Before answering scheduling questions, it's important to be clear on the interviewer's expectations. If you haven't had a chance to clarify their scheduling needs, now would be the perfect time to ask!
Consider asking, 'What are the scheduling expectations for this position?' If they expect you to work 12 hour days, it would be important for you to know that before you respond with, 'Absolutely! No problem!' You want to be sure that you can meet their expectations.
If it turns out their schedule expectations won't work for you, think about what you CAN offer and see if you can meet in the middle. It's much better to discuss these things in an interview than for you to commit to a schedule that won't work for you.
"I am available for full time work which is preferably 8-5 Monday to Friday. I am happy to be a team player and work some overtime, as required. Will these hours meet your expectations?"
"If overtime is required in this role, I am happy to accommodate whenever I can. My only restriction is that I cannot work Wednesday nights as I have an evening course those days."
"I am willing to work overtime, but how much and how often are the first questions that come to mind. I firmly believe that downtime, or personal time, are essential to recharging your batteries and staying focused. When the pressure is on, I will be here. I just hope that the pressure is not "always on"."
Sales answer example
"I am looking to retain my current schedule as much as possible, which is currently Monday through Friday from 8:00 - 5:00. I understand with sales that there will occasionally be times when we need to put in more hours to get a deal closed or a quota met. I am absolutely intending on making those moments happen, putting in the extra hours to get the sale for the good of the organization is something I'm one hundred percent on board with.
I'm able to be adaptable and a team player as needed, too, of course. Beyond that, would there be any other instances of overtime I should be aware of?"
Retail answer example
"In retail, I anticipate working over 40 hours, especially around the holidays. That said, that obviously comes with some limits as I do value my work-life balance."
Teacher answer example
"As a teacher, we don't leave our work, ever. So, while the school day may be from 7:45 to 3:00, I take my job home with me on nights and weekends. Not to mention, I am currently a soccer coach at the district high school, too, so I am no stranger to long days and nights."
Marketing answer example
"In a salaried role such as this, I don't expect a strict 40 hour per week schedule, but I also know that I'm looking for a work-life balance. As needed, I'd be available to dedicate more time to the team, while hoping to preserve that balance."