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Should You Tell Your Supervisor You Need Time Off to Interview?

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Should you tell your supervisor you need time off to interview?

I need four days off for an interview in another state. I trust my boss and get along with her. I consider her a mentor and believe she will support my decision to move. My gut tells me I shouldn’t tell her my need for time off is for an interview, but I can’t think of a good reason I need the time off. (I just had a week off — and these days would have to be unpaid as I have no more comp time left.) If I just say “it’s personal,” she will probe, and I don’t want to lie. I also may need her recommendation to get the new job and I don’t want to offend her by giving the message that I didn’t trust her enough to tell her about the interview. Should I tell her? 

No reward without risk, no growth without challenge. Stop whining, Your boss thinks you can do it, and risked rejections offering it. Don’t insult his judgment, don’t second guess your own skills. Life is short. Put the image of a life-long 65 year old copywriter in your mind, and do the right thing for you and your family.
—Posted by Bob Horne
No way would I ever tell my boss I was going on a job interview! I don’t care how close we were. Get a grip, girl!
—Posted by pam
I would not tell my boss. A boss is still a boss you may think that your friends but the boss’s interest is with the company. Telling would be an invitation for trouble.
—Posted by Pat
I don’t think it is in your best interest to tell your boss, it’s just not good business sense. If you don’t get the job you can cause rifts that weren’t there before. Also, I would question why you need four days for an interview?! I had a job interview in Dallas, TX while I was working in L.A., CA. I just told my boss that I had an early morning dentist appointment and that afterwards the medication would make me too out of it to drive or work. They bought it (most people after a trip to the dentist for say a “root canal” don’t go right to work for at least a day) Anyways, that gave me time to fly out early have four hours of interviews with 4 separate people within the company and fly back. I went to work the next day, without anyone being the wiser as to what had gone. Well, for at least a week…when I turned in my letter of resignation 🙂
—Posted by David
It depends on your value as an employee. If you are confident that you are an asset to the company, you should tell your boss about wanting to leave and why. Someone I know told their boss that they were going to leave before they even had another offer, and their boss was relieved that he still had a chance to promote them. Things worked out way better.
—Posted by Anonymous
My opinion is not to tell your boss that you are going for an interview. I was in that position at one time and I did tell my boss because I didn’t want to lie to him. We got along very well, but that still didn’t stop him from protecting himself and finding someone else to replace me, even though I didn’t get the other job. So, basically, I was out of a job just because I told him that I went for an interview somewhere else. I will never, ever do that again, no matter what!!
—Posted by Shannon
As an HR manager you must determine your needs; remember, there are no long-term commitments in the global job market. Is the move going to be best for YOU, if so, plan your move. I would not tell my company any details. Just say you must be out of town. Take the shortest amount of time needed. If hired, make a clean, gracious break. But don’t be fooled into thinking you “owe” the company or mentor more than is realistic. They wouldn’t do it for you; think of YOUR bottom-line.
—Posted by Anonymous
Are you out of your mind? Some things you just don’t tell your boss. You don’t even know that the job is yours!
—Posted by Brenda
You already have a consensus. Always remind yourself about what would be best for you, and, believe it or not, your company (boss, etc.) is not always thinking of your best interests. Simply explain that the trip is personal, and make a clean professional break if you do get the new position. Good luck.
—Posted by Michael
Never tell your boss. Just say it’s a personal day, and leave it at that. This kind of info should only surface after you have accepted the new position, otherwise feelings could be bruised. After all, bosses are human. So, don’t say what you need the day off for; just say its personal. Good luck at your interview.
—Posted by Margaret
If your gut instinct in “don’t” then “don’t.” I’ve helped my staff for years with their resumes, cover letters, and salary negotiations. Advocating for my “staff” has been the most satisfying part of my work life. I can’t blame anyone for wanting to be a successful as possible. I see it as part of my responsibility as a manager. It’s also the right thing to do. Unfortunately, I have yet to meet one other manager who ever echoed those sentiments. Trust your instincts.
