How To Go On A Job Interview When You're At Work

Being a good liar isn't something anyone should aspire to — but this vice sure comes in handy if you're employed full-time at one company, and need to take the afternoon off for a job interview somewhere else. Especially if you have a suspicious boss — who asked for all the gory details the last time you called in sick, because "stomach flu" wasn't enough information — you want to have a perfectly credible reason on the tip of your tongue for why you won't be working between the hours of, oh, say, 2 and 4 p.m. on an ordinary Tuesday afternoon.

In an ideal world, you'd just say, "I have a personal matter to attend to." But if you feel like you need to fib about where you're off to, you should choose something mundane, like an eye exam. "Dental and eye check-ups often require follow-up appointments, for cavity fills or contact lens fittings, which you can use for future interview rounds," suggested Ben Ludger, New York-based founder of the online work-life balance community (via Monster.) Elaborate lies about ill relatives, on the other hand, may concern your coworkers and trigger follow-up questions you're not prepared to answer. If you hate lying — and let's be honest, most of us do — you're probably better off scheduling the interview for early in the morning before your office opens, over lunch, or after hours. Or better yet, take the whole day off.

Why career experts say you should take the whole day off for a job interview

One thing to keep in mind is that a job interview isn't actually as simple as, say, an eye exam. You're going to want to be on point, and lying about an "appointment" might stress you out. That's why career experts say that to put your best foot forward, you might be better off taking the entire day off. "You should be focused on making a great first impression and learning more about your potential new job, not on playing secret agent," career expert Mary Ellen Slayter told Business News Daily.

There are other practical reasons for using a whole day of PTO for a job interview. "If you accept this job and leave your current role, you may not benefit from unused sick or personal days anyway," explained Amy Hakim, a psychology practitioner and executive consultant (via Mental Floss.) "Further, if you take the full day off of work, you will be able to attend the interview calmly and will not worry if the interview is extended."