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I'm going to start a new job at company A soon, after two months of unemployment. The work contract says I'm not entitled to ask for days off during the first six months. Besides, within this period there are a couple of days (before/after bank holidays) on which the company is shut down, and for which employees have to take a day off mandatorily.

This job I'm going to start is mostly a better-than-nothing option, which I accepted because life began to be difficult for me. Now I've seen today the one job advertisement from company B I've been waiting for the past weeks. (Literally: from a friend working there I knew it would come some day, but he couldn't tell when.) This job would be much better for me than the one I'm about to start, and I guess I'd also fit very well to the job profile. So I'm pretty confident I'd be invited for an interview if I apply, and I am very tempted to apply. After interview, I guess I have a 30% - 50% chance of being hired. (Company B is in the public sector, so the have to respect equal opportunities regulations which don't benefit me personally.)

My question is: How can I go to an interview at company B when I can't ask for a day off at company A?

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    If possible you can simply arrange to go after work, during the lunch break or early in the morning. This of course heavily depends on the travel time between company A and company B. – Gianluca Feb 20 at 10:42
  • @Gianluca Not really an option, travel time would be about 1 hour one-way. – procrastinatorsaved Feb 20 at 10:46
  • Then try to arrange a phone interview, at least for the first one. If you should pass it, then you can explain your problem. If company B is interested in you, a way will be found. But 1 hour travel time is really not so much for an after work interview in my opinion. – Gianluca Feb 20 at 10:59
  • Is company B also closed during bank holidays? – Kepotx Feb 20 at 11:01
  • @ Kepotx On bank holidays: Very likely so, it being in the public sector. "Around" bank holidays: Can't tell right now. – procrastinatorsaved Feb 20 at 11:03
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A good way to work within these constraints:

  • See what your companies overtime policies are. Many people will structure their work week so they work 9 hours Monday through Thursday and leave after lunch on Friday in their 40 hours work week. This is probably your best bet because it requires little explanation.

  • Ask the other company for an interview outside office hours. In the private sector that is normally not a problem. As they are in the public sector... I cannot say. But it cannot hurt to ask.

  • Ask for unpaid time off. Do not go into details, just say you have a private appointment. If they insist, tell them it's with your tax accountant, "Schornsteinfeger", your landlord sending people to verify your smoke detectors work or otherwise boring stuff that happens to everybody in regular intervals.

Slightly unethical:

  • Interview early, then come in late to work and claim you were stuck in traffic or your alarm did not work. Although a lie, it's not a bad one, because they did not pay you. You still acknowledge it's your fault and you will need to work the lost hours at a later time. Obviously it will not leave a positive impression during your probation period.

Completely unacceptable:

  • Claim you are sick. Sick time in Germany is paid. Not only is it a lie, you also claim payment from company A for the time you lied to them and interviewed at company B. From my point of view, that's fraud, plain and simple.
  • Indeed, the third dot-point here is totally correct. You don't have to "lie" - simply state that you have to take care of "accounting business", "personal paperwork", "a legal matter" or similar. (That is all, actually, true!) – Fattie Feb 20 at 14:38
  • I completely agree with your last point. That's what made me ask the question in the first place. I'm gonna try out your first three suggestions. – procrastinatorsaved Feb 20 at 17:24

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