Job Interview Question and Answer: “Can You Work Nights, Weekends and Holidays?”
Why Hiring Managers Ask About Your Availability
Service industry jobs often require employees to be on the clock beyond the typical nine-to-five workday. Employers want to know whether applicants are willing to work unconventional hours during evenings, weekends, and holidays to benefit the business. A strong answer can show your dedication to creating a schedule that works for you and the company.
How to Answer “Can You Work Weekends?”
Honesty and flexibility are essential when responding to this question. Be upfront about your availability and be firm on the days you would prefer to work. If you cannot work weekends, nights, or holidays due to family commitments or other outside obligations, discuss alternatives that would satisfy you and your potential employer.
Responses to Avoid
Saying that you can’t work weekends due to frivolous reasons might make interviewers think you are lazy or irresponsible. As such, you should try to avoid mentioning social events or downtime activities when refusing weekend, holiday, or night shifts.
Sample Answers for “Are You Able to Work Weekend and Holiday Shifts?”
Job hopefuls need a straightforward answer that highlights their personal needs while also showing their ability to cooperate and compromise. Here are some examples of good responses that can help you form a solid reply of your own.
Sample Job 1 – Restaurant Server
“My schedule is pretty flexible, so I am open to working as much as I can. I know that nights and weekends are the busiest times for restaurants, so I’m willing to work as much as you need me during those times. However, I also value having a healthy work-life balance, so I would like to have every other Friday or Saturday off if possible.”
Sample Job 2 – Department Store Sales Associate
“I have young children, so I would prefer to work during the day when they are at school. I would also like to have Sundays and certain holidays off so I can observe my religious practices. Aside from that, I am open to picking up a few nights and weekends. I can also work through the majority of the busy holiday season.”
Sample Job 3 – Home Health Aide
“I understand that some clients require 24-hour care, and I am willing to help out as much as I can. Though I am mostly available for night shifts, I can take on a few short morning shifts during the weekends. As for the holidays, I would prefer to have at least one holiday off so I can spend it with my family.”
Employers understand that workers have other obligations that can make them unavailable for night, weekend, and holiday shifts. Explain your reasons for being unable to work during those times, and offer alternatives that would be more convenient. Using this approach can help you give a successful answer to this question during your next interview.