How to get time off for a job interview

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How to get time off for a job interview

Congratulations! You've landed an interview and could soon move on to the next exciting step in your career. But there's a problem. The interview is scheduled for a time as an important meeting with a client….


Despite the increasing number of interviews being conducted remotely, you may have to rearrange your schedule to attend the interview.


So what do you do?


Three Things to Consider When Trying to Take Time Off from Work for a Job Interview

While this may seem like a difficult situation, it is one that many job seekers will inevitably face. It is largely accepted that the best time to look for a new job is when you already have one (and you're happy about it), but once you've gotten an interview, the next immediate problem is how to get the free time to be able to attend.


If you work flexible hours or often work remotely, it's usually relatively simple to get time off to attend an interview. However, if you're primarily in the office or need to be in the office on the same day as your scheduled job interview, it can be harder to set aside time without worrying about the ramifications of doing so.

To alleviate any natural anxiety you may be experiencing and to allow you to fully focus on preparing for your interview, we've put together several simple tips that could help you organize the time off required for your job interview.



1.Try to avoid scheduling the interview during work hours, if possible. First thing in the morning, during lunch time or even after work, are the best times to set up an interview, although this may be easier said than done. So, if your interview is scheduled for a period that could be particularly difficult for you, let your recruiter know as soon as possible. Explain the situation, including the fact that you have scheduled this very important client meeting, and request other dates and times. Most employers understand that it can be difficult to attend interviews during normal working hours and therefore they should be as flexible as possible regarding dates and times. Also, by asking to rearrange at a more convenient time, outside of normal business hours, you show the employer that you are a loyal and honest employee who doesn't want to disappoint your colleagues or clients, which can only be a positive thing.


2. Set aside an annual day off on the day of the interview. Often, the best approach is to reserve the day of the interview as a holiday. If that's not possible, could you ask for half a day? In this way, your anxieties will be greatly reduced. It will also allow you to focus only on your next interview (giving you a mental space to prepare and put yourself in the right state of mind), not on the ongoing tasks you're looking for.

If you're actively and regularly looking for work, it might be a good idea to schedule some interviews over a day, so you can use your time as efficiently as possible.


At this point, you may ask, what if I need to set aside time off for a job interview at short notice? Interviews are often scheduled relatively short of notice, so holiday requests will also need to be submitted at short notice. However, it's important to remember that you're taking proactive steps to improve your career, which everyone is supposed to do at some point. So if you've set aside time off to attend an interview that could help you do just that, even at short notice, you're doing absolutely nothing wrong.


3. Don't lie or sneak in. If you haven't been able to move the interview time, it may be tempting to make up a mythical medical appointment or even call sick on the same day. However, we do not recommend this tactic. If you decide to do so, it's better to be lazy and say you have a personal date you simply need to attend than to lie and compromise your integrity. In the end, this can be a very difficult situation, but it's not worth getting caught up in a lie.


Do I have to tell my boss I'm looking for a new job?

In today's world of work, where we all live and work longer, it is increasingly common for employers to adopt an open and honest culture around career paths with their employees. More and more managers are now comfortable having these conversations with their employees, even if it leads them to realise that a member of their team may leave for another job.


If you've ever had a similar conversation with your manager, you may think it's appropriate to tell him that you have an interview scheduled. However, if you haven't started having these conversations with your manager, it's best not to disclose such information until you've been offered the position and have the contract in hand.


If you followed this advice, you helped yourself get in the mood for your next interview. Without the anxiety that can come from sneaking around and worrying about what everyone from your manager to your colleagues will think about if they discover your job search, you'll be in the right frame of mind to perform at your best.


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