Author Topic: How to ask for a different interview time?  (Read 3973 times)

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Bottlecaps

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How to ask for a different interview time?
« on: April 01, 2013, 04:05:06 PM »
Starting this evening I'm going to be putting in job applications and hoping to goodness I get calls for at least a few of them. I know sometimes when a business calls to set up an interview, they ask what time works for you. A lot of times though, they'll say (for example), "How about 2:00 PM on Wednesday?" Due to Mr. Bottlecaps' crazy work hours though, I'll have to consult his work schedule for a quick minute before agreeing to a time, to ensure I'll actually be able to make it to said interview. What I want to know, is there an Ehell-approved way of saying that the time they have in mind doesn't work for me and then naming a time that does? I don't want to come across as a special snowflake or as, "I really need this job but screw what works for you, it's all about meeee." I thought about saying, "Well my boyfriend works (insert times here) that day, is there any way possible I could get a different appointment please?" I don't know how professional that sounds though, and it leads me into worrying that they might think I won't be dependable. Any suggestions?

Thanks in advance! :)
"Some of the most wonderful people are the ones who don't fit into boxes." -Tori Amos


TurtleDove

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Re: How to ask for a different interview time?
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2013, 04:17:05 PM »
I wouldn't mention your boyfriend at all.  I would simply state the facts that matter.  "Two o'clock does not work for me.  Would three o'clock work for you?  Otherwise I am available any time between 8 and 10 on Thursday morning."

It is okay to have things to do even when you are looking for a job.  Your potential employer does not need to know what those things are. 

QueenfaninCA

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Re: How to ask for a different interview time?
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2013, 04:19:39 PM »
Why does your significant other's work schedule have any bearing on when you are available for an interview? Also, how will this work out once you have the job? That's what I would think if you told me you can't come because your boyfriend is working at that time. I'd pretty much not be interested in interviewing you anymore unless you were really way above all other applicants on paper.

You either just say that you will not be available at that time (and perhaps offer a different time) or if you give a reason it should not be one that has me running for the hills.

Moray

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Re: How to ask for a different interview time?
« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2013, 04:26:52 PM »
I wouldn't mention your boyfriend at all.  I would simply state the facts that matter.  "Two o'clock does not work for me.  Would three o'clock work for you?  Otherwise I am available any time between 8 and 10 on Thursday morning."

It is okay to have things to do even when you are looking for a job.  Your potential employer does not need to know what those things are.

POD.
Utah

artk2002

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Re: How to ask for a different interview time?
« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2013, 04:37:03 PM »
I'm not seeing the issue. Saying "I'm sorry, 2PM doesn't work for me, how about 3PM?" is perfectly polite. Giving a range (over several days and several hours) is best. That's how meetings are negotiated in business all the time.

OP, perhaps you can explain to us why you wouldn't do that.

I agree with PP as well that you do not have to explain why the time doesn't work.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. -Mark Twain

Bottlecaps

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Re: How to ask for a different interview time?
« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2013, 04:47:47 PM »
I wouldn't mention your boyfriend at all.  I would simply state the facts that matter.  "Two o'clock does not work for me.  Would three o'clock work for you?  Otherwise I am available any time between 8 and 10 on Thursday morning."

It is okay to have things to do even when you are looking for a job.  Your potential employer does not need to know what those things are.

That's a good way of putting it. Thanks. :)

You either just say that you will not be available at that time (and perhaps offer a different time) or if you give a reason it should not be one that has me running for the hills.

Thanks for the suggestion. :)

I'm not seeing the issue. Saying "I'm sorry, 2PM doesn't work for me, how about 3PM?" is perfectly polite. Giving a range (over several days and several hours) is best. That's how meetings are negotiated in business all the time.

OP, perhaps you can explain to us why you wouldn't do that.

I agree with PP as well that you do not have to explain why the time doesn't work.

Hehe, I guess I'm just too used to living in a place where everyone knows everyone and therefore people feel perfectly entitled to ask questions that really aren't any of their business. (For example, if I were to say that I couldn't do that time and ask for a different time, I would be met with, "Oh, I see. Well why does that time not work for you?") I pretty much bread myself to always give a reason before even being asked for the reason, because I knew I would be asked anyway. Hopefully though I won't run into that down here! :-P

Ya'll are right though, I guess I shouldn't have to explain why the time doesn't work - just say it doesn't and offer a time that does. Thanks everyone. :)
"Some of the most wonderful people are the ones who don't fit into boxes." -Tori Amos


camlan

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Re: How to ask for a different interview time?
« Reply #6 on: April 01, 2013, 04:55:34 PM »
Please don't mention your boyfriend or his schedule or the fact that you are reliant on someone else's schedule at all. It's an immediate and huge red flag that you might have difficulties getting to work on time. If you are applying for jobs that might have shifting schedules, it's an even bigger red flag.

Not saying that you, personally, will have trouble getting to work on time. But that's what it is going to seem like to a potential employer.

All you need to do is say that you need to check your calendar, take a quick look at your BF's schedule, and come back to say either the time and date are fine, or they aren't but give some days and times that are.

I've done a fair bit of hiring. Usually, I'd try to give the applicant a choice of two days/times. But even then, many couldn't make either appointment, and I'd just find another time to interview them.
Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, “I’m possible!” –Audrey Hepburn


Margo

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Re: How to ask for a different interview time?
« Reply #7 on: April 02, 2013, 11:42:11 AM »
I wouldn't mention your boyfriend at all.  I would simply state the facts that matter.  "Two o'clock does not work for me.  Would three o'clock work for you?  Otherwise I am available any time between 8 and 10 on Thursday morning."

It is okay to have things to do even when you are looking for a job.  Your potential employer does not need to know what those things are.

This. Not being immediately available isn't a bad thing -

xanne

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Re: How to ask for a different interview time?
« Reply #8 on: April 02, 2013, 12:58:19 PM »
I set up at least 20 interviews a year for my company.  We are big believers in work life balance.  In the e-mail I send to set up a time, I give some options and note that if none work for the candidate, to please suggest something.  The only times that we decided not to interview people was when they weren't available for a couple of weeks. 

Bottlecaps

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Re: How to ask for a different interview time?
« Reply #9 on: April 02, 2013, 03:01:31 PM »
Thank you all. I really appreciate the suggestions and advice! :)
"Some of the most wonderful people are the ones who don't fit into boxes." -Tori Amos