—Posted by Holly
Keep this one to yourself. Use the “medical test(but nothing to serious) excuse”. If you are successful in the interview and accepts their offer, position this it as a “they came after me scenario.” You have nothing to gain and everything to lose by telling your boss the real story. Were the tables reverse, what would your boss do?
—Posted by Sinclaire
Your situation at work should enable you to decide what you need to do. If you are “vital” to the operation, why are you leaving? If you are not “vital”, you might be able to tell her you are thinking about moving to another state and need a few days off to visit the place (and a friend there, possibly). This would enable you to make a decision about moving (and getting a new job). If you are in line for promotion, will it be worth “starting over”? Is the new job worth that much more? Do you REALLY want to live in the other location? If you weigh the pros and cons, you might make a better decision.
—Posted by Albert
Since going for an interview is “personal” stating that you need time off for personal reasons is not being untruthful. Also I agree with the other poster who says, “why do you need 4 days?” That is like driving from San Francisco to Denver and back for an interview. If the interview is serious, fly red eye and come back as soon as possible. You don’t have the new job until the offer is given and you’ve accepted. Being close to your boss makes the lines blur about the relationship. Ask yourself this…if you were homeless would this boss take you in? That is the measure of a real friend and not just a friendly boss.
—Posted by Nora
I am in the same situation and have learnt a lot from what the others have said. It simple as that, don’t tell your boss until you are positive the job is yours.
—Posted by Abby
No way !!!!!!!!!
—Posted by mk
Tell your boss it’s to do with women’s problems – it always works and nobody likes to ask exactly what!! Good luck with the interview anyway!!
—Posted by Sian
Hey Chap, wake up! It’s your life! What do you want? A counter offer? If you don’t get the other job you will be forever regarded as disloyal. In any case the “close” relationship with the boss will guarantee a good recommendation AFTER you’ve secured the new job. A Boss is like a diaper – always on your bum and always full of shit!
—Posted by Shoshana- South Africa
With the world of work as dog eat dog as it has become today – you need to focus on what is best for YOU and your career aspirations – you should not risk jeopardizing your current work relationship – request the time off as personal , which it is at this point and leave it at that – good luck!
—Posted by Ray
Don’t look to your boss for validation. Buck up and make your own decision. If you are offered the job and your boss counters, don’t stay! You will be haunted the rest of your tenure! Grow up.
—Posted by mph
Personally, I don’t believe in lying, so all I would say is that you have to go out of state for a couple of days and that you understand it would be unpaid. I do agree that it would not be in your best interests to say you are going for an interview.
—Posted by lbr
I would tell my boss that I needed time to go on an out-of-state interview. Assure him/her that you would give them ample notice to replace you should you get the new job. This protects your current job and shows your present employer that you have their interests in mind as well.
—Posted by Peggy in Ohio
I agree with the other poster that 4 days is too long. If you are going look around the area to see if you like like it, I would suggest you wait until you have a firm commitment. Four days is too long.
—Posted by Anonymous
Have you lost your frigging senses to even consider telling your boss is temporary insanity and permanent unemployment!!!!!!!
—Posted by Darrell
I have to agree with the consensus, based on what my father, who has always been in high positions has always told me. If the situation were turned around, they would not give you notice, telling you, “We’re thinking of downsizing, which would mean getting rid of you, but we’re not sure yet, so don’t go anywhere”. Give them only what you believe they would give you. When you give more than you would be given, you are allowing yourself to be hurt.
—Posted by Dawn
Tell a ‘white lie’ and go get that job. I made a mistake of telling my boss once, and she assumes that whenever I am late or away, I am attending an interview. She does nothing to make me grow in the present job.
—Posted by Nicole
I say don’t tell. If you ask for personal time that is all you should have to say.
—Posted by Beth
Don’t tell. Remember, no one is your friend, your boss is look at you like a slave. He needs you to capitalize on your effort. Just get personal time, dentist or what so ever, but not a word. Does your boss discuss the profit sharing with you?
—Posted by Ziff
Tell your boss! But do it in the right way. If you have always done a great job and have always put forth 100%, Your boss will understand. I am a boss, I have never sanctioned or punished any of my employees for wanting to better themselves. If I knew they gave 100% I was sorry to see them go, But wished them well.
