How to mention upcoming vacation plans during a job interview
How to tell new employer about planned vacation
You’re in a job interview, getting increasingly excited about a particular opportunity, and the employer is, too. But you have a knot in your stomach. You’ve vacation planned before new job, and it’s almost here. How should the news be delivered? Is it impolite to mention your vacation before you’ve even been offered the job?
There are a few things to keep in mind to avoid being distracted by the PTO discussion. Yes, the conversation must take place, but with tact and grace, there will be no need to worry.
How To Tell New Employer About Planned Vacation | Get the timing right
You must eventually mention your vacation, but not until the second interview round. That’s when potential start dates may enter the conversation, and the recruiter or hiring manager may inquire about your availability.
First and foremost, that is an excellent indication that they wish to proceed! Second, that is an excellent opportunity for you to inform them of your vacation plans.
Even if they don’t mention start dates by the second round, you must still reveal your intentions. You’re not asking for their permission; you’re simply informing them. The specific reason for your time off isn’t required, though I’ve seen it done more than once, especially when the time off is longer than a week (say, for a wedding or international travel).
Get the phrasing right
Here are two perfectly reasonable ways to inform the hiring manager of your vacation plans:
“While we’re talking about start dates, I should mention that my friend is getting married in Australia, and I’ve already booked my flights to spend two weeks there in August.” I just wanted you to be aware.”
“While we’re discussing start dates, I just wanted to let you know that I have a trip planned between August 1 and August 12, and I should be back at work on Monday, August 14.”
Keep it to one to two sentences, and if the conversation is over the phone, jot down what you’re going to say ahead of time.
Don’t put yourself in the awkward position of starting a new job and then telling your new boss about your plans right away. They’ll wonder why you didn’t mention it sooner, and whether you have a habit of keeping important information like this to yourself until the last minute.
Get on with it
During my many years as a recruiter, I never saw a hiring manager object when a candidate mentioned they had time off planned soon after starting. I never saw them reconsider extending a job offer because a candidate was going on vacation.
In companies where vacation days are accrued over the course of the year, hiring managers will frequently allow candidates to borrow from the future; be sure to ask if this is an option (otherwise, you’ll have to take the time unpaid). Alternatively, I’ve heard hiring managers suggest deferring a candidate’s start date until after the trip or time off is completed, so that there is no pay disruption.
Above all, don’t be embarrassed to have this conversation. This happens frequently, and you have the right to a personal life. You’ll gain peace of mind by informing them of your plans and letting them know it’s not a big deal that you’ll be gone so soon after starting.
Know what else to say
Interviewing for a job can cause you to become tongue-tied, so the more you prepare in advance, the less likely you will choke on a tricky question. Could you use some assistance? Join Monster right now. As a member, you’ll receive interview tips, career advice, and job search advice delivered directly to your inbox. Job interview questions give you plenty of opportunities to show off your strengths, from describing your personality to explaining a time when you had to solve a problem, so learn how to take advantage of them!
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