“I Can’t Interview During Work. They’ll Have to See Me After Hours”

Interviewing for a job can be a scary thing.  First, you might have a guilty conscience that you are doing something behind your boss’s back.  You feel disloyal.  News Flash:  You’re Not!  It’s part of life.  Everyone does it.

The second problem, which is more real, is that you are worried you are going to “get caught,” the boss will get angry and fire you.  Maybe, but that’s the life of a job seeker.  You have to go on interviews.

This comes up frequently.  “I can’t take off from work.  They will have to meet me after hours.”  That is a common refrain amongst candidates.  My answer is always the same, “If you want a new job you are going to have to make time for interviews on the employer’s schedule.”  Of course, everyone tries to work something out.  Often the employer will be happy to meet after hours.   In any case, be prepared to take off from work.

Another issue that sometimes comes up is dress code.  Often a candidate will come to my office dressed casually.  He, or she, will immediately apologize and explain that if they had worn a suit, “they would know at the office I’m interviewing.”  But then they immediately add, “Don’t worry.  For an interview I’ll take the day off and dress appropriately.”

And that’s usually how it is done.  Candidates don’t want to feel rushed or stressed before an interview.  You never know what is going to happen at work.  An emergency could come up necessitating having to call me to cancel the appointment.  The solution, albeit not foolproof, is to take the day off.  If it’s an initial phone interview, schedule it around lunchtime and have the employer call you on your cell.  You can either close the door to your office or go outside.  In any case, you can honestly tell your colleagues that you have  personal matter to deal with.

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