By Shannon Jackson
Special to The Toronto Sun
Q:I am working and am looking for a new job. I keep getting invited to interviews during working hours, but I have trouble getting time off to go. Is it okay to request after-hours interviews?
A:I know what you mean. I once heard a job-seeker reflect on the number of interviews required for a position by saying that if he had any more dentist appointments, he'd have to return to work with no more teeth!
It's a difficult position, yet most employers will admit that their ideal candidate is the "passive" job-seeker who is already working.
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Requesting an appointment outside of business hours can be done tactfully, but I would advise you to be respectful and understanding if it is not agreed upon. Remember that you are asking the employer to work overtime on your behalf.
Inform the interviewer that there is some sensitivity with leaving work for interviews. Request an appointment at the beginning or the end of business --
Inform the interviewer that there is some sensitivity with leaving work for interviews. Request an appointment at the beginning or the end of business -- 8 a.m. or 4 p.m. -- minimizing the effect on your current job.
Another effective strategy to maximize the time you spend in interviews is to pre-qualify your job prospects before attending the interviews.
Spend more time on the telephone asking questions that will enable you to evaluate your interest in the position before agreeing to meet. Engaging third party recruiters gives you access to more employers and more opportunities, and you will only be contacted to interview for positions for which you are qualified.
(Shannon Jackson is the national recruitment manager for Manpower
Services Inc. www.manpower.ca
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