So, you just found a stellar opportunity that might launch your career into the stratosphere. You submitted a well-crafted application and a few days later, you get the callback. The company wants to invite you for an in-person interview.
You don’t want your boss to know you’ve been going to interviews on company time.
Now, don’t stress as you’re about to learn how to get out of work for an interview.
Get All the Info First
When a recruiter says he’d like you to come in and do the interview, you’ll want to slap an S on your chest and jump right on it.
But before you throw your entire schedule atop a blazing fire, ask the recruiter these questions:
- How long will the interview take?
- How many interview rounds will I have to go through?
- Any chance you could meet off the clock?
The answers to these questions will help you do better in working the interview into your schedule.
Pro tip: Right from the get-go, tell the recruiter you want to keep things on the down-low. Otherwise, the company might call for a reference and you will find yourself in hot water.
Don’t Over-Complicate It
Here’s the thing:
If you’d like to do an interview, it’s best to take a day off or at least a half-day off.
First, you won’t have to sneak away from the office and worry you’ll get found out. Second, you’ll have a boatload of time to prep for the interview (e.g., do company culture research.)
So, here’s what you can tell your boss:
Hey John, I’d like to take a day off/half-day off on Friday to take care of some personal matters. Is that OK?
Now, in some companies, you’ll need to submit time-off requests one or two weeks in advance. If that’s the case, tell the recruiter you’ll need to push the interview by some time.
The recruitment process usually takes more than two weeks. So, it won’t do much harm to schedule the meeting for later.
Can’t take a day off or a half-day off? Keep scrolling.
Map out an escape plan
If it’s not an option to take time off, don’t stress.
There are ways to wangle time off work for your interview without sounding the alarms with your boss.
Decide on the best day of the week
First, have a bird’s eye view on your work schedule.
Are there slow times (e.g., fewer meetings) vs. busy times?
You know your job best, so pick a day when you could spin a tale and sneak away without trouble.
Take time off out of your work day
Now, it’s time to figure out when you’ll do the interview.
Below are possible options:
In the morning. Have an interview early in the day, especially if you don’t have to show up at a specific time (e.g., 9 AM). This way, you could stay late to finish work and fly under the radar.
During lunch. It’s a good option if the drive time is short and if your company culture is OK with extended lunches. If not, consider asking for a longer lunch (stick around to see viable excuses.)
At the end of the day. If you can finish work and leave early, it’s your best bet. You won’t have to worry about the length of the interview or that you still have work to do.
Fireproof Excuses for Asking for Time off of Work
If you need time off, a good manager won’t ask you for details.
If your manager was good, chances are, you wouldn’t be jumping ship.
Below are ten battle-tested excuses for why you need time off:
- 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.
- I need to go to the bank.
- I need to pick a friend from the airport.
- I have a medical appointment.
- I have a meeting with my child’s school.
- I have a house issue (e.g., plumbing, AC).
- I have a financial planning appointment.
- I have a major purchase delivery.
What Do You Think?
There you have it.
These are the best tips on how to get out of work for an interview.
Now, how do you go to interviews without raising a red flag? Do you feel guilty for leaving work to do an interview?
Let me know in the comments. I’d love to chat!