04

I agree with Flowery.

It's very frustrating when you advertise a full-time office based job, offer it to a really great candidate and then they tell you they want flexibility.

I would far prefer to have it stated up front on the application form, so that I am aware of their needs and wishes prior to us all wasting our time.

Hatwoman Thu 15-Sep-11 12:46:22

I agree in principle - if it's definitely a deal breaker. But the problem/reality is you're unlikely to know if it's a deal breaker or not. Until you get the chance to get a real feel for the job and the employer (which you won't get until at least interview, possibly later) then you're not in a position to weigh everything up.

Hatwoman Thu 15-Sep-11 12:48:01

and the flip side is that the employer isn't really in a position to decide if it's a deal breaker for them until they've had chance to weigh you up (and the otehr candidates)

crystalglasses Thu 15-Sep-11 12:54:32

At the end of the interview when you are asked if you have any questions, can't you ask if there's any flexibility with regard to working from home. If they say no, you have your answer.

GeorgeEliot Fri 16-Sep-11 18:46:09

Thanks for the responses. Hatwoman, I sometimes work from home in my current job and am confident I could manage it perfectly well - eldest does not get back from school until 6 and youngest usually has clubs until 4.30 and there's always the after-school club too - but I can get work done when they are in the house as they don't really bug me.
Flowery - its a very small company so no HR department, I have been dealing direct with the CEO.
Crystalglasses - that's what I was thinking, but was wondering if it would go down badly I will already have wasted 1 1/2 hours of their time (and mine) if the answer is No.

crystalglasses Fri 16-Sep-11 20:46:30

Well, I think you will never know whether it's the job for you if you don't go for the interview. They may not offer you the job anyway.

An alternative strategy is to phone the CEO and say that you would want to work from home at least 2 days a week and ask whether it is worth them interviewing you.

I think it is always worth putting it in your application form to prevent this sort of thing happening although maybe not being too dogmatic about it so that it puts them off considering you. Sometimes firms will bend over backward for the right candidate but won't know until they've met you.

Cheria Fri 16-Sep-11 20:51:46

I think you should be open about it AT the interview, but towards the end. You don't want to put them in the position of offering you the job and then you suddenly being an unsuitable candidate (if that were to be the case).

My company is pretty good about it, but I had to do a few weeks there before they trusted me enough.

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