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Time off for job interviews

Miss Sparkly

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jan 2, 2010
Messages
1,664
I've finally come to the point that no matter how much I love my coworkers it's not going to make my pay higher or my boredom go away. I have been so lucky in the past to just fall into the positions that I have and so it's never occurred to me how I'm going to take time off for job interviews. The company doesn't know that I'm going to start looking and I don't want them to know. I'm thinking of trying to schedule it around my lunch hour and just letting my supervisor know that I have an appointment. I've had some medical issues come up lately and will be going to the doc for follow-up appointments so I'm hoping that she'll just think that they're related. Any tips or advice of how to pull this off without tipping off the entire office floor?
 

Aoife

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 23, 2010
Messages
1,779
The most ethical thing to do would be to use your vacation time (either half day or full day) on the days you interview. If you try to wedge the interview in to your lunch hour, first you are assuming that there with be someone at the company you are hoping to join who is available to interview you over lunch time. Second, what if the interview runs long, are you really going to be at your best if you know that you are expected back at your current job? And third, and most important, the company you are interviewing with will probably not be impressed with the fact that you are using your current employer's time (which personal time off for a doctor's appointment is) to interview for another job. That's not a first impression I'd want to make!

Good luck on the job search, by the way!
 

Miss Sparkly

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jan 2, 2010
Messages
1,664
Sorry. I should have been more clear. I would take it off without pay. Also, I am trying not to raise eyebrows and any kind of last minute leave does along with the fact that it is difficult to take time off since the department is so small
 

Pandora II

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 3, 2006
Messages
9,613
Here many firms will do interviews at 5 or 6pm.

I would take the morning or afternoon off.
 

mary poppins

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 10, 2010
Messages
2,569
Perhaps your future potential employers could accommodate by scheduling an interview during non-work hours - before or after the usual work day or on a Saturday. Also, instead of scheduling an interview on short notice, perhaps you could ask for an interview the following week so you can give better notice of time off to your current employer.

Potential employers usually appreciate hearing you are being considerate to your current employer because it shows you will be conscientious of the potential employer's time if they hire you. If a potential employer isn't accommodating at all at the outset, it's probably not a great place to work anyway.

Good luck with your job hunt!
 

iheartscience

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 1, 2007
Messages
12,111
I always just say I have an appointment and try to schedule the interview either in the morning or in the afternoon so I can either just come in late or go home early.
 

jewelerman

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 30, 2007
Messages
3,101
a lot of companies will work with the right candidate and it seems that many companies are phone interviewing as the first initial contact.Request that you have a phone interview on your day off ,after work or lunch hour.I think that when you give the interested party several times that you are available to talk shows that you are interested in the position and are trying to be a problem solver. Relating to the interviewer a concern that the interview is important to you and that you don't want to waste the interviewers time by trying to squeeze in a quick lunch hour interview may work to your advantage.
 

nkarma

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jul 13, 2009
Messages
636
I have done this. You do feel guilty for having so many "appts," but in the end you get the job you want. I probably interviewed with 8-10 companies and every one of them was understanding on wanting to lessen the number of hours I was away from my current job. I even had an interview scheduled for 4:30 on the Friday. When I said I had doctor appts, I think people just assumed I had some personal health issues but didn't ask further. They figured it out once I said I was leaving and nobody blamed me for referring to interviews as appts. The few times I have seen someone tell their boss that they are looking somewhere else, I have seen the employee get royally screwed aka "you are fired now and everyone that calls here for reference will hear that you suck."
 

wannaBMrsH

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Sep 27, 2008
Messages
1,049
I completely agree to taking the morning, afternoon or even the whole day off for interviews. I've never lied to my employer, but I don't elaborate either. I just submit a request for time off with no comments. If my boss asks me what it's about, I always make sure I give a very uncomfortable pause and then quietly say that I have an appointment. I think that drives the point that I am not interested in telling them and I also don't have to make up stories that will be discovered to be lies going forward.

Also, being in HR, I always know when people are interviewing if they schedule the interviews around work for the following reasons:

First, they always end up running late from their appointments. This is because most people only get one hour for lunch. Assuming that their interview is within a 10 minute drive, that only leaves you with about 30 minutes for your interview. Most face to face interviews take longer. In addition, I haven't had a single interview in the last 10 years with only one person. Most (including us when we interview candidates) schedule at least 2 people other than the hiring manager and HR to speak to the candidate.

Second, they always come dressed up to work -easiest giveaway. No matter what industry I work in, I know that it's weird for people to wear "interview" clothes randomly. So, when I interview, I always take the time off so that I don't have to wear that clothes to the office.

Finally, immediately before and after an interview, people are completely distracted. They are either focused on their research for the interview or nervous about what they are going to say, or they are still replaying it in their head. I've actually had employees ask me interview questions as they second guess their answers!

