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I'm about to finish my master's degree so I've been applying to jobs, many of them state or federal that take a bit more time to hear back from. Two of them contacted me to set up interviews a ways out, which are now coming up. However, due to some personal and mental health reasons, I made some commitments this summer now and will not be available for work until September. None of these jobs have start dates listed but I feel like since they're interviewing now they probably want someone to start before then.

I don't want to waste their time or my time if they definitely can't wait that long, but is it appropriate to email the hiring manage and just let them know my availability? Or should I still wait for the interview to be conducted and tell them then?

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  • is it appropriate to email the hiring manage and just let them know my availability? - Yes.
    – joeqwerty
    Mar 30, 2023 at 16:17
  • Are these roles specifically for graduates? Many employers will put all graduates through a group training of some kind, which requires everyone's start dates to align (which would mean they are inflexible on when you could start) -- though this often means that they pick a start date in late summer/early autumn to make sure all candidates are available (this in turn could be good if it means they don't want you to start till September anyway).
    – Dakeyras
    Mar 30, 2023 at 21:14
  • @JoeStrazzere Yes, it relates more to needing a mental break after grad school then anything serious, so I'm not worried about that. A good thing to keep in mind though! Mar 31, 2023 at 0:38
  • @Dakeyras not specifically, though a few are. That's a good idea to keep an eye out for though, thanks! It's just hard when none of them put start dates on the description (I'm not mad about it, but I wish I knew ahead of time). Mar 31, 2023 at 0:40

3 Answers 3

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is it appropriate to email the hiring manage and just let them know my availability?

If you have already indicated a different availability (perhaps in a cover letter), then it's completely appropriate to call and inform them of the change in your availability.

If you haven't yet indicated when you would be available, wait until the interview process. Often an interested employer will ask when you could start. At that time, talk about September.

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You should reach out to the hiring manager and ask for the potential start date. There is no need to mention your availability yet.

If the hiring manager doesn't know or doesn't give you an answer, this should be one of your questions during the interview. Once again, their is no need to mention your availability at that point.

Once you do receive an offer, that would be the time to negotiate your start date if the one that the company has offered does not line up with your prior commitments. Of course you should be honest about why you need to start at a later date. If you are a strong enough candidate and the company does not have an urgent need to immediately fill the position, you should have little issue pushing back the start date. Good luck.

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It never hurts to build a strong business relationship, sharpen your interview skills, and broaden your network.

It's up to you if it's not worth your time, but I would go for it if you value the organization and relationship.

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