Interview: what to say about a start date

(4 Posts)
AJS2019 Tue 19-Jan-21 08:13:56

Hello all
I have an interview tomorrow, first one in a while, I really want this job as its a great fit and I know I can do it. I am stressing about the question 'when can you start?' we are in lockdown, I am homeschooling the kids and their school is really on it this time around so its a full school day. Rumours are we are not getting out of lockdown until March so I will not look that attractive to the firm if someone else says they can start immediately. Its not a key role so I doubt the school will take more children as they have alot in as it is (more than half!). I live very rural and have no other family to fall back on plus hubs starts his new job on 1st Feb. Am I fretting over nothing? I really need to make a good impression as interviews are few a far between these days. Thanks everyone

OP’s posts: |
peanacat Tue 19-Jan-21 10:38:02

Is it possible to work from home in this job? I assume not. If it isn’t a ‘key’ job, then you are not allowed a school place regardless if they would let you, so it’s unreasonable for them to expect you to go into work until school is open again.

Your post leaves many unanswered questions as to what to suggest. Is it full-time, as in, could you fit schooling in around your work, by doing it on the weekend or part-time days off etc? Do you have a partner that could change shifts or anything? You could suggest that you do part-time hours to allow schooling until school is open, then go full-time? It would show you really wanted the role.

Not great timing to have a job interview when you can’t start it straight away, but that’s kinda the hand you’ve been dealt. You will just have to answer honestly and hope they still think you the best candidate.

maxelly Tue 19-Jan-21 11:05:44

I don't think there's an easy answer unfortunately, but I think you are right, I wouldn't be counting on schools being properly back until after Easter holidays unfortunately. How old are your DC, are they of an age where you can set them up with their home learning in the morning and then be reasonably productive at work, able to take calls etc and perhaps catching up in the evenings if you occasionally need to take a few minutes to help them out, or are they very little/needing constant supervision? Will both you and your DH be at home, can you 'tag team' the looking after them so you each are uninterrupted at least 50% of the time? What kind of job is it, some jobs are better suited to WFH around home learning than others?

Also dependent on what kind of role it is, for professional and managerial roles a 3 month notice period is fairly standard so I wouldn't be particularly surprised or put out if someone told me they couldn't start until the spring, whereas for an admin type role I guess I would be more expecting them to start within the next month or so... personally as a manager I would try to be understanding of people's personal circumstances especially at the moment, and I wouldn't usually let when someone can start be the deciding factor, I would be prepared to wait for the right candidate but then again not everyone would be the same so I understand your fear.

I guess all you can do is be honest, if there's a way you can make it work to start earlier with some flexibility/understanding around the children then say so, if not your only choice will be to say you can only start when the DC are back at school and hope for the best?

AJS2019 Tue 19-Jan-21 11:24:40

I applied back when we were not in lockdown, I feel I have to keep applying as life cannot stop just because we are in this temporary situation. My DC are 4 and 7 so its not easy to leave them to it. The job itself is part time but core hours are daytime, I don't know yet if home working is available, its in a distribution center so I am guessing not. Today they are now saying they won't be back until Easter, this job is slipping away I fear. Its all very bad timing I know especially with DH starting his new job too - office job BTW. I feel like I am never going to get a job at this rate, I know there are probably loads out there in the same situation, its all very depressing. Oh well I will still interview as its good practise but I'm not hopeful given the situation. Thank you

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