May 2, 2012
Job seeker fears planned vacation will hurt candidacy
Q: I hope to be offered a job soon. The problem is the week training would start, I am supposed to go to Mexico with my family, maybe one of the last family vacations we will have as our kids are getting older. I have a second interview before the job is formally offered. Should I be honest with them and maybe lose the job offer? I am torn between making an excuse up and being honest and missing the vacation.
A: At the end of the second interview, if it's 100 percent clear you're going to be offered the job, be straight with them. Tell them you have this vacation planned, say there's no way you're going to let the vacation get in the way of securing the job, but ask if there's any way you can make it work so you don't have to cancel the vacation.
Again, stress that the job offer takes absolute priority and that you're very excited about getting rolling in the new position. But bring it up nicely and see whether they can offer any way to work around the situation.
Experts I've talked to point out that in this job market you don't want to risk losing a good opportunity. But, they say, it's not unreasonable to ask an honest, straightforward question and see whether an employer is willing or able to accommodate your needs.
If anything, I imagine they'd respect you being upfront about things.
Now, if at the second interview you still don't know for sure whether you're getting an offer, I wouldn't bring the vacation up. Because at that point, why bother? If they haven't made you an offer, and you bring it up, it could factor into their hiring decision.
I would encourage everyone out there, whether you're job seeking or already working, to never lie or make up any kind of excuse, medical or otherwise. That's just asking for trouble, and with jobs hard to come by, it's not worth the risk of having something blow up in your face.
The thought of missing out on a vacation stinks, but if you're looking at a potentially good job offer, the job has to take priority. And I say that as someone who puts huge value on spending time with my family.
Once you have the job, you'll get vacation time and can make the most of it then.
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