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I’ve got an interview – should I tell my boss?

12 Apr 2013 by Sarah Leembruggen.

Even if you’ve got a good relationship with your boss, honesty is probably not the best policy when it comes to interviewing for new jobs. There’s a vast difference between suspecting that someone is getting itchy feet and knowing that someone is actively looking elsewhere.

If you admit that you’re courting other agencies or checking out new in-house opportunities then things are likely to change. Your boss will probably view you quite differently; no longer the loyal and committed Account Manager, or the iron-clad Press Officer, but the distracted, short-term, team member who isn’t right for that important new client or can’t be completely relied upon for those weightier, long-term projects. Or worse, the artful former ally who tried to manipulate a promotion or pay rise by threatening to leave.

You might not feel comfortable about deceiving your colleagues, who does? But if you speak up and then change your mind, or it takes longer than you’d expected to find your dream job, then you’ve put yourself in an unnecessarily awkward position.

The only other course of action is to take lots of holiday days or become the master dissembler, with an impenetrable excuse for every interview.

Arrange interviews for the beginning or the end of the day. Arriving late due to a delivery at home, or sneaking off half an hour early will probably be acceptable occasionally.

If you have to have an excuse, make it as plausible as possible. It’s when it comes to round three or four of the process that the excuses start to wear thin….can you make an off-site with a client neatly dovetail with an interview? Surely your boss will understand if a client meeting overruns?

Interviews take time and have a habit of overrunning, so bear that in mind if you’re considering scheduling a meeting over lunch or during the day – you don’t want to have to cut your interview short because you’ve got to dash back to work.

There’s more real advice from recruiters about job seeking for PRs on our website:

Telephone interviews: How to get the best out of them

How to survive a strategy presentation in PR

Past employer interview questions and how to answer them

Competency based interview questions and how to answer them

Meeting the team: How do I prepare?

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