When you already have a job and are looking for a new one, going on interviews can be a complicated situation to navigate.
When employees want to skip work for a job interview, 44 percent of them tell their boss they have a medical appointment, and 15 percent say they are sick, according to a survey of 3,000 visitors to Monster.com. Mary Ellen Slayter, a career advice expert for Monster, said juggling both a job and a job hunt can be tricky. She advises job seekers to not let scheduling details distract them from trying to land and ace their interviews.
"You should be focused on making a great first impression and learning more about your potential new job, not on playing secret agent," Slayter said in a release. "If your interview cannot be conducted off-hours (don't be afraid to ask), keep your excuse simple, and be mindful of obvious signs that you're sneaking out — for instance, wearing a formal interview outfit to your normally casual workplace." [25 Action Words to Include on Your Resume]
Experts at Monster offered several tips for job seekers who are interviewing while they're still employed:
- Speak with the potential employer. Consider asking for an appointment in the morning or early evening, to cut down on absence time. Some employers may even be willing to meet with you outside normal working hours, and they'll respect your dedication and work ethic.
- Don't tell elaborate lies. Use words like "appointment" or "commitment" that don't invite a lot of questions, but aren't untrue, either. The problem with citing medical appointments is that after a few times, they become less credible, especially when you're looking fit and healthy.
- Utilize your time well. If you have the opportunity to work flexible hours, then consider using that option to ensure you don't need to miss work at all. Alternatively, see if you can take a day off and line up more than one interview for the same day.
Slayter said employers should recognize that they have no choice but to be on both sides of the interview coin.
"That means, when you're recruiting, make an effort to schedule interviews before or after work hours — or perhaps at lunch," she said. "With your own workers, don't press them about how they're spending their requested time off."