8 Ways to Schedule Job Interviews While Working Full-Time

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You’re job hunting, but how do you do it without making your current boss suspicious? All those “doctor’s appointments” are going to sound fishy after a while. But you can’t land a job without an interview, so you’re going to have to come up with some pretty good excuses as to why you keep ducking out of work all dressed up. We went to the experts for advice.

1. ASK ABOUT INTERVIEWING BEFORE OR AFTER WORK.

Dan Schawbel, author of Promote Yourself and Me 2.0, advises explaining to the perspective interviewer that you have a full-time job, and see how flexible they are with doing the interview outside of working hours.

2. CHANGE YOUR WORK SCHEDULE.

Peg Newman, a managing partner at the executive search firm Sanford Rose Associates, advises adjusting your calendar for the next 90 days so you can schedule a late start once a week. That way, if you're planning on doing many interviews, you can be out by 4 p.m. and no one will raise an eyebrow.

3. TAKE A PERSONAL DAY.

“If you accept this job and leave your current role, you may not benefit from unused sick or personal days anyway,” says Amy Hakim, a psychology practitioner and executive consultant. “Further, if you take the full day off of work, you will be able to attend the interview calmly and will not worry if the interview is extended.”

4. TELL YOUR EMPLOYER THAT YOU'RE DEALING WITH SOME FAMILY MATTERS.

Explain that you’ll get your work done while also managing your personal responsibilities, but you may have to take longer lunches and personal vacation days as needed to deal with your issues, says Scott Wintrip, author of High Velocity Hiring and founder of the Wintrip Consulting Group.

5. REQUEST A PHONE INTERVIEW

Tell your boss that you want to be respectful to your current employer by not ducking out of work frequently. Jeff Altman, a job search and leadership coach at The Big Game Hunter, suggests saying something like the following to your potential new employer: “Can we schedule something by Skype or Facetime to cover some of the preliminaries of our valuation of one another? After we’ve had a chance to assess one another, if you and I would like to proceed further, I’m happy to meet with you.”

6. BUILD FLEXIBILITY INTO YOUR SCHEDULE.

Do this before you start your job search, says Caroline Ceniza-Levine, a career expert with SixFigureStart in New York. “Ask for a remote work option, even if it’s one or two days a week,” she says. “Start taking longer lunches, taking your meetings out of the office or working from home, so people get used to not seeing you as much.”

7. DON'T BE SPECIFIC.

Minimize your explanations so you don’t have to come up with specific excuses: Ask for time off for an appointment (but don’t volunteer what type of appointment), Ceniza-Levine says. Or come to the office early so you can leave early—or come in late, then stay late. “If you’re asked about your absences, then you can mention you have a personal matter that requires some business daytime, but you’re coming in early or [working late] to make up the time,” Ceniza-Levine says.

8. TAKE A LONG WEEKEND.

Start burning some leftover vacation time or accrued overtime every other Monday for the next few weeks, says Jana Tulloch, a human resources professional with DevelopIntelligence. “Having an additional day off during the week would allow you to set up interviews without having to dream up a way to get out of work at the last minute,” Tulloch says.

Your Smart TV Is Vulnerable to Hackers, According to the FBI

Ahmet Yarali / iStock via Getty Images
Ahmet Yarali / iStock via Getty Images

By this point, many of us have had the experience of mentioning a product or service out loud during a conversation, only to have an ad for that very thing pop up on a smart device mere moments later. And, although you may have gotten used to the idea of your gadgets keeping tabs on you, you might not realize that your new smart TV’s monitoring capabilities make it extra vulnerable to hackers.

KATV reports that the Portland, Oregon branch of the FBI released guidelines last week as part of its “Tech Tuesday” initiative to warn people about the risk of hackers gaining access to unsecured televisions through the routers. Because smart TVs likely have microphones and even cameras, successful hackers could do anything from petty mischief to serious stalking.

“At the low end of the risk spectrum, they can change channels, play with the volume, and show your kids inappropriate videos,” the FBI says. “In a worst-case scenario, they can turn on your bedroom TV’s camera and microphone and silently cyberstalk you.”

Before you head back to Best Buy, brandishing your receipt and begging for a refund, there are a number of safety precautions you can take to make yourself less of an easy target for cyberattacks.

The first step is knowing exactly what features your TV has, and understanding how to control them—the FBI recommends doing an internet search with the model number and the words microphone, camera, and privacy.

After that, you should delve right into those security settings. Disable the collection of personal information if you can, and learn how to limit microphone and camera access. If you don’t see an option to shut off the camera, black tape over it does the trick.

And, even if it’s not the most riveting reading material, it’s worth perusing the fine print on your device and streaming services to find out what data they collect, where they store it, and how they use it.

Check out all of the tips here, and then see what other everyday objects might be susceptible to hackers.

[h/t KATV]

25 Gift Cards That Give You—and Your Recipient—the Best Bang for Your Buck

flyparade/iStock via Getty Images
flyparade/iStock via Getty Images

Though gift cards can definitely solve your annual conundrum over what to buy those hard-to-please people on your list, deciding on a gift card is the easy part—deciding which gift card to give them, however, is where the challenge comes in.

To help you narrow it down, WalletHub devised a multi-factor ranking system for gift cards of all types, from home improvement outlets like Lowe’s to subscription services like Netflix. Researchers analyzed popularity (based on search volume), average buyer’s discount across major gift card exchange sites, average resale value, retailer ratings on popular review sites, and shipping fees, and then assigned an overall score to each of America’s 100 largest retailers.

According to the study, your best option this year is a Target gift card, with an average buyer’s discount of 5.76 percent, a resale value of $77.12, and a retailer rating of 3.09 out of 5.

But before you stock up on Target gift cards for your many friends and family members, you might want to peruse the rest of WalletHub’s data. IKEA, for example, which tied for third place with Home Depot and eBay, boasts an average buyer’s discount of 10.85 percent.

The top performers from the food industry were Starbucks, Chick-fil-A, McDonald’s, and Chipotle, which all tied for fourth place (among several other companies, Netflix and iTunes included) with 50 points apiece.

Even if you’ve already decided which gift cards you’re going with this holiday season, it’s still worth looking at WalletHub’s data before you buy them to make sure you’re getting a discount comparable to (or better than) the average. And, if there’s a particularly choosy recipient on your list who’ll likely try to resell their gift card, perhaps pick one with an especially high resale value, like Costco’s $84.60 or Walmart’s $84.09.

Check out the rankings below, including overall score, and find out the full details from WalletHub’s study here.

  1. Target // Score: 70
  1. Walmart // Score: 60
  1. Sephora // Score: 60
  1. eBay // Score: 55
  1. Home Depot // Score: 55
  1. IKEA // Score: 55
  1. iTunes // Score: 50
  1. Starbucks // Score: 50
  1. Costco // Score: 50
  1. Chick-fil-A // Score: 50
  1. Netflix // Score: 50
  1. McDonald’s // Score: 50
  1. Fandango // