Excuses to Get Out of Work for a Job Interview

Choose a realistic reason that explains your lateness or absence.
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You’ve got an interview at a great new company, but first you’ve got to come up with a reason why you’ll be late to work on Wednesday morning. Finding plausible reasons why you must miss work can be difficult when you’re looking for a new job. Although you would prefer not to lie, telling the truth just might put your current job in jeopardy. Using an approach that takes advantage of paid time off and creative excuses can help ensure that you make the interview and keep your job.

    Step 1

    Take a vacation or personal day. This only works if you have advance notice of an interview, but you’re much less likely to feel guilty if you take paid time off, and you won’t have to make up an excuse.

    Step 2

    Plead illness. Claim that you or a family member is sick. If you choose to afflict a family member with an imaginary illness you won’t have to fake a cough when you make the call to your boss.

    Step 3

    Schedule a medical appointment. Doctors, dentists and medical facilities don’t always offer the most convenient appointment times, and your employer probably won’t bat an eye if you say you need to leave early to visit the dentist. The My Optimal Career website notes that a medical appointment also provides a good excuse as to why you couldn’t take a phone call or answer an email.

    Step 4

    Tell your boss that something has gone wrong at home. Furnaces stop working, windows break and pipes leak. All of these things require that you stay home until the appropriate repair person arrives and fixes the problem. If a part is required, the repair can take even longer than anticipated.

    Step 5

    Invent car trouble. Cars are just as unreliable as household appliances. If you don’t expect the interview to last long, explain that you’ll be in as soon as the automobile service club arrives to jump start your car.

    Step 6

    Explain that your child needs you to accompany him on a field trip. Mention that you don’t want to break the poor little guy’s heart by turning him down, particularly if you have missed field trips in the past.


    • Ask the potential employer if you can schedule an interview before or after work. If you have a flexible work schedule, you might be able to take an earlier or later lunch and interview on your lunch hour.


    • Don’t provide too many details when giving your boss your excuse. If your excuse is too detailed and involved, your boss might become suspicious. Keep the excuse simple. If you would normally provide a one-sentence reason regarding why you’ll be late, don’t launch into a five-minute description of the imaginary fungus on your toe.

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