Most interviews take place during normal working hours at relatively short notice. This makes it difficult for many to request holiday days at such short notice to co-incide with the day of their interview. If you have a track record of being allowed holidays at short notice, then it is not an issue. However, for most people, the risk of being refused holidays at short notice is too high as your employer will now be aware that you are requesting a day off and if after being refused you were to ring in sick on the same day, it would not be received very favourably by your current employer. Many people are risk averse and regard a “bird in the hand as being worth two in the bush” in regards their current position. Hence, they will tread very carefully in regards taking time off work for job interviews to avoid raising suspicions and jeopardising their current position. This situation can then become a conundrum and source of anxiety.
What is the best tack to take?
Most jobhunters will attend numerous interview before securing a new role. Hence, the option of calling in sick should be used sparingly, perhaps for final round interviews only. If you call in sick every week, your attendance record will be severely tarnished and you will raise many eyebrows in your current employment.
A dental or doctor’s appointment is much more credible than inventing a convoluted story related to the wellbeing of a family member, which could easily dramatically unravel in the future. An appointment with a bank manager is a more credible excuse rather than taking off several sick days in quick succession due to a weird co-incidence of multiple illnesses in a short time.
Getting time off for interviews is a stressful conundrum for many people as they want to secure a new role but at the same time they do not want to do anything that will jeopardise their current position.
What is the ideal situation?
If possible, try and ascertain from your interviewer how flexible they are in regards timings. Perhaps there is an opportunity to do an early morning interview before you go to work or to re-schedule and interview to coincide with holiday leave you have already pre-booked. Of course, if you are at your wits end in your current role and plan to resign regardless, you will be risk positive, which will make it much easier to come up with excuses for interviews. However, you should take into consideration that you may need to go back to a previous employer to obtain a reference in the future, so tread carefully rather than taking multiple days off in quick succession with several spurious excuses, which lack credibility.