The best time to look for a job is when you don’t need one but that leaves you in the tricky position of searching for and interviewing for one or more new positions while you’re still employed. Scheduling interviews, particularly if the interview process for each company involves more than one in person interview or if you’re interviewing for several different companies, can be tricky. Here are 5 tips for scheduling interviews while you’re employed.
1. Before Hours, After Hours, or on Lunch: If possible, try scheduling your interviews before your work hours, after your work hours, or on your lunch break. If you don’t normally go out for lunch, start doing that occasionally. Eventually, when you do get an interview and you schedule it on your lunch break, it won’t seem so weird that you’re leaving the premises at lunchtime. Additionally, if you have flextime, try coming in early or staying late to accommodate your interviews.
2. Half Day: The job search process isn’t always as fast and easy as we’d like it to be. If you’re going to be taking time off for interviews on a regular basis, it may be better to ask for a half day off rather than a full day each time so you’re not burning through your PTO as quickly and you’re still able to get your work done.
3. Spare Clothes: Wearing interview attire to work may be a dead giveaway that your supposed “doctor’s appointment” later is actually an interview. Wear what you normally would to work and keep spare clothes in a garment bag in your car or somewhere else discreet. When it’s time to leave for your interview, make sure you change offsite.
4. Put in A Little Extra Time: Taking time out of your day to go to an interview may set you behind. If you need to, put in a little extra time to make up for the work you’ve been ignoring or neglecting during your job search. You don’t know when you’ll find the perfect new opportunity and, in the meantime, you want to make sure to stay dedicated to your current position so you don’t lose it.
5. Stay Consistent: Dead giveaways that you’re searching for a new job include taking a lot more personal calls, completely redoing your LinkedIn page, posting about your interviews on social media, spending work hours searching for new opportunities, etc. However, any small changes in your behavior may tip off your current boss. Stay as consistent as possible with your current workload and routines and only vary that when you need to leave for an interview and you’ll have fewer suspicious coworkers breathing down your neck when you get back to the office.
Interviewing at one company while you’re employed elsewhere can be a tricky tightrope walk. You don’t want to neglect your current job, you don’t want to raise suspicions that you may be leaving before anything has been finalized, and you don’t want to accept the wrong position simply because you need a job as soon as possible. Use these 5 tips as a guide for scheduling interviews while you’re employed elsewhere and your job search will go smoothly!