When interviewing for a new job, one of the biggest obstacles you may face is getting the time off from your current job. There are many people who are either dissatisfied, or just want to search for other opportunities, but are depending on their current job to make ends meet. So how do you get away, even for a few hours, without raising suspicion at your job?
First of all, you will have to think of an excuse that is not only believable, but doesn't need a web of lies to back it up. You do not want to get yourself buried so deep in lies that you can’t keep your stories straight. You need to provide something believable without raising any suspicion. We are going to share some of the best ways to get out of work for a job interview, but first, let’s go over some of the worst excuses you can use to get out of work.
The Wrong Way
Bad Behavior - Some people are so worried about making up a believable excuse, they often choose to make themselves appear irresponsible - like forgetting to set the alarm or a night of heavy drinking - which often leaves a bad impression on their boss. Remember, if you do not get the job and it might take a while before finding another one, you will still have to work with your supervisor. You do not want them to think that you are irresponsible, and possibly prevent you from a promotion or raise at your current job.
Family Emergency - Avoid using bad news that involves a family member. Some people feel like using a family emergency as an excuse is bad Karma, but it also turns an excuse into an emotionally manipulative lie. Finding out you lied about a doctor's appointment to go to a job interview may be easier to get over with compared to a lie about a family member getting injured or sick.
Last Minute Excuse - This is the worst way for you to leave for a job interview. Although it may get you out of work, it also puts a lot of stress on your boss and co-workers by leaving at the last minute and not giving them time to cover for you. This attitude can also leave a bad impression with your supervisors. Remember - for the time being, you still work there, and you do not want the time you spend there to be more unpleasant than it should be.
Cliché Excuses - Going to the dentist all the time can look fishy. The "I do not feel good" reason is not compelling either if you feel great the day before and the day after. Plus, when you come into the office and immediately act like your regular, healthy self, you’ll create suspicion...unless you convince everyone you made a miraculous recovery. Alyssa Gelbard, president of Resume Strategists, says, “Using the same excuse all the time will not only make your boss doubt your stories but also become suspicious.”
Elaborate Stories - Many people think the more complicated, unique and detailed the story, the more credible it will be. In some cases, that may be true. After all, who would take the time to come up with such a crazy story? Unfortunately, that also means memorizing tons of details, and as with all good stories, you will probably be asked to tell it again.
A Problem Your Boss Can Help You With - If you plan on coming up with an excuse that involves children or car problems, make sure you know your company's policies. Many companies offer day care and even concierge service. If you plan on using the "I do not have a babysitter” excuse, make sure your boss cannot throw a curve ball and ask you to bring them to the company's day-care.
Time-Limiting Excuse - You want to make sure that you give yourself enough time to handle any situation that may come up. For example, if the interview is going well, you may be asked to stay longer and talk with other people. You also want to be covered in case anything unexpected comes up. Nothing can be more stressful than feeling like you have to rush.
The Right Way
Personal Day - The first thing to do is to request for the interview to be held right after you are off work. This way you do not need to come up with any excuses and lies. Even if they deny your request, at least you will look more responsible. If having an after-hour interview is out of the question, the next best move is to use a vacation day, or personal day, if possible. It will relieve you of the stress of coming up with an excuse.
Piggy-Back Excuse - A good way to get some hours away from work is by scheduling the job interview while you have other personal projects going if possible. For example, if you have home remodeling, you may need a few hours to supervise the work. If you have recently been sick, claim to have a follow-up doctor's appointment. If you have family or friends visiting, asking to come in later, leave earlier, or take a longer lunch so you can spend more time with them.
Be Vague - Telling the boss you have an important appointment or meeting without giving details is usually good enough. Tell your boss "I need a few hours of personal time" or "I am picking up family from the train station," usually does the trick. However, if you get asked for more details, you should have something ready. Just don't offer up unnecessary details.
Uncomfortable Subjects - Basing your excuse on an uncomfortable subject can be a good way to avoid getting into too much detail. For example, holding your stomach and telling your boss that you need to stay close to the bathroom can get you the day off without too many questions. A doctor's appointment for a personal problem you don’t want to talk about can also help you avoid too many questions.
Make It Unique - Another way to make your story believable is to make it unique. This is not the same thing as loading it up with tons of unnecessary details, just something that is uncommon. If you have children, they usually provide a good amount of material you can use in case of an emergency. Having to pick your child up from school because "she got into a fight with another girl because her shadow was bigger" is short, sweet and sounds genuine to anyone who has kids. Sometimes, the weirder the story, the more believable it is to people. Just don't overuse "children" excuses or people may think your kids have problems.
I do not want to condone lying of any type, even if in the workplace. However, sometimes, you have to make a decision that will affect bigger things in life. When searching for a better job, whether to make more money or advance your career, sometimes being truthful can be difficult. In the end, you have to do what's best for your future.
Remember, try to avoid going into too many details and using the same excuses over and over again. You do not want to make your boss suspicious, or put your job in jeopardy. If possible, always avoid lying and try to use vacation days or personal days to take care of your issues.
What excuse do you use to take an early leave from your office? Let us know your story by commenting below!