How to Answer Questions about Availability at Work

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“What is your availability to work?” is a frequent question employers ask prospective employees during interviews. In business communication, “availability” is such a broad term commonly used by interviewers and recruiters to determine whether a prospective candidate is suitable for the job being applied for. If not correctly answered, it can result in loss of job opportunities. So it has become imperative to learn how to answer the question of availability to work.

If you’re a job seeker, or you will be engaged in interviews, this piece is for you. In this article, we will give you guides you can adopt to scale the question of availability to work.

Common Terms on Availability

Open Availability Meaning

“Open availability,” when used in the context of job interviews, refers to the time you would be available for work, especially if it’s not a full-time job. It is when your schedule is considered not in conflict with a potential new job. It’s the specific times or days you will be available to work if eventually hired.

For example, if you’re already engaged with a job during the regular working hours of the week, you can say that you have open availability on weekdays from 6 pm to 8 pm and on weekends.

“I have lectures from 9 am to 2 pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and from 8 am to 1 pm on Fridays. Outside of that I am available from 2 pm to 8 pm on those days. I am also available and I’m willing to work during the weekends.”

What does disponibility mean?

Disponibility is not a common word among English users. Many people are unfamiliar with the term, but it denotes availability when used in official communication. It is used to refer to availability, something vacant or callable.

When asked about your disponibility, you are being asked about your availability. It can be demonstrated thus: “when is your disponibility?”

Meaning of Flexible in availability

Flexibility is another frequently used term in interviews. “Flexible in availability” means how flexible are you with your available time? Recruiters may want to know how you can easily adjust or respond to sudden changes in schedules. It is also common for an employer to know your willingness to take on tasks that may not be routine assignments. It is also another way of knowing your creative ability.

Availability, disponibility, and flexibility related questions are common in interviews. Check the examples on how to answer these questions. Click To Tweet

Common Questions on Availability and How to Answer

1. Are you available?

“Are you available?” is a common question recruiters regularly ask at interviews. It is a common expression to know whether you are free or available at a particular time. When asked such a question at interviews, the recruiter wants to see if you are rightly available to work.

However, it could mean whether you are available for a meeting or discussion in day-to-day official communication.

For example: “I’m available Monday through Thursday. I’m also available on Saturday.” I use Friday for my military training.

2. What is your availability to work?

When asked, “What is your availability to work?” the employer asks to know what hours you would be available to work each day.

You ought to be prepared before the interview to answer such a question. You should know your schedule and other commitments you might have. The idea behind this question is to see the time you are available, so you don’t want plans conflicts. Be polite. State your activities. If you run a part-time school program, explain what time you spend there. Express your willingness to work effectively at your available time.

For example: “I am available to work from 9 am to 3 pm during the workweek. I’m engaged with a part-time school program every evening. I’m still available all through the weekend.”

3. Please let me know what time works best for you?

Employee availability helps scheduling managers create schedules and make work stress-free. When asked, “Please let me know what time works best for you,” the interviewer requests your preferred time you are available to work. To answer such questions, feel free to communicate what time you think you are open to allow you to attend to other existing commitments.

For example: “I have a very flexible schedule, but 2 pm to 8 pm Monday to Friday is perfect for me. I will be available for any job. Thank you.”

4. When are you available?

When the interviewer asks during an interview, “when are you available?” he wants to know precisely what days and hours you will be available to work, especially if it’s part-time or a shift job. The best way to answer this question is to honestly explain what other commitments might take up your unavailable days/hours and let them know when you will be available. It will also be nice to express your flexibility around your availability hours and willingness to put in your best.

For example: “I am engaged with my sporting activity every morning between 6 am and 8 am. I’m available from 9 am to 3 pm. My weekends are also engaged as I attend weekend classes for my degree program.”

5. Please let me know your availability.

“Please let me know your availability” is an expression to know when you are free for an interview or when you are free to work. Knowing that your availability helps the organization create a workable schedule, an accurate answer will let the interviewer know what time will be convenient for you. So be firm in expressing your availability.

6. Do you have open availability?

Open availability refers to times or days when you don’t have clashes on your schedules. When asked if you have open availability, the interviewer is seeking to know what times you will be free to work without having conflicts with other commitments.

The best response you can give here is to state clearly what hours and days you would be available to work. You can say, “I have open availability from Monday to Thursday normal business hours, and I’m available on Friday and throughout the weekend.”

7. How flexible are you?

When a recruiter asks, ‘How flexible are you” he wants to know how readily you can adjust or be available to sudden changes at work. He wants to see how you will respond to circumstantial changes to a situation that may arise at work.

In such a case, you have to explain what hours or days you know you are willing to work anytime or when you could be called upon to do any sudden task.

How to Ask For More Hours at Work?

Every employee certainly likes to earn extra pay. The more hours you work, the more pay you get for those engaged in hourly work. So it is natural and healthy to ask for more hours at work. However, there are things to consider before requesting more hours at work. Here are some tips on how to ask for more hours at work.

Productivity: It is not easy to ask your manager to give you more work hours, but if your productivity is high and you add value to the organization, you will find it easy to ask for more hours at work.

