The best way to guarantee that you have steady employment is frequently to look for a new job while holding down your current position. You might not, however, always be able to take leave from work to attend an interview. You may need to make arrangements with your current employer to fix the matter before you start your job hunt because some potential employers expect to meet with you during regular business hours.
If you can’t take time off from your current employment, we’ll give some tips and methods in this post to help you prepare for an interview.
What to consider when you can’t get time off for an interview
If it’s difficult for you to take time off from your current job to interview for a new job, think about these suggestions:
You may want to maintain your current job
A formal job offer is still not made after a meeting with a prospective employer. It can take time to get a new job, so you don’t want to risk losing the one you currently hold for one that is simply a possibility. While still looking for other chances, do everything you can to keep your honesty with your existing employer.
You don’t need to feel guilty
There are numerous justifications for wanting to change jobs. You have no cause to believe that you are doing improperly as long as you continue to carry out the duties of your existing position while looking for new employment. While you don’t have to be upfront about your hunt for a new job, you can politely notify your current employer that you’re leaving once you’ve found one so that they can serve as a reference for you in the future.
You can use personal time
When you put in a lot of effort and faithfully carry out your duties, it is acceptable to take time off for personal reasons without giving much of an explanation. The only thing left to do is book the time because many businesses now mix sick and personal leave days. You won’t need to take as many personal days so close together if you can arrange many interviews for the same day.
You don’t have to explain
Unless you exhibit a pattern of careless behavior, the majority of good managers won’t inquire into your justifications for taking time off. It should be sufficient to explain that you need to take a break for personal reasons. You can always say that you’d prefer not to share if pressed.
Steps to take when you can’t get time off for an interview
Here are some actions you may take to help you arrange to leave work without drawing notice to your absence while you’re getting ready to attend a job interview during regular business hours:
1. Speak with the recruiter or hiring manager
As you organize the interview, let the recruiting manager know that you will only be gone for a short period of time. They will be able to tell that you are devoted to carrying out your duties and are reliable in fulfilling your obligations as an employee. Request a new interview time, and try your best to work out a deal. After hearing your sincere request, they could be willing to move the meeting.
Make sure your recruiter is aware if you can’t take time off from your existing position to attend a job interview. Until you are certain that you have been extended a new position, you do not want them to contact your current company to get a reference.
2. Schedule the interview at the best possible time
Find the ideal time to take a personal day or go on an extended break when you have to schedule an interview during your regular business hours. Avoid skipping crucial meetings or presentations. Choose a day throughout the requested time period when your workload is reasonably light. Ask whether you may change the time to your lunch hour, the start of the workday, or the conclusion of the workday.
3. Leave with a purpose
Don’t attempt to sneak away if you have to depart for an interview during business hours. Be normal and just get up from your desk. On internal chat systems, you can set an away message to avoid having to respond to queries later. If your coworkers or managers ask you why you are leaving your workstation, reply that you have an appointment.
4. Prepare in advance
Before you start your workday on the day of your interview, make sure everything is prepared for it. You might need to keep extra clothing and accessories in the car, such as a tie or a pair of shoes. Place everything in a bag with a tight seal that you can keep in your car. Use a gym bag or start carrying a professional bag frequently the week before if you need to bring a change of clothes to work to blend in better.
5. Return to normal work activities as soon as possible
When an interview is over, be prepared to start working again right away. That can entail grabbing a quick lunch or getting dressed as you depart the interview site. Return to your regular schedule and act as though you were simply taking a brief vacation.
Tips for trying to get time off for an interview
If it’s difficult for you to get time off, the advice that follows may help you arrange an interview during work hours:
- Plan your interview early or late in the day. If you merely plan to arrive a little later than usual or out a little earlier than usual, it will be simpler to enter and exit the office for an appointment. Without much disturbance to your routine, you can still spend the majority of the working day there.
- Ask for a phone or video interview. Ask the hiring manager or recruiter if you can chat with them over the phone or through video conference if you are unable to take time out of work to attend an interview in person. Before you have to go to work, you might be able to finish the interview from home or even in your car (but not while you are driving). If you’re able to schedule an interview this way, pay attention to your surroundings to reduce background noise and other distractions.
- Take an extended lunch break. It’s standard practice to eat lunch outside of the office. It could be simpler to justify your absence if you can schedule an interview during your lunch break. Many employers understand that professionals who consistently complete their job responsibilities with integrity will occasionally take a longer lunch. If the distance from your current job location is great, make sure to account for traffic and travel time.
- Be vague but truthful. It’s best to refrain from making false statements about why you need time off. Using words like “I need to take some time for a personal concern” or “I need to come in a little later tomorrow because I have an appointment” will help you maintain a positive working relationship with your present employer even after you depart.
- Try to be discreet about your wardrobe. Most interviews require you to dress in more formal business attire than you might on an average day at the office. After you leave work for the interview, dress in something you can layer or add pieces to. You might only need to add a blazer or other accessory to your attire to make it more professional. If you have to wear a uniform, factor in some time for changing as you’re traveling to the interview.
- Be clear about when you’ll return. If you just say when you’re leaving and when you anticipate returning to work, it will be simpler to avoid awkward questions.