I will soon start a 2 months internship, in a financial software company. However, I may need to take a day off and take some on site interviews to an other company, 2 weeks after starting. I am unaware of the proper etiquette regarding day off and interns, is it something that is widely frown upon ? Does it -at all- play a part in getting a return offer ?

Clarifications: The internship is in Japan, in a non Japanese company.


  • Maybe you should ask other interns at your company if they had a similar requests. Ask your supervisor what he thinks, so you get an idea of how this is handled in your company. It doesn't have to look bad at all. Everyone needs a day off every now and then for whatever reasons - it would be foolish from your supervisor/management to try to extrapolate your "days off count" from the first 2 weeks of an internship.
    – Nras
    Commented Jul 17, 2015 at 10:33
  • 1
    What country are you in? Different countries will have different rules regarding vacation accrual.
    – Myles
    Commented Jul 17, 2015 at 16:06
  • I would have thought it would be OK to take a day off - people do have other lives apart from work. Perhaps you will not get paid for it. Why not contact the HR department of the company for advice. They are usually synthetic.
    – Ed Heal
    Commented Jul 17, 2015 at 17:32

3 Answers 3


It's def. a risk to ask for a day off in a 2 month internship if you want a return offer from that same company. With that short of time the probably want to see what you are made of, asking for a day off when you haven't even been there for two months and were pulled on as an intern for that time will def. be frowned upon.

That being said, a job is far better than an internship, if you are confident about this interview coming up then it may well be worth doing that risk. I suggest looking into trying to find out how and if other interns have taken days off and how they went about it. It's impossible to know your specific circumstances as someone that isn't you, but personally I wouldn't pass up a solid paid gig that I'm confident about to simply be viewed better as an 'intern' in a place that didn't give me the same opportunity to begin with.

You may just have to pull out your 'confident pants' and ask for that day/days off, go about it politically - there are companies that don't give contractors days off but they do give them sick days and miraculously, more people seem to get sick.

It's also an option to see if the companies will work with you, explain you have an internship currently running and would love to interview with them and see what times they are available that work for you better - if you have the interview then they are already slightly invested in the process.

Good luck

  • 8
    I cannot back this answer off. In my time as an intern at a company (where I know work full time) there was no problem with getting a day off as an intern (or full time employee). I strongly believe that is is different from country to country and different from company to company.
    – Nras
    Commented Jul 17, 2015 at 10:31
  • Was it longer than two months? It depends on the intern program, if that's the case he/she wouldn't be concerned. Everywhere I've worked if you have a short internship and they only select of few of the interns it's going to be the people that didn't take time off - period.
    – user37925
    Commented Jul 17, 2015 at 14:50
  • Agreed with Nras, that's going to depend a lot of the culture of the company and of its policies. I would have no problem with it.
    – ptyx
    Commented Jul 17, 2015 at 22:10
  • My company would have no problem with it either, policy wise, but politically, that intern would have to really impress them before they could go on further in the process. It's going to come down to a meeting about which interns to keep on "Well John was great" "oh and he never tok a day off" "Oh that's right didn't fred take days off?" "Yeah, only 2 months too" "alright lets take John, now whose next". You have to think about these things realistically.
    – user37925
    Commented Jul 19, 2015 at 0:25

You ask for a day off, and you make it clear that you'll make up for that day off. If you can take half a day off rather than a full day off, you'll be even less disruptive.

As an intern, it's unlikely that what what you are working on is on a project's critical path - if you are on a critical path, then your boss should have known better than let the outcome of a project depend on an intern's contributions. Not very ego enhancing to you, but that's how I would have handled you as my intern - I don't want you to be to my team as a Chaos Monkey would be to Cloud operations. Nothing personal, but I have deadlines to meet, a team's reputation to preserve and managerial headaches I want to avoid.

Some interns have complained on this site that they were not 100% busy and in fact, that they were only 40% busy. If you fall into this category of interns, you'll make up for any time you take off very easily.

Your internship could end at your manager's whim. Further, you're not guaranteed that your manager will call you back once your internship ends. This means that you have to be proactive about your internship ending and being proactive means that you have to go on interviews.

In my time, I used to ask for some time off and I would have been very up front if the management asked me what I was up to - I would have told them that since they can't guarantee that they'll call me back, I have to have a plan B in place. They never asked because they had a pretty good idea why I was asking for the time off, and that my asking for time off was my being simply prudent about how I managed my future.

  • 3
    Indeed. If an intern would not look out for himself, I wouldn't trust them to look out for company interests after they are hired. Commented Jul 17, 2015 at 9:14

One of the purposes of some internships is to make the intern want to work for them. This is a way to see how you work with their culture, so they will want to treat you exactly the way they treat their employees.

The first place to see about getting a day off is to look at the HR documents they provide you before or on the first day of work. Look to see if it discusses procedures for taking vacation, sick, or PTO (Paid time off). It is a good sign if it discusses your balances for these items, or how they are earned. The documents may also describe flexible schedules: in other words they allow you to work any 40 hours in week as long a your manager approves. Some even allow you to work 4x10 or 80 hours over 9 days.

The more flexibility they describe, the more easily you can schedule those hours you need to miss to attend an interview.

When you do need to ask for time away for the office, do so as soon as you can so that they can adjust. You may even want to discuss it before your first day. This is especially true if the time off is early in the internship, because they may still be training you.

  • Some of the stuff in the employee manual may not apply to interns - and that includes time off. It's one thing to require a full-time employee to to work for three months before that employee can take time off. That requirement is just ridiculous in the context of a two-month internship. And there is a difference between asking to take paid time off and asking for time that will be made up for. The OP clearing it with their manager - my first choice - or with HR might be the preferred ways to go about asking for time off. Commented Jul 17, 2015 at 11:36

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