Consider this tip: “Please, Sir, I would like to have more work hours because I think I can offer more than I currently do. I want to ensure that we hit our monthly targets. Thank you, Sir.” This is a polite way of saying you want to be more productive and add more value to the company.

Availability: If you find out that you have more available hours to work and you want to request more work hours, you can use this tip: “Sir, I have created more free hours for myself so that I can have more hours to put in here. I enjoy the job so much that I like to have more work hours in this place. Please could you give me more hours to work?” This will show your manager that your focus is on the job.

Asking for more hours at work translates, to some extent, asking for more pay. It is normal to ask for more hours at work, especially when you think you are not getting enough money to pick up your bills or think you are not compelling enough based on the hours of work allotted to you.

Before asking for more hours at work, be sure to add value to the company. Companies pay for value rather than hours of work. Depending on the situation, it is ideal for making such a request in writing or a formal meeting with your manager. When asking for more hours at work, focus on the values you bring and solutions you intend to solve in the company.

For example: “I find this job very engaging and exciting. I feel I’d like to have the opportunity to do more for the company. I need more time to utilize this new equipment the company just acquired. Please could you consider giving me more work hours to enable me to do more?”

How to Answer Interview Questions about Your Availability?

When asked about your work availability during an interview, express your desire to put in your best. Be honest with your schedule and other commitments. Think about your duties and see where you are available. Then state clearly your availability, and let them know how flexible you could be with your available hours. Here are some examples of how to answer interview questions about your availability.

For a full-time job: “I have prepared my mind for a full work week, and I’m ready for long hours of work. I’m willing to take up any task that may arise outside of my work schedule. I aim to put up my best and help the company grow.”

This answer shows the employer that you are fully available for work and can take up any additional task.

For a part-time or shift job: “I’m available from 9 am to 3 pm Monday through Thursday. I currently undergo paramilitary training that takes up my early morning hours. I will be willing to take up more tasks on Friday and during the weekend.”

This will clearly show to the employee that you have some commitments which are not flexible, but you are ready to utilize your available hours effectively for them.

How to Say You Are Available Anytime For an Interview?

Hiring managers are always looking for passionate, goal-oriented individuals to engage for work. However, a prospective candidate should know how to respond to questions like how to say you are available anytime for an interview. You don’t have to create an impression that you are entirely open for a discussion any day and anytime. This might present you as unserious or idle.

Even if you are idle or not engaged, it won’t do you any good to jump at an offer immediately and quickly assert that you will be available for an interview anytime. It is not for the recruiter to know what engagements you have, but let them feel a sense of responsibility and commitment on your part.

See the following examples.

“Thank you for your invitation to interview me. I can be available for interview anytime provided you give me 48 hours notice so that I can reorder my priorities.”

“Well, I’m interested in working with you. I can make myself available anytime for the interview because I have a flexible commitment. I’d appreciate some 24 hours’ notice. Thank you.

These tips will show the recruiters that you are immediately available without creating unnecessary barriers to your chances or presenting you as an idle fellow.

How to Send Availability In Email?

Employers may resort to emails to request an interview for a job or ask for your availability to work. A good response may earn you an advantage over other candidates. You must know how to craft a short but concise response that demonstrates your ability to do the job.

The first thing you have to do is thank the employer for reaching out to you. Next, you acknowledge receiving his mail for either an interview or your availability to work. (You must refer to the subject matter in your reply). Now you can respond to the request by stating whether you are available or not. Let the employer know what time or days you are available. Don’t forget to say how you can be contacted, especially when accepting the offer. Close with a compliment such as “best regards” or “sincerely.”

For example:

Dear Sir,

Thank you for inviting me for an interview for the copywriter post in your company. I appreciate the offer.

I am available on Friday from 10 am to 2 pm. You may fix the interview anytime between these hours.

If you need additional information before the interview, please let me know.

Best regards,
Bekee Okereafor
803 921 5699

What You Shouldn’t Say In The Question Of Availability?

As part of etiquette, there are things you shouldn’t say when answering the question of availability during an interview. An inappropriate response may put off an interviewer and consequently cost you the opportunity to stand for the interview. Here are some tips on what not to say.

  • Do not promise what you cannot do. Don’t say you are available at such a time you know you won’t.
  • Do not ask the interviewer to change their shift hours to suit you. It is wrong to ask the employer to adjust his schedule to accommodate your commitments.
  • Do not suddenly change your availability hours. This will portray you as unserious and untruthful before the interviewer. You ought to have prepared in advance to know your availability.

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Conclusion

Job seekers have often found it challenging to respond to availability during interviews. We hope that this article has helped you be better prepared to answer the question of availability to work.

Interviewers and recruiters are looking for persons who show confidence, knowledge of how to respond to interview questions, and ultimately people who can adapt to workplace changes.

There are ways interviewers expect a candidate to respond to question of availability to work. If you follow the simple steps enumerated in this article, we believe you will scale interview questions and impress your interviewers.

Good luck!

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Kalpataru Biswas

Kalpataru is a Software Sales, and Product Marketing professional. He writes on business development, personal development, personal finance, and career development. He has more than 10 years of experience in driving revenue through data-driven Sales & Marketing.

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