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How to Call Off Work for an Interview

by Ellie Williams

If you already have a job, scheduling interviews with potential employers is sometimes the most difficult aspect of searching for a new position. Most employers want to meet with you during regular business hours, requiring you to take off work to accommodate these meetings. It’s important to do so in a way that’s honest and that respects both your current employer and your potential new boss.

Take a Personal Day

Don’t feign illness so you can take off a day for an interview. Your boss might reprimand or even fire you if he discovers you lied. In addition, the prospective employer might question your ethics or your company loyalty if he learns you misrepresented yourself to your current boss. Take an unused vacation day instead of calling in sick. This allows you to devote the time you need to your job search without compromising your integrity or threatening your professional reputation.

Don’t Reveal Your Job Search

In most cases, it’s safer to keep your job hunt under wraps until you’ve lined up another position. Some employers might take offense to your desire to leave, forcing you into premature unemployment by dismissing you. They might also make your remaining time unpleasant or limit your job duties and assignments since they assume you’ll soon be moving on. If your boss asks why you’re taking a day off, simply say you have appointments or need to tend to personal matters.

Schedule in Advance

Don’t wait until the day of your interview to request time off. Since it’s best to use vacation time or personal days for interviewing, talk to your boss as soon as you schedule the interview. You won’t leave your boss or your colleagues in the lurch if you’re working on an important project, and you can make plans to have someone cover your assignments or take over your clients or accounts for that day. This also prevents scheduling conflicts and ensures you won’t have to cancel at the last minute.

Time Interviews Appropriately

Disrupt your work day as little as possible by scheduling interviews first thing in the morning, at the end of the day or during your lunch break. By taking only part of the day off, you can fulfill your job duties and still focus on your job search. In addition, your boss might more readily agree to your request for time off if it won’t cut into the middle of the day. If possible, select a day when you don’t need to attend any meetings or work on any important projects or tasks.

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