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I already have a few days in September I had planned before interviewing with this company. Can I negotiate or ask if they would be OK with me taking a few days off after I join since I have family coming in from out of town for a family event? If yes, how do I ask the same and whom to ask if I am talking to the recruiter right now?

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    If they were to say no, would you reject the offer?
    – cdkMoose
    Jun 18, 2019 at 17:53

4 Answers 4

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You asked a few questions.

Can I negotiate or ask if they would be OK with me taking a few days off after I join since I have family coming in from out of town for a family event?

Yes, you can always try to negotiate anything. Pre-planned PTO is fairly common, although different employers will have different responses. Some employers may be happy to allow you to take the PTO, while other employers who rely on systems where employees "earn" PTO little by little every paycheck may inform you that you wouldn't have enough PTO available, and they may offer unpaid time off instead.

If yes, how do I ask the same and whom to ask if I am talking to the recruiter right now?

If you're talking to a recruiter, that is the person you should ask. It would be typical to wait until after the interview to ask - perhaps when you're contacted so they can extend you an offer, or discuss offer terms. It may be seen as presumptuous to ask "too early," i.e. before you've even been interviewed. Although, if this is a total deal-breaker for you, and you really want to know now, you can always ask.

In terms of how to ask, it can be a simple email, or call the recruiter and ask:

Hi Ms. Recruiter,

Thanks again for considering me for this position and extending an offer. While I'm considering it, I wanted to let you know that I have already planned a family event on September 4th and I will need to take September 3rd and 4th off from work - I wanted to let you know that so we could discuss how to handle those days in terms of PTO.

Thanks, user163824

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You can always ask; everything is up for negotiation, and this might be a good indicator of how flexible and accommodating your new employer will be.

IMHO, it would be a very short-sighted employer who would reject an otherwise good candidate over 2 days of PTO.

If this is a deal-breaker for them because they absolutely need you to work those two specific days, or a deal-breaker for you because your family event is important enough to reject the job offer, it would be best to get this out in the open now.

If you will be able to accrue the needed PTO hours before the event this might be a non-issue. If this would require them to provide you two days' worth of leave before you have earned it or in some other way bending the rules to their normal process, you would be smart to make sure those two days are detailed in the offer letter or contract before signing, as verbal promises have a funny way of sometimes disappearing...

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If/when they ask you when you can start, at that point bring up that you have plans already for that week. You MAY need to take unpaid time off depending on their PTO policy, but typically it's not an issue, when you explain that the plans were already in the works. After that, when they present an offer, and they tell you that it comes with 10 days or whatever of PTO a year, you can ask them to give you 3 additional days. They may deny it, or accept it. Depends on the situation.

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  • If the time off is a deal breaker, it would be smart to bring up the subject, before you are given a start date. You don't want to accept a job, then start the job, only to find out the time off will not be approved.
    – Donald
    Jun 18, 2019 at 17:36
  • Agreed -- my point was at that point you really begin negotiation. That's usually when they begin to ask the schedule, and pay, etc.
    – Keith
    Jun 18, 2019 at 17:39
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Can I negotiate or ask if they would be OK with me taking a few days off after I join since I have family coming in from out of town for a family event?

Yes you can certainly negotiate to make sure you get to take PTO for a planned vacation.

If yes, how do I ask the same and whom to ask if I am talking to the recruiter right now?

This is a tricky one. Some people recommend that you bring up your needs as early as possible to avoid wasting everyone's time, but my stance is that a recruiter phone screen is too early to be making demands like vacation time. I recommend asking after you receive an offer letter.

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