You have a job interview at 3 p.m. on a Tuesday. Maybe you’re planning to tell your boss you have a doctor’s appointment. Perhaps you’ll say you have to pick your kid up from school.
But how will you respond when the hiring manager asks, “Where does your boss think you are right now?” during the job interview?
James Reed, author of “Why You?: 101 Interview Questions You’ll Never Fear Again,” and chairman of Reed, a top job site in the UK and Europe, writes in his book that the real question here is, “How easily tempted are you to lie?”
The hiring manager is trying to get a better sense of your character, so you’ll want to be able to tell them the truth without feeling embarrassed by your answer.
Reed says the best way to avoid having to tell a hiring manager that you lied to your boss (which will send up red flags) is to not lie to your boss in the first place.
Rather than using the “doctor’s appointment” or “kids” excuses, take the day off from work.
If you leave the office for a few hours in the middle of the workday, your boss will likely ask where you’re going or where you went. However, if you take a vacation or personal day, they’re far less likely to pry … and then when the hiring manager asks, you can be honest: “Since I had a few vacation days left for the year, I took the whole day off … so I never had to offer an explanation since my boss didn’t ask where I am today.”
If taking the day off isn’t an option, your best bet is to tell your boss you have an appointment. Be vague, and don’t offer too many more details. And if the hiring manager asks, tell them you said just that.
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