Are You Looking or Not? Make Yourself Available To Interview

So you’re looking for a job? The number one reason people look for a new job is because there is something they don’t like about their current position or company. So why is it that these people, that don’t like their job, can’t take a few hours off to attend an interview that may get them out of the role they are unhappy in?

I don’t get it. You apply for a job but all of a sudden are only available at 7am or 6pm. I’m flexible, it’s part of my job as a recruiter to accommodate you. However, the Director of  (insert department) will not be so accommodating and does have other things to worry about.

I realize it can be difficult to get away or awkward to ask for the time off, but it is part of looking for a job. If you are truly serious about making a move then you should do your best to accommodate the Hiring Manager’s schedule.

Here are some tips to make the interviewing process a bit easier:

  • Number one rule: Don’t tell anyone at work that you are looking, even if you are close friends. Knowing that they know you don’t really have a “doctor’s appointment” will only make you feel more awkward.
  • Phone interviews are simple. Most offices are pretty lenient as to where and when people go for lunch or leave for a coffee break. The call should be 15-30 minutes. Simply step out of the office and take the call in a quiet location nearby. No need to take time off. Lunch is a valid excuse between 11am and 2pm and an afternoon coffee break around 3pm or 4pm makes perfect sense, so your availability can be flexible.
  • In-person interviews are a little more difficult. First rounds tend to be 1-2 hours. Try to be adaptable, but few confident in suggesting an early morning or late afternoon interview so that you can take a half day or leave a few hours early. Doctors/Dentist appointments work great as excuses, but the truth is you shouldn’t HAVE to give a reason. Your PTO (paid time off) is your time to do with as you wish.
  • If there is an all-day final round, be as accommodating as possible. This is the last step before the offer stage and you don’t want to make things difficult. Bite the bullet and take the vacation or sick day. Again, your current employer cannot force you to tell them what you are doing, but if you must give a reason, make something up. Calling out sick may be the easiest route to go.

If you are interviewing for very few positions, taking time off should not be a huge deal. Since you are working and not desperate for a job ASAP, limit your interviews — only go after one or two jobs at a time, and space it out so your current employer doesn’t get suspicious.

One of the most frustrating things for HR or recruiters is when the candidate is never available to set up an interview. It makes us wonder if the candidate would be difficult to work with if he or she were brought on board. Don’t feel the need to change your life to accommodate interviews, but try to be as flexible as possible, and don’t over-stress about stepping away from the office or taking time off.


 Editor’s Note: To get more great tips on improving your recruiting and interviewing process, sign up for the OpenView newsletter.
Meghan Maher
Meghan Maher
Senior Talent Manager, Engineering

Meghan Maher is Senior Talent Manager, Engineering, actively recruiting top talent for OpenView and its Portfolio Companies. Her tech background has helped OpenView hire for nearly 20 IT and engineering positions. Meghan began her career at AVID Technical Resources, where she was a Technical Recruiter for two years.
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