Ask A Recruiter: Scheduling Job Interviews When I Have A Job?

Great question.

With unemployment rates at a staggering low, hiring managers and recruiters are struggling to find talent now more than ever. It used to be that the “Best of the Best” were employed with exceptional companies, but now it’s basically everyone.

Ultimately, it’s a great problem to have, right? Yay for the economy! However, trying to hire people that are currently working can be tricky, for both hiring managers and candidates.

So how do you do this right?

Keep it on the “Down Low”

It’s hard to keep secrets nowadays. Office environments are tight knit and many coworkers are friends with each other outside of work. And you know what friends do: tell each other everything. But if you’re trying to interview at another company, you have to keep it to yourself. No matter how much you trust your coworkers, people talk. Even on accident. You have to have the mentality of a spy, TRUST NO ONE. You don’t want to jeopardize your current employment situation just for an interview.

Evaluate your True Availability

Most businesses operate during the same hours, meaning? You’re going to be interviewing during work. Also, keep in mind that most companies will conduct multiple round of interviews, so the infamous “dentist appointment” is only going to work one time, my friend.

If you are working with a recruiter, you need to provide them as much availability as possible, preferably a few time frames. You need to evaluate what your boundaries are, when you absolutely cannot interview, and what circumstances you are able to accomodate. Be prepared to take a half day off work or leave the office a little earlier than usual. But never overpromise availability. 

If you are working directly with the hiring manager or HR department, be transparent with them in the same way. Remember, you have to work with their schedule. This process is a give and take and as long as you understand that in the beginning, your experience will be a lot easier.

Make smart choices

The purpose of interviewing in the first place is that you want to make a smart and strategic transition, right? You should not bite at every opportunity that is thrown your way. Feel free to hear out the position but if you’re being offered interviews left and right, take a minute and evaluate what your goals are with a new role. Your time is precious (and difficult to set aside, as we just discussed). It’s OK to say no.

Don’t slack on the interview (especially after all of this work)!

You’ve been flexible enough to adjust your schedule and pause your current work load to interview at this new company…make it count! If your current job has an extremely laid back dress code and this new job is more formal, be prepared to change outfits. Make sure you do your research on the company (duh!) and focus on being present at the interview. You may have five projects at work that you could be doing right now, but it’s important to express your genuine interest and excitement to the opportunity.

Hiring managers are aware that most candidates are employed. They will be open to shifting around schedules and making certain arrangements for you. With that being said, you have to be willing to do the same. If you are, the result will hopefully be a new position you love!

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