Take the day (even if only half) and focus on your interview, do your research, dress well and take as much time as you need. Then call a friend to debrief and regroup before going home and changing your clothes and clearing your head before you go back to work!
 

lliang_chi

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 13, 2008
Messages
3,740
For phone interview I usually schedule it for an hour and work through lunch or stay an hour later/come in earlier. Typically I'll duck out to an outside location somewhat far from the office.

For in person interviews, I ask for them first thing in the morning. Then I'll stay late and make up my work. I have never told a current employer I'm looking for work. I've had only 1 interview where it was only 1 round, and it was for 3-4 hours. Otherwise most interviews are 2 rounds 1.5-2 hrs each. First round with an HR rep and hiring manager, 2nd round with hiring manager and others (e.g. directors or coworkers).

Good luck on your interviews.

~LC
 

zoebartlett

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 29, 2006
Messages
12,450
I haven't read the replies yet so I may be repeating others' advice. I'd recommend against going on interviews during your lunch hour. So many things could happen (interview running over, etc.), and that would be hard to explain. I actually recommend being honest with your boss. Your whole floor or department doesn't need to know. I've always been open with my boss at times when I was looking for a new job and had interviews lined up. I just found that it was easier than sneaking around, plus, I could ask for a letter of recommendation.
 

Miss Sparkly

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jan 2, 2010
Messages
1,664
Zoe|1306278595|2929476 said:
I haven't read the replies yet so I may be repeating others' advice. I'd recommend against going on interviews during your lunch hour. So many things could happen (interview running over, etc.), and that would be hard to explain. I actually recommend being honest with your boss. Your whole floor or department doesn't need to know. I've always been open with my boss at times when I was looking for a new job and had interviews lined up. I just found that it was easier than sneaking around, plus, I could ask for a letter of recommendation.
Sadly if I do that my rear end will be out the door before I knew what hit me. Word travels quickly, intentionally or unintentionally and in my industry as soon as notice is given you are immediately told to pack your desk and leave. It heps to ensure that clients are not taken to your next job (on the bright side it's two weeks paid vacation!). When/if I do have an interview I'll make sure to schedule for late afternoon so I'm not worrying about when I can make it into my job. If my luck holds out on me I'll probably meet somebody in a grocery store, go in for an interview, and be hired from there ::)
 

zoebartlett

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 29, 2006
Messages
12,450
Sparkly Blonde|1306284188|2929554 said:
Zoe|1306278595|2929476 said:
I haven't read the replies yet so I may be repeating others' advice. I'd recommend against going on interviews during your lunch hour. So many things could happen (interview running over, etc.), and that would be hard to explain. I actually recommend being honest with your boss. Your whole floor or department doesn't need to know. I've always been open with my boss at times when I was looking for a new job and had interviews lined up. I just found that it was easier than sneaking around, plus, I could ask for a letter of recommendation.
Sadly if I do that my rear end will be out the door before I knew what hit me. Word travels quickly, intentionally or unintentionally and in my industry as soon as notice is given you are immediately told to pack your desk and leave. It heps to ensure that clients are not taken to your next job (on the bright side it's two weeks paid vacation!). When/if I do have an interview I'll make sure to schedule for late afternoon so I'm not worrying about when I can make it into my job. If my luck holds out on me I'll probably meet somebody in a grocery store, go in for an interview, and be hired from there ::)
Really? That surprises me. It doesn't seem fair to be treated that way by higher ups and/or other coworkers.
 

Pandora II

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 3, 2006
Messages
9,613
Zoe|1306278595|2929476 said:
I haven't read the replies yet so I may be repeating others' advice. I'd recommend against going on interviews during your lunch hour. So many things could happen (interview running over, etc.), and that would be hard to explain. I actually recommend being honest with your boss. Your whole floor or department doesn't need to know. I've always been open with my boss at times when I was looking for a new job and had interviews lined up. I just found that it was easier than sneaking around, plus, I could ask for a letter of recommendation.
Gosh, I don't know anyone here who would tell their company they were interviewing unless the company/department was folding and it was openly expected that everyone was applying for new jobs.

What if you don't get one - then you are royally screwed with your current employer. I also don't know of any employer who would expect an employee to be upfront about it either. They're often in the business of trying to attract good employees away from their current company so they know the score.

One thing a lot of people do do in London is to keep their cv updated with recruitment consultants and an eye on what they are worth in the market fairly openly - it never hurts for an employer to know that you don't consider them the only option!
 

zoebartlett

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 29, 2006
Messages
12,450
I should clarify. I forget what field you're in, SB, but in my field (teaching), we're tenured after 3 years working in the same district, so it's not likely that someone would be canned after telling the boss she's looking/interviewing. Also, we're contracted employees, so we can't be let go until the end of the school year, should that need to happen at all. I have also been honest with bosses in the past before I got into teaching, however. I never worried about what would happen if I told my boss that I had an interview and then didn't get the position. I'm sorry that you'd be treated so horribly if you took this approach, SB. Maybe it wasn't the best advice for you. I just hate sneaking around, but I do get that maybe you have to. It's an unfortunate situation.

In any case, I do still agree with the others that I'd take a day off or half a day at least.
 
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