—Posted by CAT Morris
Tell your boss IF she asks. No need to ruffle feathers without cause, But remember “honesty is the best policy”. It’s true and you’ll always be able to look in the mirror. Everyone has career goals, your boss included. If your “mentor” cannot see “your” goal, do you really want them as a mentor? Good Luck!
—Posted by Roy
This is indeed a tough situation. I would tell my boss that I will be going out of state for a couple of days. If she probes, tell her it’s for personal reasons. Try to plan some other activity (say, maybe a hike with friends you haven’t seen since high school and who have since moved away). Then when your boss asks you, tell her you’ll be visiting with friends you haven’t seen in a while. To throw her off even more, leave some material within view (say, hiking brochures). She’ll have no reason to suspect otherwise
—Posted by Anonymous
Listen to your instincts or your sixth sense. More likely find a nice medical or personal excuse because there is no guarantee that you will get the job and you may then be putting your foot in your mouth.
—Posted by Ama
I can’t find a single good reason to tell a boss I’m having an interview BEFORE I get it.
—Posted by EEC
Only tell your boss if you want to negotiate internally. Otherwise tell her once you have decided,
—Posted by Anonymous
Never, ever, never tell your boss you are interviewing (unless of course they tell you that you should start to consider interviewing for a new job and even then just maybe). Wait until you have an offer before informing your current employer of your plans and see if negotiations would be best. This is true even if the boss is a mentor or friend.
—Posted by Anonymous
I have been a corporate manager for over 18 years. A mature manager in the 90’s has to know that his or her good people are looking. After all, they hired you on your merits, in a world of business that is driven by competition know right thinking manager would seriously believe that his staff isn’t looking for a better opportunity. I have attempted to maintain a relationship with me staff so that they can bring any situation to me. They have even discussed other offers with me. I have several people who have stayed and I have not penalized them. Unfortunately, all managers do not approach this situation the same way. Some managers take it personal and view staff that are looking as a threat and disloyal. It is an unprofessional and immature position. In reality many managers are just too lazy to recruit and train a new person. You know your manager best. If your manager is open and positive like me then discuss it with your manager. If you manager is immature and stuck on control then ask for time for personal reasons and leave it at that. Remember it is your future ultimately you work for yourself. Just like your manager does.
—Posted by Ron
The worst that can happen is she’ll say no. If she gets offended, maybe the relationship isn’t what you thought it was. Honesty is usually the best policy. Use your gut in this one.
—Posted by Connie
I recently went on an interview in another state and told my boss. He was supportive and agreed to be a reference plus he offered tips on how to act in reference to getting more money out of the other company. However, that’s my boss and he is the best I’ve ever had. I’ve worked for people that it would be suicide to tell them. Another thing is that in the interview some people will ask you where your current boss thinks you are today. I also agree that 4 days for an interview with 1 company is a long time maybe try to schedule on a Friday so you can fly in early Friday or late Thursday and be able to be back at work on Monday.
—Posted by Anonymous
I once made the decision to tell my boss and i didn’t regret it – more or less because he understood that it wasn’t personal against him or the company. However, I again find myself in the same position and I think this time I will opt to not speak to my boss about it because of the nature of the company I work for is a lot more competitive. I don’t want to jeopardize my current position if the new opportunity falls through. All in all, you have to trust your instinct (as everyone else seems to think as well). I also feel it is unwise to “boast” to other co-workers about interviews for the same reason – if you don’t want your supervisors to know, then don’t expect others to keep a “secret” for you.
—Posted by Anonymous
Mentor or not, your boss is responsible for her department, its smooth functioning, its success. Telling her you are going to a job interview puts her in an untenable position: Knowing you are looking around, should she begin to think about replacing you? Should she say something to HER boss? A job change decision is personal. Unless you want to give your company an opportunity to make a counter offer, your job search should remain private.
Should You Tell Your Supervisor You Need Time Off to Interview? by
Authored by: Granted Contributor