An employer asks the best time to contact you for an interview because he does not want to have to call repeatedly. While you want to make yourself available, you must assess your situation and provide the true best time you may be reached. To determine the best time, consider your schedule and your other obligations.
Your Work Schedule
Advance Testing asks the following questions on its job application relating to calling prospective employees at work: "May we contact you at work?" and "If yes, work number and best time to call." Before you answer these types of questions, consider the nature of your current work, your current work schedule and your current work situation. If you work at a restaurant or in a busy environment, it is probably not a good idea to have a prospective employer call you at work. On the other hand, if you have a desk job and you have the opportunity to answer phone calls, a call from a future employer may be acceptable. Also, you must consider the possibility that your current employer may become aware of any calls you receive at work from a prospective future employer. So, if your current employer is not aware that you are seeking new employment, do not allow these types of calls at work.
Also consider your other obligations, such as children, school or volunteer commitments. For example, you cannot answer your phone during class so do not say that you are available for contact during class time. After you consider your schedule, find a time that you know you are available. Even if you are only available for a limited time, place that time on your application. For example, your availability time is Monday through Wednesday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Advance testing also asks, "If necessary, best time to call you at home is_." Answer this question as accurately as possible and place the same availability time on all job applications you submit.
Keep Your Phone Nearby
No employer expects you to wait by the phone. But during your job search, keep your phone close by during your stated availability times. With a cell phone, this is not particularly difficult. Simply, keep your phone on the loudest setting and place it on a table next to wherever you are during those time periods; be sure the battery is charged. Being available for the call will expedite the hiring process. Also, if you are the type of person, as many people are, who does not answer a call from a phone number you do not know, you may miss a call from a prospective employer. Answer unfamiliar numbers during your job search.
Be prepared for the call. Practice your most professional voice inflection and dialogue. Even a 30-second phone call leaves an impression on an employer. Do not have loud voices, television or music playing in the background. Do not allow constant interruptions by children or others while on the phone with a prospective employer. Be considerate of the employer's time and do not prolong the conversation beyond what the employer is calling about. Any questions or comments you have can wait for a face-to-face meeting.