7. How to attend a job interview when you work full-time?

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The Job Hunting Podcast Episode 7

You want to keep it to yourself, but if you dress up to the nines, out of the blue, then take a 2-hour lunch break, it will be pretty obvious you have gone to a job interview.

Listen to this episode of The Job Hunting Podcast, where I tell a heartbreaking story about what not to do and how everything can go wrong if you are not careful about job searching while working.

Three things you can try to do:

  1. If possible, take a day off.
  2. People will know if you dress up better that day, so dress nicely every day.
  3. Try to book at the start or end of the day.

Have I done a job interview during work hours? Yes? Was it stressful? A bit, but not so much.

In my view, the best way to do it is to create an environment where you are allowed to leave work now and then to do personal things. This should be fine, as long as you can catch up on work later and keep on top of your responsibilities and KPIs. Remember that your current work and boss are your best references for future jobs, so don't burn any bridges! Now more than ever, you want to make sure your work is above the bar.

Maybe I have been lucky, or it's my sector, but I was not micromanaged and could take time out now and then to run a personal errand and catch up with work later. I also never over-explained anything and didn't say all the details of my medical appointments. Add to your calendar, give people access to your calendar, and then go. Period. I also always dressed professionally so that people never thought I was more overdressed than the other day. If you read my 10 Tips for Making Job Hunting Less Stressful and More Successful or listened to previous podcasts about building your brand (numbers 3 and 4), you will know by now that you can find your next job anywhere. A lucky person is a person prepared for opportunities. If your job requires you to be dressed more casually, then walk into the interview room and "destroy" with your confidence, exude leadership. Let them know you have been at work and need to go back to work, so it explains things like a lack of tie or suit.

What you shouldn't do:

  • Over explain your lie
  • Come up with complicated stories
  • Have a guilty attitude
  • Tell people you are looking for a new job

Talking about the elephant in the room: you should NOT tell people at work. Don't tell anyone at work that you are looking for a job. It may be fine for some people, but it's a good rule of thumb to follow. It's hard to keep a secret at work. You would be asking people not to tell anyone when they have projects, deadlines, and budgets on the line. It's not fair for you to ask them that. Plus, if you don't leave, you will be stuck there with them, which will be awkward for everyone. They may start reconsidering your motivation and interest in your job, which can negatively affect your ability to get an internal promotion or exciting project.

 Links mentioned in this episode:

Are you new to The Job Hunting Podcast? 

Hello, I’m Renata Bernarde, the Host of The Job Hunting Podcast. I’m also an executive coach, job hunting expert, and career strategist. I teach corporate, non-profit, and public professionals the steps and frameworks to help them find great jobs, change, and advance their careers with confidence and less stress. 

If you are 1) an ambitious professional who is keen to develop a robust career plan, 2) looking to find your next job or promotion, or 3) you want to keep a finger on the pulse of the job market so that when you are ready, and an opportunity arises, you can hit the ground running – then this podcast is for you. In addition to The Job Hunting Podcast, I have developed a range of courses and services for professionals in career or job transition. And, of course, I also coach private clients. 

So there is no excuse – I’m determined to help you! I want you to feel empowered, nail your next job, and have the career you want.

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Enjoy the episode and ciao for now!


Renata Bernarde | Job Hunting Expert | Founder, Pantala Academy

Book a time to discuss 1-1 coaching and achieve your goals faster

[email protected]


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