Job Interview Question & Answer: Are You Willing to Work Nights / Weekends / Holidays?
Why Hiring Managers Ask if You are Willing to Work Nights/Weekends/Holidays
Many entry-level jobs require long hours, especially in the service industry. For example, restaurants stay open late, retail stores need holiday employees, and maintenance workers operate on the weekends. For job hopefuls, a willingness to work beyond the typical 9:00-5:00 day can make a difference to employers.
How to Answer “Can You Work Weekends?”
Hiring managers look for candidates who have open schedules. However, someone who is available will not always have to work nights, weekends, or holidays. When answering this job interview question, try to remain honest while conveying flexibility.
Employers know that working night, weekend, and holiday shifts is not for everyone. For instance, a parent probably doesn’t want to work nights but can do days. Also, someone who is religious may need holidays or Sundays off but might not have a problem with Fridays or Saturdays.
Answers to Avoid When Asked “Are You Willing to Work Nights/Weekends/Holidays?”
Conflicts relating to a potential hire’s personal life, family, or well-being are acceptable reasons to avoid working at specific times. On the other hand, managers will not look favorably on anyone who says they do not want these hours because of their social life or events they can reschedule.
Knowing how to properly respond to “Are you willing to work nights, weekends, or holidays?” may ease a candidate’s mind and help in the interview process. Here are some samples to consider. Do not memorize them though, as they should only be a starting point to forming original answers.
Sample Answer 1 – Waiter or Waitress Job
“I understand a restaurant is busiest during nights and weekends. I am willing to work as much as you need me. That said, I also value a work-life balance. If at all possible, I would like every other Friday or Saturday off.”
Sample Answer 2 – Sales Associate Position
“Certain holidays are very important to me because I spend time with my family. Besides that, I can pick up any night and weekend shifts. I am also willing to work more time around the holiday season to help with the extra business.”
Sample Answer 3 – Administrative Assistant
“I have young kids who I would like to spend my evenings with, so I prefer to only work in the daytime. I know some times are busier than others, though, and I am willing to pick up hours when I am needed.”
Elements of Successful Responses
Stating expectations and desires about working nights, weekends, or holidays is not wrong, as long as candidates provide an honest, sensible reason as to why. It is best to explain these commitments during the hiring process. When crafting an answer, consider:
- Personal goals or habits
- Family obligations
- Lifestyle choices
When these conflict with night, weekend, or holiday hours, applicants should still try to convey their openness to working different times for the best chance at a successful job interview.