How to Attend a Job Interview in Secret


Let’s face it – you’ve probably attended a job interview in secret at one point or another in your career lifetime. That’s just the way things go. Sure, sometimes you’ll have an understanding boss who will let you go for an interview (they’re few and far between), but for most times, you’ve got to be super sneaky about it.

Realistically, very few people land their dream jobs the first time.

When things aren’t going as peachy as what was promised during the interview a few months or years down the line, you don’t have many options. You could try and make it work by speaking to your manager or HR to see what can be done about a sudden increase in your workload, a bullying colleague, an unfair boss, a hostile working environment, the extreme stress you’re feeling, etc.

If that doesn’t work – if you have no joy when expressing your grievances in a professional manner and by sticking to the facts (trust me, getting defensive or moaning about so and so won’t do you any favours!), then it might be time to explore your options and see what else is out there.

When is it time to leave?

Some people get comfortable in their jobs. Others feel a certain sense of loyalty to the company they work for, even when things are really bad. When your health and relationships start to be at risk because of your work situation, that’s when it’s time to start looking for a new job.

Perhaps you’re simply in need of a change of scenery, or a job that pays a little better.

Reasons why you might be looking…

  • You’ve been there for so long that you’re almost considered part of the furniture, and you feel that it’s time for a change.
  • You can’t take the stress anymore – it’s affecting your health and your close relationships.
  • You’re not receiving that promised raise or promotion, but you’re putting in extra effort all the time.
  • You’ve had enough of office politics, back-stabbing or a demeaning boss.
  • You signed up for one job role, but are in fact doing three people’s work and only being paid for one – and that’s not going to change.
  • You’re bored, even though you keep asking for more work – you’re tired of feeling like you could be doing something more challenging.
  • The job isn’t what was promised in the interview, in fact it’s completely different.
  • The travelling distance is too much and you can’t afford to spend the amount on petrol every month.
  • The company isn’t doing so well financially, yet no one is admitting anything. You are unsure about your job stability.

job interview

Leaving for an interview during working hours

You’ve made the decision to leave your job. You’ve sent out your CV and you’ve even been invited for an interview. There’s just one nagging problem…

How are you going to sneak away during working hours to get to the interview?

There are a few ways you can get around this. If you’re lucky and have an open relationship with your boss and you know that it won’t cause any problems, you can speak to them and let them know that you’re looking. Put in half a day’s leave and off you go.

However, if you’re not able to do this, then you’re going to have to get a little creative.


  1. Put in a day’s leave or half a day’s leave if you’re able to.
  2. Call in sick (not great, but you have to do what you have to do sometimes – once in a while is okay, just don’t make a habit out of it or you’ll have your HR department calling you in to find out what’s going on).
  3. Attend the interview first thing in the morning, and blame any lateness to the office on the traffic, your partner, the dog, the gate that didn’t want to open – whatever.
  4. Leave work early (take your lunch time then or claim that there is a family crisis) and attend the interview at the end of the day.
  5. Go in to work, but pretend to be sick and go “home” early.
  6. If you’re a good actor, set your phone to ring at a certain time and then feign an emergency situation that you have to attend to. A burst geyser at home is a good excuse.
  7. Attend the interview over lunch. If you’re a little late back to the office, blame it on the traffic, busy restaurant, slow waitress, etc.

If you’re one of those people who don’t like lying, then the best way to do this is to book off a few days leave and to go for as many interviews as you can possibly squeeze in.

The important thing to remember about attending a job interview during the day – is to not feel guilty about it. Or try not to. Remember, this is your career – it’s YOUR life. You’ve got to make the decisions that are best for you. So get creative!

Have you ever lied to your boss to go to a job interview?

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Image credit:  digitalart – freedigitalphotos