I'm currently looking for jobs and one of the jobs for which I've had a preliminary interview will require me to fly to their country (Netherlands) for a final in person interview.

My current company does contract work for the US Department of Defense, and therefore I am required to inform them of all travel abroad.

Since any such travel will almost certainly be very late notice (at least by international travel standards), is there any particular way I should go about informing them of my last minute travel?

My current best idea is to just say that "I found a great last minute deal to the Netherlands" and leave it at that. Ideas?

  • Lying in a job which presumably requires clearance seems like a very bad idea... Jan 21, 2020 at 4:21
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    It is also remarkably foolish of you to ask this question with what is presumably your real name linked to your GitHub account. You are essentially planning to lie to the government in a case where they care about security. Jan 21, 2020 at 4:27
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    "Next week, I'm flying to the Netherlands for personal reasons." Who do you have to tell anyway? HR? Jan 21, 2020 at 5:33
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    @MatthewGaiser the way I read it, OP never intends to lie, they are trying to keep it vague while communicating the information and they're looking for choice of words. Jan 21, 2020 at 6:15
  • "Lying in a job which presumably requires clearance seems like a very bad idea." , whereas the OP would be lying to get out of a job which presumably requires clearance Jan 21, 2020 at 6:29

2 Answers 2


Inform Employer About Job Interview

It is usually very bad idea to inform your current employer about ANY job interviews.

I was in a very similar situation, just that the government had nothing to do with my job. I told my employer that I am going to visit that country. After I returned, I took my time to think about the job offer. When I had the final decision, I informed my employer that I will leave the company.

Now, read your contract and other paperwork carefully. If you have to inform them about going abroad, inform them. If you do not have to inform them about attending interviews, then don't.

If they ask about reasons for visiting the said country, claim tourism. You might even allow yourself a very short vacation (1-3 days) for some sight-seeing, and then you will not even be lying. I actually did exactly that, and I actually had a vacation of about 6 days, additional to having the interview.

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    I would definitely recommend putting in a little sightseeing time. It gives you something to talk about when colleagues ask you about your trip. Also, getting a good look at the place may help making your decision about the job. (And as someone from the Netherlands, I recommend trying to get beyond the tourist areas to see what the country is really like.)
    – ObscureOwl
    Jan 21, 2020 at 8:12
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    @ObscureOwl: I agree, seeing things other than the main touristic areas is very welcome. I did it in the past (just tourist, not job related, not Netherlands), and I regret nothing - except insufficient time to explore more.
    – virolino
    Jan 21, 2020 at 8:49
  • @ObscureOwl Whilst I agree with visiting non-tourist areas, some people may need to consider whether it would be safe for them to do so, though this won't be an issue for the OP. It is only if there are any political issues (at which point you would reconsider working there), but also if your ethnicity/religion might not be as tolerated outside of the big cities.
    – Monstar
    Jan 22, 2020 at 8:35
  • @Monstar that might be an issue in some countries, but the Netherlands are pretty safe throughout.
    – ObscureOwl
    Jan 22, 2020 at 12:26
  • @ObscureOwl I agree, it was more of a general statement in case anyone else saw this. But then, I'm sure those people affected would have an idea.
    – Monstar
    Jan 22, 2020 at 12:56

Copying your words: (emphasis mine)

.... therefore I am required to inform them of all travel abroad.

So do that, inform them. As you mentioned, you don't need an approval, so just keep them informed about the travel. You can mention personal reasons as the purpose of the travel.

Whatever happens, don't lie.

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    "I'm taking a personal trip to the Netherlands on X date to Y date" is both factual and doesn't drop you in it. Jan 21, 2020 at 13:28
  • @JayGould That's exactly what I'm advising. Jan 21, 2020 at 13:29

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