The dreaded moment. You have just received a phone call to say that you have been invited for an interview – but how on earth do you get out of work?
The most important thing, you need to remember, is that you have the right to look for another job. Nobody can be expecting you to stay in one job for your whole life if your decision is to leave. It is at the same time difficult to change roles! Now, not everyone works for an understanding and supportive company. Which is even more reason to be proud of your decision to take control of your career.
In an ideal world you shouldn’t have to lie about interviewing for another job, but it’s not that simple. You might even be worried about losing your current role if someone was to find out. If that is the case, then telling a small white lie is the best option. A lot of us use sick leave for interviews, but remember your employer is entitled to ask for a letter from your doctor to confirm your illness. (You do not want to end up in the wrong kind of exit interview!)
These are some of the most popular excuses for leaving work:
- Sickness / Illness / Injured
- Attending a medical appointment / opticians / dentist
- Family emergency Pet was sick / has an appointment
- External meeting away from the office with a client (tricky one!)
- Relative or child was sick
- Maintenance issue at home, plumber / decorating / electrician
- Car broke down / bad travel routes (suitable for early interview appointments)
There are a couple of ground rules when it comes to lying about leaving work. Firstly, let your manager know ASAP. Most interviews will be arranged at least a day in advance so, make sure you inform the relevant people. If possible, offer to come in early or stay later to make up the time lost.
Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for most lies to come back and bite you on the behind. Karma is a tricky mistress and if you create too much of an exotic lie or do not keep to the story, people will find out. Try and stick with a lie that is easy to remember, does not invite many questions and do your best to arrange the interview time so you are not missing a lot of work.
TIP: If possible, use annual leave - this is for your career, so it deserves your attention! The ideal situation is to have a full day to prepare for the interview and to not turn up rushed and messy. But if you can only get away from work for a few hours – preparation is key!
An overly detailed excuse might sound fake, even if it is not. A simple excuse is best but remember to not tell anyone at work. Now, we know the excitement of an interview with your dream brand can be hard to contain but telling anyone at work can run the risk of it going public. If unfortunately, you do not get the new job, it can create a very uncomfortable work environment.
Some quick tips:
1) Do not have a dentist appointment repeatedly. It is the oldest excuse in the book and it has been over used and is over rated. Your colleagues will eventually start to wonder what is wrong, and if your manager asks and you have no proof or good excuse – it can look very bad.
2) Consider using this small lie alongside something else. If possible, choose a day where you already have something planned. If you have booked the morning off for a home problem or appointment, then ask to work from home in the afternoon also. Use this as interview time!
3) So, this may seem as a joke, but it is true. People do not like to talk about any illnesses that deal with … visiting the bathroom. You will receive a limited amount of questions from your manager when you even tiptoe into the “I need to stay close to the bathroom” zone. Your colleagues will be grateful that you are not being the hero who promptly infects everyone in the office.
4) Avoid being seen out in public – there is no coming back from that one!
I am not usually a proponent of lying in the workplace. But, leaving work for an interview you are 100% invested in is a good lie to make. Be prepared for the interview process and remember, if second interviews are required you may need another excuse!
(You’ll be glad you did when you’re sitting in that sweet, new job.)
Introduction: EXCUSE OF THE WEEK!
We have a lot of exciting projects coming up here at cranberry panda, one of them ‘EXCUSE OF THE WEEK’. We will provide weekly examples of how you can skip work for interviews. In a very professional manner of course (wink, wink).