I was a Master's student at a university and got suspended for reasons. I have 2 courses left before I can get my Master's. It has been about 4 years since I've been out of college and I'd taken a full time job in a different city since.

I recently reapplied to return to the same university to complete my Master's degree and I received my admit 3 days ago. Since my college is in a different city (3 hours away), I need to quit my job in my current city to go to my classes. That means, I need a new job in the city where the college is.

So I am about to start job hunting in a week or two and I have a problem. The two classes I need for graduation are being taught on a Wednesday and Thursday (2 to 5:15 PM).

With that in mind, I have the following questions:

  1. Is it common and acceptable for an interview candidate to ask to be gone twice a week to go to his classes?
  2. At what stage of the interview do I need to tell my potential employer regarding this? The first time they call/After I get the offer?
  3. Should I take a stern and confident move when I "announce" that I shall be out of office from 2PM twice a week? Or should I humbly request if that will be OK?
  4. This is just for 5 months (1 semester) and I will be coming back with my Master's, so would the employer not see this as that big a deal?

I definitely intend on making up for the missing hours if I am behind on my work. Should I mention this when I request/demand?

Note 2:
I am in the field of Computer Science and I am a Programmer in my current job. The city I am moving to usually has a lot of jobs in IT departments of financial industries.

  • I have considered that. But I just prefer an office environment to work from rather than telecommute. But if I cannot find a physical workplace to work from while going to my classes, I will go to telecommute jobs as a last resort. Commented Oct 15, 2018 at 13:52
  • Can you add which country you're in? In NL (where I live), you'd just apply for a 32 hour job, mention it during the first interview (and when your classes are) and you schedule your work around those times. Don't forget that programmers are in extremely high demand, so going for a 32 hour week should cut you all the slack you need. A 32 hour week would also negate the need to work additional hours to make up for "lost time" -> 1 - time spend learning is not lost; 2 - you weren't supposed to work at that time anyway.
    – rkeet
    Commented Oct 15, 2018 at 20:41

2 Answers 2


Is it common and acceptable for an interview candidate to ask to be gone twice a week?

Yes, often employers allow employees to do learning outside work hours.

At what stage of the interview do I need to tell my potential employer?

At the very first point of contact. Once they've reviewed your CV and contacted you for the next stage you should be upfront and mention this. It will hinder your chances of securing a job but a lot of places will allow this and potentially class you as part time then continue full time once you've completed your masters.

You should not ask if it will be okay but rather be firm and make sure than the employer knows that these are the conditions that you require. ENSURE it is not demanding but make it clear of what accommodations you require and if not you move on and look else where. Make sure they do not use this against you. For example; Cutting your wage for you to attend your College instead of paying you for the hours that you do work.

At first contact just say

I am completing my masters degree Wednesday and Thursday from 2pm for a 5 month period of time. Would you be able to cater for this?

Don't waste any time when you don't have to.

I definitely intend on making up for the missing hours

100% tell them this, they will appreciate the effort and what you're doing to makeup for the time you need way.

They may potentially start you off as a part-time employee and once you get your Master's you may even get a promotion in the near future. Although it may be harder for you to find a job, when a company caters for these needs then it could be good for you to find an ideal company that is more lenient on your self development so either way this is good for you.

  • @JoeStrazzere Agreed, I made an edit
    – Twyxz
    Commented Oct 15, 2018 at 13:57
  • @JoeStrazzere I have elaborated
    – Twyxz
    Commented Oct 15, 2018 at 14:00
  • 2
    If you were to replace "stern" with "firm" I think this answer would be much better. I think it's appropriate to consider the willingness to accommodate the classes as a deal breaker in negotiations but "stern" seems to convey a few too many negative connotations for my taste. Good answer otherwise though!
    – motosubatsu
    Commented Oct 15, 2018 at 15:03

I would let them know when I received an official offer since it really isn't relevant until that point. Then while telling them of my issue, I would ask if that was acceptable while telling them that you fully intend on making up the time by coming in early, working late or working on the weekend... whatever was the most convenient for them. Then let them decide if they want to pull the offer or define the terms of you leaving for class. If they decide to continue with your employment, make sure you have the terms of leaving for class and when you are expected to make up the hours written into your offer letter! This prevents them from changing the terms or giving you a hassle after you start your new job.

I do the same thing when it comes to planned vacations. Once I receive an offer, I tell them that I have vacations plans for such and such dates and I ask to have it written into my offer once I am told that it isn't a problem.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .