Everyone at some point in their career has to start interviewing while employed. The average job tenure in the United States is only 3 to 5 years, which means an employee must stay on top of the latest job interview strategies.
They must also know how to interview for a job without the boss knowing. After all, who wants to create suspicion in the workplace that you are thinking of leaving?
Staying sharp may involve attending interviews for jobs you have no interest in. These tips below will help you interview while employed.
1. Don’t quit your day job
We all perform better in job interviews when we already have a job. It is human nature. Interviewing while employed will help your confidence in an interview. You are not desperate to find new work. If the job interview is a complete mess, at least you still have a job the next day.
Already having a job will also give you the confidence during salary negotiations. It’s easy to ask for what you really want when interviewing while employed because you have nothing to lose.
2. Keep it on the down low
Your career belongs to you and nobody else. No one needs to know your business. Most of all, no one needs to know that another job has sparked your interest.
The last thing you want to do is become the subject of office gossip. Your colleagues are co-workers, first. They do not need to know you are interviewing. Yes, it is great to have friends at work. Still, the best way to keep it confidential that you are interviewing while employed is to avoid telling anyone. By all means, do not write about your job search on LinkedIn or Facebook.
Also, try not to drop hints. For example, one day you come to work dressed in your regular clothes people see all the time. Then, the next day you dress nicely for an interview, everyone sees how great you look, and they get curious. The next day, you dress in the same clothes you always wear. Your colleagues will ask questions. Play it cool and maintain business as usual in your current workplace to avoid dropping hints.
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3. Use personal technology for interview planning
Your company email address is not owned by you. It also exists on a company server. The last thing you want to have is a written record showing you are interviewing while employed. If your boss finds out you are using your current job tools to schedule an interview, it will become a problem for you.
Plan all your interviews at home with your own email, and on your own devices. You own them and can do what you want with them.
4. Schedule interviews during lunch or after work
Chances are the person who invited you to an interview already knows you have a job. If you schedule your interview during a lunch break, or after work, they will understand why. If they demand you interview at a time that puts you at risk in your current job, turn the interview down.
It is actually easier to schedule an interview when you have a job. The reason is, you have a solid answer to the question, “What is a convenient time for you?”. Interviewing while employed gives you the leverage to say, “I am too busy”, which makes you look important!
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5. Use vacation or sick days
You earn your vacation and sick days, so you may as well use them. When you know you have an interview scheduled, be nice to your current company and take a vacation day to attend. If you cannot tell them you have an interview, at least you are giving them a chance to plan ahead.
Doing this also helps you properly prepare for an interview. If you are interviewing while employed, you will feel more comfortable knowing you did not have to sneak out of work. You won’t feel rushed to return to work from a lunch break, breaking out in a sweat!
Finally, if you are interviewing while employed, it does not make you a disloyal employee. It makes you a smarter employee. Jobs change faster than ever before and you need to be ready for it!