I am looking to move jobs soon (this autumn), the last time that I did this it was extremely difficult for me to go to interviews whilst in the office full time.

This was largely from my boss being in the same room. It is also a casual environment where we do not suit up but wear casual clothing. Hence, I will need time to get changed (into a suit) and find time during the day to go for interviews without anybody getting suspicious.

The last time I did this, I resigned and job hunted full time to get another job. I am not keen to do this again from a loss of income.

  • go to lunch, put on a suit, sit in the local library with headphones on. take off your suit, come back to work. – hownowbrowncow May 16 '16 at 16:17
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    Ask the place you are interviewing at if a suit is necessary. Most places these days don't care if you wear a suit to an interview, especially if it's in work hours. – DJClayworth May 16 '16 at 16:41
  • @DJClayworth That depends on the industry. In tech that's definitely the case even though I wouldn't go to an interview not wearing one. It's just an antique from an era long gone (the 1990s or 1980s) – ventsyv May 16 '16 at 16:45
  • If you can't be in a suit for whatever reason at least have a haircut and something with a collar, and most importantly be on time or early. – HireThisMarine May 16 '16 at 16:59
  • For more specific answers, please tell us your gender, country, sector and type of job. – Dirk Horsten May 16 '16 at 17:03

Most people use their allotment of paid vacation or paid time off to go to interviews. You can take all or part of a day off to interview - take the whole day off and leave for the interview from home or take part of the day off and travel between work, home, and the interview as appropriate to change. You shouldn't need to give explicit details about why you are taking time off, in most cases, but that depends on your boss and company culture.

  • I took days off in my old job, people figured it out when I kept taking days off plus I ran out of vacation time eventually – bobo2000 May 16 '16 at 16:23
  • @bobo2000 Does it matter if people figure it out? What you do on your vacation time is your own business. As far as running out of vacation time, it's something that you need to plan for. If you are actively interviewing and only get 2 weeks of time off, you shouldn't be planning long vacations in your current position. – Thomas Owens May 16 '16 at 16:26
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    Half day is more than enough for the average interview if you schedule it in the morning or the late afternoon. I expect to be warned if the interview is expected to take longer than 2 hours. – ventsyv May 16 '16 at 16:26
  • A half vacation day will do the trick, and should normally give you enough time to get changed so you don't come in overdressed and announcing to the office you're on the hunt. Also, using a vacation day is the only professional way to approach it. Personally, I view it as extremely unprofessional when a candidate admits to using a sick or personal-leave day to interview rather than using a vacation day. – Cloud May 16 '16 at 18:18

Wear pants and shirt and leave the jacket & tie in the car. When you arrive at the interview, just put them on. Alternatively, you can try scheduling your interviews in the morning, and just leave the jacket & tie in the car when you get to your current job.

Most people don't pay that much attention to what their coworkers wear and shirt and pants is not that formal to be noticeable. Even if someone gets suspicious I doubt they'll say anything.

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    If you have to defend yourself you can always tell a white lie and tell a coworker that you have an event you have to go to immediately after work. – DanK May 16 '16 at 16:22
  • "Most people don't pay that much attention to what their coworkers wear..." That depends on the place. Mostly I've worked in casual places, but showing up in a tie - or just suit pants and a dress shirt - will draw questions. OTOH there was a place where suits and ties were required - to the point that one day when we'd had 6 inches of snow, our client closed the facility we supported, and only about 25% of the staff got to work, one guy - who had dug his car out of that snow and driven about an hour - was sent home to put on his suit and tie because he had come to work in jeans. – GreenMatt May 16 '16 at 18:22
  • @GreenMatt: If I ever worked in a place like that, I'd just keep a spare suit in a locker or even in the car. – Juha Untinen May 16 '16 at 23:16

Since your job hunting is still months away, start now by gradually improving the way you dress. You may still garner a little suspicion but if you go slow, nobody should notice.

  • Start with nicer shirts. If you wear T-shirts, start wearing polo's. If you're wearing polo's or other business casual wear, start with a dress shirt.
  • After a few weeks wearing dress shirts, start wearing dress slacks for a few weeks.
  • If you wear very casual shoes, do a slight upgrade on those. Also wear nicer socks.
  • If you are planning on changing your hair at all (tidying up, clean-shaven, etc.) plan that somewhere in there too.

The idea here is to inch toward wearing dressy clothes without actually being dressy. Even in casual environments, it's not unheard of to wear everything but a jacket and tie. This allows you to wear part of your suit to work and since you've been dressing like that for a couple months, nobody will be the wiser.

Yes, someone may well notice you're starting to change your clothes style. You can pass it off as dating someone or (if you have one) your significant other has been pushing you to dress nicer.

You may even have someone ask you directly if you're looking for work. You can say that you aren't, guilt-free. Then you continue wearing the nicer clothes.

The key is to avoid sudden changes.

When the time comes to start with the interviews, you being out for personal appointments won't be as suspicious when they look at your clothes. You can take a half day here and there for the interviews with less suspicion.

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