EDIT: This question is specifically about how to communicate my actions and goals to my current employer. This question is unconcerned with the ethics of interviewing without intention of taking the job, to clarify, the ethics tag has been removed
I've been contacted about interviewing by a recruiter and I'd like to take the interview but don't really plan on leaving my current job (everyone has a price, though.) I'd like to be honest with my employer about why I'm taking Paid Time Off because A) the company I'm interviewing with may contact my current employer for reference and B) I'd like to establish a trend of interviewing once a year without anyone worrying about my loyalty.
TL:DR How do I handle informing my current employer that I am going on an interview but have no intention of leaving my current job?
I've only worked at my current company for 2 years and this company has a reputation for extremely longevity (some of my coworkers started here in the '60's) My boss seems to be a very understanding guy but management above him is very "corporate" so I'm not sure how they would react. I've considered the following options:
- Explain my intention to remain current by interviewing once a year as I have here. (perhaps also find some business guru who says its a good idea to placate the corporate types.)
- Just don't tell them where I'm going (Companies cannot require explanations of PTO in my state but I usually do so this might seem odd.)
- Lie and claim I'm going to a wedding, baby shower, funeral, etc
Tell them about the interview but claim it's just because I want someone to pay for a vacation (the interviewing company will pay airfare, room, and board)
Any other ideas?
I realize that some of you will say that interviewing is a bad idea or even dishonest if I don't plan to take the job. I've already weighed and made that decision so please keep answers on topic.
A bit of background. At a company I worked for in the past there were a pair of developers who believed in going on at least one job interview a year. They did so and made their bosses (the CTO and CEO) aware of their activities. My understanding is that they were honest about the interview and insistent that it was a matter of currency: neither intended to leave the company and neither ever took job offers. It may be relevant that these people had 14 and 15 years tenure at a 16 year old hundred-million dollar company. Their loyalty was therefore virtually unimpeachable.
I am a mid-career engineer, well credentialed in a niche skill. In other words, people like me are not recruited often but are highly sought-after when the need arises. I work in the U.S. for a large corporation.