When should you say you can start a job? When asked in an interview, you don’t want to seem overly desperate or too relaxed with your answer. Here’s how to respond when an employer asks, “When would you be able to start working?”
One excellent response for when you should say you can start a job is, “When is it most convenient for you to have me start?”
It’s crucial to be prepared for this question. Do you need to talk to your current employer before mentioning a possible start date? You don’t want relations to sour before leaving your current role. Make sure you respond to this question while allowing for that possible transition period. (For instance, “After I put in my two weeks notice, I’ll be available to start anytime after that end date.”)
Rather than eagerly blurting out, “I can start right now!,” it’s best to ask for a bit more time. That way, you can tie up any loose ends at home you’ve been putting off while at work, for example. It’s far easier to start with “I can start in two and a half weeks” and whittle down the time based on your potential employer’s needs, rather than saying you can start tomorrow and then attempting to ask for an extension.
Much of the question, “When should you say you can start a job?” comes from your current role. Do you have a contractual obligation to give a certain amount of notice before leaving? Did you commit to a project that must be finished before you leave your current role? If either of those situations apply to you, then you should mention in your interview that once those obligations are fulfilled, you can start on (specific date).
If you aren’t currently employed, you may have more leeway to say you can start immediately.
It’s important to remember that the question, “When can you start?” is not a formal job offer. It’s an estimate that tells the employer when you can get the next necessary steps in order to potentially start in this new role. Before telling your current boss you have accepted another offer, make sure it’s definitely on the table.
When Should You Say You Can Start A Job?
There’s no solid textbook answer to this question. But based on your current employment status, you can gauge when to tell a potential employer when you can start working.