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I have a friend who currently works at Prestigious Company A, but he is in the process of interviewing for More Prestigious Company B. The interviews are going well, and now Company B wants him to come in for an in-person interview.

The main problem is that Company B is in a totally different part of the country (USA) from Company A. Barring a weekend interview, which I don't think is too likely, the only option is to take vacation days to travel to Company B's location. Company A is probably going to ask why these vacation days are being taken, and my friend doesn't want to lie to them, but he also doesn't want them to know the real reason for the trip, lest there be consequences.

How can my friend attend this in-person interview without tipping off his current employer? Barring that, how could he work out an interview time that wouldn't require the vacation days?

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    Your friend is taking vacation days for personal reasons. If my firm is expecting me to take vacation days for business reasons, I am contacting my State's Department of Labor :) – Vietnhi Phuvan Oct 11 '14 at 17:36
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    Surely the answer why are taking leave is "I am taking leave" – Pepone Oct 11 '14 at 20:31
  • @JoeStrazzere I've never been officially asked why I was taking leave but always been asked conversationally – Carson63000 Oct 12 '14 at 2:02
  • At every company I've been at, I've never once been asked why I am taking vacation time. Even for times where I need to a few unpaid days off, I have at most said "personal reasons" and left it at that. – user17163 Oct 12 '14 at 23:51
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The company has no need to know why he's taking vacation. It could be a date, it could be negotiating the purchase of a car, it could be an ill friend or a relative doing something crazy, it could be any darned thing. If they ask, just answer "Personal business; I'd rather not discuss it." In the US, at least, they should accept that.

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  • I prefer to go with "I just fancied a day off/a long weekend" - it's no less true (I fancied a day off to go to an interview), and isn't as evasive (ie is less likely to be remarked upon): no lying involved, just a little bit of tactful avoidance of detail. – Jon Story Dec 8 '14 at 17:38
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This is how I would advice if your friend ask me,

Find a leisure stay place near Company B. Take some more days than it is required for the interview. Use spare days for leisure. Take someone who is personally related to you with you. Maybe your family. Have some fun. So this is a vacation to go on a leisure tour alongside an interview. If asked in whatever the way, tell Company A that you are going on a leisure tour with your family/whoever. You are not lying.

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