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

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


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.

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

interview. 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.

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.

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.

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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