How to get time off work for a job interview

Sneaking out of work

If you’re in a full time role but would like to look elsewhere, the prospect of attending interviews and getting the time off work could prove problematic. It would be unwise to quit your current job in the hope that another opportunity will arise quickly, which leaves the only option of taking time off work.

Here are some ideas to help you decide how to get time off work to attend a job interview…

Take an extended lunch break

This isn’t going to be possible for everyone when typically a job interview will last much longer than a lunch break. However, if the employer isn’t too far away from your current location and you are able to ask for an extended lunch break, you may be able to squeeze it in.

You will not always be asked why you want to take extra time for lunch, which is why this could be the best opportunity for you – especially if you don’t have any holidays left. If you do have to give a reason or are asked casually why, you could just say you have a doctor’s appointment.

This brings us onto…

Tell a white lie

When questioned about taking time off work, you can basically say anything you want as long as it’s believable. If you decide to take a few days off work or extend your lunch break to attend an interview, you can give any reason you like. However, calling in sick might not be your best choice.

“You don’t want to tarnish your attendance record at your current job, plus who knows how many interviews you’ll need to attend – you can’t call in sick every time!” : Bridgewater UK

It’s always better to tell a white lie than to say ‘mind your own business’. Keep everything casual and friendly so as not to raise any suspicion. If your story doesn’t hold up you are likely to give the game away.

Attend the interview outside of working hours

Don’t be afraid to contact the employer and ask them if it’s possible to arrange an interview at a time and day that suits you. The hiring manager will be well aware that they are going to be interviewing candidates who are already in full time employment, and will hopefully accommodate as best they can.

Use your holiday allowance

A great piece of advice we can give is to never use up all your holidays earlier in the year. You never know when you might need to take time off for personal reasons, and attending job interviews will be much easier if you can take a couple of weeks off.

“If the interview must happen during work hours, you may want to consider taking a vacation day. Then there is no excuse needed and you won’t have to worry about timing or what to do with your interview clothes if they are different than what you’d wear to work.” : Beecher Tuttle

The timing of this can be quite difficult, but if your boss is quite flexible as to the notice you have to give for holidays, you may be able to plan an interview at the right time.

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