How to stay focused at work while interviewing for other jobs
April 30, 2018 11:03 PM   Subscribe

I am interviewing for jobs on the down-low while still working at my current job. These interviews are often conducted on the phone, fairly long and technical in nature, and leave me utterly exhausted, not to mention somewhat nervous/anxious about how I did, whether they liked my answers, etc for the rest of the day. That, plus the fact that I'm taking time out of my work day to do the interviews in the first place, has totally tanked my productivity. How can I effectively switch gears from interview mode back to work mode, so I don't get fired before I actually find a new job?
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (5 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Stupid practical suggestion-- can you schedule them towards the end of the day so it doesn't have an impact on your total work day?

If not, I would try to plan my work accordingly-- so for instance, thinking work before the call and admin and doing work afterwards.
posted by frumiousb at 11:29 PM on April 30, 2018 [3 favorites]

(I've never really succeeded at being able to change gears in that situation, so that's why my suggestions are aimed at working around.)
posted by frumiousb at 11:30 PM on April 30, 2018

Go for a walk after the interview. Eat some ice cream and then bring a big coffee back to work.
posted by pseudostrabismus at 11:49 PM on April 30, 2018 [1 favorite]

2nding doing them late in the day. Prospective employers should be understanding about that; it's a very common situation. If they're not considerate about negotiating on the interview time, that may just be one interview saved.

If you're doing so many interviews that this is a chronic problem, it may be time to become more selective about which companies you interview with. I don't know your situation, so you may indeed be doing these out of necessity, but I had to get over feeling like I owed everyone who asked me for one a phone call...
posted by randomkeystrike at 5:52 AM on May 1, 2018 [1 favorite]

For some of the more important interviews, is there any way you could take a half day or even a full day to do them? And maybe schedule them on either a Friday or Monday? Now that the weather is nicer it's easier to justify any half days or weekend-adjacent absences with "going camping this weekend!" or "just enjoying the sunshine!" if anyone at your current job gets too nosy about it.

If not, I'm nthing later in the day as well, since it seems like you're more apt to worry after the interview than before it. (I am the opposite—I'd need these interviews to be first thing in the morning so I could mentally check them off and get on with my life knowing there's nothing more I can do to sway the hiring managers, haha.)

Also, kind of an aside, but I'm feeling like if your office is the kind of place where you are able to answer hours-long technical interview questions on the phone without too much obvious fear of discovery or immediate reprisal, I don't think you should worry too much about having a low productivity day every now and again. Maybe you could make a list of some tasks that are useful but low-energy and you could pick something from that list to tackle on post-interview days for the sake of keeping up appearances at work? I also like the suggestion to get out, stretch your legs, and refuel.
posted by helloimjennsco at 7:11 AM on May 1, 2018 [1 favorite]

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