How to Take Time Off to Interview

Taking time off to interview for a new job can be stressful, especially if you do not want your current

employer to know you are looking elsewhere. The good thing is, employers understand this is a sensitive

situation and will work with you on your availability within reason. Scroll down to step 1 to find useful infor

mation about when to take off for an interview and which excuses are the best.




Method 1 of 2: Evaluating and Choosing the Best Time to Interview

1. Determine the timeframe of which you will be out of work. There can be several factors that will

determine how long each interview will take. Once you have a complete estimate of time, you can determine

how much time off to request. Factors include the following:

- Drive time. Add up drive time to and from the interview and your home or office. Include time for

traffic and/or detours.

- Type of interview. You can ask your contact what the interview will entail and the approximation of

time. Knowing the approximate time it will take to interview will allow you to plan better and reduce the feeling

of being rushed.

- Change of clothes. If you need to change out of interview clothes back into your regular work attire,

this time needs to be accounted for. Also, determine where you will be making the change (your car, home, or

fast-food restaurant bathroom) to help with a timeframe.

2. Evaluate the ease of taking time out of your work day. Once you have determined how much time must

be safely taken out of your work day, determine if you can complete this interview during a regularly scheduled

work day.

3. Assess taking an entire day off. It may be best for you to take an entire day off when scheduling an inter

view. This can be done by taking a vacation day, sick day, personal day, or general PTO.

4. Choose the best day of the week. You know your job best. Think about the slow times versus busy times,

and choose a day to take some time off when you are missed the least.

5. Determine when and for how long you will take off of work. After evaluating your options listed above,

determine your comfort level:

- Will a half of work day be best to take off?

- If so, what day and time are you more comfortable leaving?

- Should you take an entire day off instead?

Method 2 of 2: Choosing an Excuse for Time Off and Sticking to the Story

1. Be vague if you do not want to lie. If you are uncomfortable lying to your current employer, it is okay to

give a vague reason why you need time off. Most of the time, giving a vague reason will not prompt questioning

from your employer because it implies a personal matter. Here are some acceptable vague reasons:

- I need time off for a personal matter.

- I need time off to take care of a time-sensitive issue.

- I need time off to deal with a sensitive situation.

2. Make a realistic excuse. Realistic excuses are more believable because these situations can happen to

anyone at any time and render less suspicion.

3. Do not choose an excuse that is negative or will catch up to you later on. Excuses that can be seen

as negative to your existing job and security or excuses that can be discovered as lies should be avoided:

- Jail time. This may be a cause to fire you, may be written in your file, and/or stain a recommendation.

- Car accident. No damage to your car will be a giveaway. Injury to you during an accident will be

discovered as a lie. Questions may be asked later on if you give an excuse of being in someone else’s car

during an accident.

- Broken body part. You cannot wear a fake cast for weeks!

- Bad injury. You don’t want to limp on the wrong leg next week!

- Death in the family. What if they later on figure out this person is still alive?

4. Keep it simple. Do not drag on the story into a mini drama. Giving an excuse, answering a few brief

questions and leaving it alone is good enough. Sometimes coming up with elaborate stories can reveal

inconsistencies within your story and/or outrageous claims causing suspicion.

5. Stick to the story. Remember which excuse you provided and keep to the story later on. You never know

when someone will ask you about it. They may not mean anything by it, but if you slip up, there will be doubts and

confusion of where you really were.

 

 

 

 

  

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