I've just started at a new position, but have an interview for another job coming up.

I realize that people often recommend claiming a doctor's appointment in order to attend an interview, but I'm in a situation where it seems like being honest might be preferable, I'm just wondering how the various factors should weigh into my decision.

  • My current position is a short term contract for 3 months, so they presumably expect me to be looking for a new position, if not quite this early
  • I applied for both positions around the same time, but one was a position in a government department and the wheels of bureaucracy turn slowly. I didn't seek out this position while at my current job.
  • I'm employed on a casual basis, so only get paid for each hour worked, no paid sick leave (I'm in Australia so this is not as standard as it may be elsewhere)

Does the context override the usual rule of not letting your employer know you're looking for work elsewhere? Or should I go with the typical excuse of a doctor's appointment?

  • 1
    Is this 3 month contract given with the idea that it won't be extended?
    – Erik
    Jun 20, 2016 at 13:33
  • 1
    Yes, it may be extended a couple of weeks but there's been no real mention of converting it to an ongoing position.
    – Marius
    Jun 20, 2016 at 13:35
  • @Marius In Australia, is it not well-seen to go to an interview ?
    – Gautier C
    Jun 20, 2016 at 13:39
  • 3
    "I realize that people often recommend claiming a doctor's appointment in order to attend an interview" - Who recommends this? Why can't you just request off normally without an excuse? It may be as easy as saying "Hey boss, I've got something to take care of on <DAY> in the afternoon. Can I have off in the afternoon on that day?"
    – Brandin
    Jun 20, 2016 at 15:00
  • 1

2 Answers 2


There's no strong reason for either situation here.

It certainly wouldn't be unreasonable if when in a temporary, hourly paid job with no future that you would be looking for another position. On the other hand, is it really any of their business what you do with your days off? You surely don't need to give any reason if they're not paying you for it anyway.

The only reason I can see that you might want to tell them is if you are hoping they'll see your value and take you on permanent.

The only reason I can see not to, is if they are a petty organisation and seek to replace you but as your contract is only three months, that would be more trouble than it's worth.

Essentially what I'm saying is that you don't stand to lose or win much either way.

  • I disagree that even a petty organization would give the the OP flak over this. It's perfectly normal for someone with a contract for 3 months (+/- a few weeks) to be actively looking for his next gig/job. That said, you're right that it isn't any of the employer's business, especially if OP takes the time unpaid.
    – Lilienthal
    Jun 20, 2016 at 14:54

If they don't think you're looking for work on day 1 of a 3-month contract, they are crazy.

Whether you are honest about 'why' you are taking a day off is more an ethical question than anything... if I was a FTE, I would never say such things. If I was a 3-month contractor, I would be sure anyone that has a say in whether my contract is extend knows that I am obviously looking to gain long-term employment. It's more a question of "when" you start doing that (day-1 wouldn't look so good... day 30 might... day 75 is pretty obvious...)

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