Late, sick, or long lunch: How to interview discreetly

May 24, 2019

If you’re looking for a new job while still working your current nine to five, the office politics and logistics can get tricky. You can only have so many doctor appointments, family emergencies, sick days, long lunches, and various other excuses in a few weeks before your office or boss might start to notice. If you don’t work remotely or have flexible work hours, you’re probably in a tight spot. Especially if you don’t want to tell your current employer you’re interviewing elsewhere.

So, what’s the right thing to do? Do you tell your current employer you’re looking elsewhere but risk your current job or references? Or do you fib and white lie your way through interview season? It’s a tough call.

Before you even start looking for other jobs, it may be worth having an honest conversation with your boss or team. What is making you unhappy? Why aren’t you satisfied in your current position? Maybe there are changes that your office will be willing to make to keep you. We’re not endorsing ultimatums – but maybe being honest about what you’re not happy with will lead to positive changes and career growth that might have been missed had you not tried.

In regards to LinkedIn, here’s what you should be doing:

  • Turn off your notifications so that your new connections or endorsements aren’t broadcast to your current network.
  • Do not tag your profile as “looking for a new job.”
  • Keep your LinkedIn updated regularly. A major update or overhaul might tip off your boss.

This is how you should be navigating everyday at the office:

  • Do not tell other employees you’re job hunting, even if you trust them. You never know who is listening.
  • Do not job search at work. Computers are usually monitored and you don’t want to sabotage yourself.
  • Stay focused and still respect your work and office. It’s hard not to check out but fight the temptation.
  • Plan and spend your time efficiently. You should be regularly updating your resume and cover letter. This will help when you’re searching not to have to start from scratch.

How should you go about the interviewing process?

  • You should really try your hardest to schedule interviews outside of work hours. If you know you have a 90 minute interview but only a thirty minute lunch break, people will probably notice.
  • However, you should not be afraid to ask for what you want. If you want a 7 a.m. interview in order to get to work on time – there’s no harm in asking. You might not always get what you want, but it’s better than wasting a whole sick or personal day.
  • Ask your potential job to be discreet. Ask them to notify you before they call your references or current office.
  • Be aware of dress codes. If you normally wear casual clothes to the office but one day come in in a suit – it is pretty obvious what’s happening. Pack a change of clothes or shoes or stop home and change if geography permits.
  • If you have to take a call from a potential employer, do so on your cell phone outside of the building.
  • Do not post anything, no matter how vague, on social media. For all the obvious reasons.

If you are confronted by your current employer, we recommend being honest. Obviously, you know your office and situation better than anyone, so go with your gut. But, no one likes being lied to and if you don’t happen to find a job you love you might be sabotaging your current one with deception.

What other tips and tricks have worked for you? Tweet at us – @brilliantink!

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