I work at a fairly large company (1000+ employees all on a single campus of multiple buildings). I am interviewing for a new position in the same company, and need to take a vacation day. My boss is asking why I need the day, and I don't really want to tell him that it is for the interview. It is unlikely that I will be seen at the company grounds by my boss during the interview day, but it is still possible. What do I do?

I've thought about making up an excuse for why I need to be home, but that feels wrong and it will really be bad if I run into anyone during the interview day...

**EDIT: Taking time off at my job is semi-complicated. We are working on a project at the moment and while it is not impossible to take time off, we are discouraged from doing so until the project is over. Usually, my job happens in cycles, so like 3 months on a project, 1 month to gear up for the next one, then maybe 6 months/2 months and so on. So we definitely can take our vacation days, but doing so during a project is frowned upon.

  • 2
    Question: How many people actually tell their boss "I need to take 1 day off because I am interviewed for another job." ? Answer: Zero. -- So, pick any creative excuse you like and tell your boss. Commented Nov 12, 2022 at 5:55
  • 4
    You should really be telling your boss about the potential internal transfer. Commented Nov 13, 2022 at 4:03

4 Answers 4


If you are interviewing internally, you can probably tell your boss exactly that. "There's an interesting project which I might want to get involved in, and I'd like to take a bit of time to go talk to them and see if I'm a good fit for their needs." Entirely reasonable; that's how you take charge of your career and technical growth. I should have done so more often.

Yes, a sufficiently bad manager may object. Most of those I've worked with, even the ones I wasn't wild about, wouldn't. In that case, tell them you'll make up the time, then do so.

If a manager is bad enough that they feel threatened by your looking for where you can contribute best, all the more reason to get out of that group.

  • 1
    This is what I ended up doing. No repercussions yet :)
    – work572
    Commented Nov 14, 2022 at 11:42

Just say you need a day off on such-and-such day. A decent company will just say "Yes" without further questions (Or of course "No" if there is a reasonable work-based reason.)

If they ask why, say "It's personal".

If they ask again just repeat "It's personal".


interviewing for a new position in the same company, and need to take a vacation day.

I would question them about how long this should take. Many of the items they are trying to ascertain from the interview process they already know. You passed one set of interviews to get hired by the company, they should have annual reviews and the like which document the things you have worked on.

In my experience we have conducted interviews in about an hour with internal candidates. External candidates were interviewed over 1/2 day by multiple people.

If they can cut the interviewing time down to just a few hours, you may be able to do them at the start or the end of the day. This type of absence is easier to explain.


"I need to take this day off for personal reasons, I'm not comfortable elaborating further".

That's all you need to say.

  • 7
    The first part of the sentence is perfectly good. The second part is a big red flag since it implies "I'm doing something that I really don't want you to know about".
    – Hilmar
    Commented Nov 12, 2022 at 2:20
  • 2
    @Hilmar, Whatever reason it is, whether it's a medical issue, or taking a parent to the doctor, or going to the beach, or taking the cat to the vet, it's really none of their business. And no, it's not a red flag. It's called having healthy boundaries. Those vacation days are meant to be used. It's not like the OP is asking for charity. Commented Nov 12, 2022 at 5:08
  • @Hilmar - You are right, you are doing something you really don't want them to know about and by saying it, you are setting a clear expectation that the reasons why are not up for discussion. It's not a red flag and if a manager considers it a Red Flag, I'd be concerned. It might not be for an interview, it might be for a Medical procedure that's embarrassing, it might be you are going to visit a relative who is incarcerated, it might simply be that you are a private person and don't feel comfortable giving a reason - either way - you've let them know it's none of their business. Commented Nov 12, 2022 at 6:07
  • 1
    If you don't want to give reason, then don't give a reason. That's perfectly fine and chances are no one will ever ask. Proactively telling someone "I'm not going to tell you why" is weird IMO. It just draws a lot of attention that's completely unnecessary.
    – Hilmar
    Commented Nov 12, 2022 at 21:45

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .