If you have an interview lined up and you’re stressing over how to tell your boss, don’t.
First of all, you have no ethical or legal obligation to tell your boss that you’re interviewing outside of the company.
But if you want to tell your boss out of respect or some other reason, that’s fine.
It may even result in your boss doing something to try and keep you once they know you’re leaving!
Here’s how you can tell your boss you have an interview in a professional way that should work to your advantage:
How to Tell Your Boss You Have an Interview
Keep in mind that you don’t have to tell your boss that you have an interview elsewhere, and there are some possible drawbacks to doing so.
With that in mind, if you still want to tell your boss that you have an interview to go to, here is how you can approach it:
If You Want to Come Across Like You’re Happy to Leave:
- “Hi, I just wanted to tell you that I need some time off on the [date] as I have an interview at [company]”
- “Hey, I booked some time off on [date] as I have an interview for a position that I’m excited about.”
- “Hi, I know this might come as a surprise but I have an interview at [company] next week so I’m booking some time off.”
- “Hey, I just wanted to let you know that I’m interviewing at [company] next week.”
These are all great openers, there’s no telling where the conversation will go from there so just go with the flow.
If You Want to Make out Like You’re Not Happy to Leave:
- “Hi, I have an interview next week so I booked some time off. I’m just thinking about seeing what my options are.”
- “Hey, I just wanted to let you know that I’m happy here, but I have an interview next week as it’s a pay bump and I could use the raise right now.”
- “Hi, I’m off next [date] as I have an interview. I’m not sure if I want the job yet, but it’s a step up in terms of responsibility and pay so I’d be crazy not to try.”
- “I have an interview coming up with [company], I wasn’t planning on leaving but the package is really good so I have to go for it.”
Do I Have to Tell My Boss I Have a Job Interview?
No, you are not obligated to tell your boss about a job interview.
In fact, in most cases, it may be better for you not to say anything until you have made a decision about whether or not to accept the new position.
There are a few exceptions to this rule, however.
- If you want to stay at your current company but want more money, making your boss feel like you’re going to leave might make him offer you a better deal.
- If you want to let your boss know that you’re not happy in your role.
- If you’re going to need a lot of time off in the coming weeks for various interviews.
- If you think they’ll find out anyway because they know people at the company you’re interviewing at.
Ultimately, the main reason why anyone would want to tell their boss they’re interviewing for other jobs is to try and get a raise.
If that’s your goal, here are a few things to keep in mind.
- Be prepared for the possibility that your boss will react negatively and reduce your work responsibilities as they’re assuming you’re leaving.
- They might get offended and feel betrayed and start treating you negatively.
- They might even make it difficult for you to get the time off to go to interviews to try and sabotage you.
- It’s possible that you can be fired.
It’s up to you if you say anything or not, just know that you don’t have to feel bad for not telling your boss.
This is business, you need to put yourself and your family first.
If you’re able to get a new job that’s more challenging, rewarding, and pays more, you should always go for it!
How to Tell Your Boss You Have an Interview with The Same Company
Going for an interview within the same company is a very different scenario.
It’s much more common to tell your boss that you have an interview within the same company as they’re almost certainly going to find out anyway.
To make your boss feel better about it, it’s important you handle this situation correctly.
The first thing you need to do is speak to your boss and explain that you’re interested in the position and would like their permission to go through the interview process.
You should also explain that you’re not planning on leaving your current role unless the new position is a significant step up in terms of responsibility and pay.
In most cases, your boss will be happy to hear that you’re looking to further your career within the company and will give you their blessing.
Can I Be Fired for Looking for Another Job?
The short answer is, yes, in most cases you can be fired for looking for another job.
Laws vary across the states and the world, and it’s usually only under specific circumstances but it’s often a possibility.
For example, the most common case is that you’re employed as an “at-will” employee, which means your boss can fire you for any reason or no reason at all.
In this case, looking for another job is usually grounds for dismissal.
If you know you can be fired in your state, I would only tell your boss if you’re willing to get fired but want to see if they’ll bump up your pay to keep you!
Image credits – Photo by Marc Kleen on Unsplash
Phil lives in England, UK, and has around 20 years experience as a professional life, career and executive coach. He started this blog to help others find and define their own self development journey. Blogging about a wide range of topics to help facilitate a better future.