I know this sounds strange but it's a real problem. I have been applying for full time, office type jobs and have been getting phone calls from various companies trying to arrange an interview with me. Some companies I have already gone in for a first round interview and they want me in for another.

I have taken a weeks worth of work at an auto show gig. The hours are very long (12 hours or longer) and we can't use our phones at work. The breaks are short and there's no quiet area to make a phone call.

I get off work at 10pm and can leave a voice message for prospective employers trying to contact me. I did this once but couldn't find the words and came across awkward. What do I actually say to explain this? The jobs I'm applying for are nothing to do with cars, so it sounds strange to leave the voice message "I am working at the auto show and can't return your call for the next week".

Is it even worth saying I can call them before 7am or after 10pm?

Some of the companies who left me voice messages did not provide an email address (or have been unresponsive to emails) so email is not an option.

  • 1
    The last part is a seperate question - you should ask it as such. There's a "one question per posted question" policy.
    – Erik
    Commented Mar 30, 2017 at 7:10
  • Also I would change the title to reflect that you're looking for what to put in your voicemail message when companies call you when you're busy all week. :)
    – Erik
    Commented Mar 30, 2017 at 7:11
  • Also, you do not need to mention why you cannot get back to them. Or at least you do not need to be so explicit. "Hi, thanks for your call. I'd love to come in for an interview on so-and-so day at so-and-so time. (As an aside, just so you know, because of my current work schedule, I can only return your call after hours, but I will make time in my schedule for the interview.) Thanks again and I'm excited to meet you." Everything in parentheses is optional :). Commented Mar 30, 2017 at 8:12
  • Are you okay with annoying potential employers at these unconventional hours? You say leave a message but in most cases your contacts will either not have voicemail because they're calling from a corporate landline, or will use the same number for personal calls and you'll be calling them from a number they probably don't recognise.
    – Lilienthal
    Commented Mar 30, 2017 at 10:20
  • @Lilienthal why would you say corporate landlines don't have voice mail? This has never been my experience.
    – user63507
    Commented Apr 4, 2017 at 18:10

1 Answer 1


You need to give them enough info, but not a life story:

Hi, this is CoolBeans returning your call. Apologies for the late hour, I've been working some extended shifts. I will be available for interviews from {x_date}. If you could arrange these by email, via the email address on my resume, that would be great. Thanks. Bye

Ticks all the boxes, reveals only the essentials

  • Just be sure that your current employer cannot reach you on this number, either directly or through call forwarding.
    – Masked Man
    Commented Mar 30, 2017 at 18:23

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