I'm in a situation now where I'm currently employed, but basically fed up with my current employer. One big issue of contention is the schedule I work, for lack of a better term. My current employer is extremely insistent on me (and the rest of my colleagues) being at the office between 08:00 and 17:00, and even what hours, specifically, we take our lunch hours. This is not so unusual, in my understanding, except for the fact that my colleagues and I are salaried IT professionals, and are routinely required to work off-hours and weekends to fix issues, perform maintenance and generally do our jobs when there's no user impact. Regardless of hours worked, however, my employer insists on us being in the office between 08:00 and 17:00, and will basically not give comp time off either.
On a related note, we're also not allowed to take half-days off, which would be how I normally schedule interviews - take a half day off for my interviews. To me, that seems like the most professional way to handle it, but here, it's a whole day off, or nothing off. (And generally time off needs to be scheduled out well in advance, which is another problem for scheduling interviews.)
Given this scheduling rigidity, is there any particularly good, professional way to go about interviewing for a new job, considering that the vast majority of interviews are conducted during those same hours I'm expected to be at the office? I'm hoping someone has a better idea than having a rash of "doctor's appointments" and "dentist appointments" or whatever other lie would excuse me from the office for a couple hours.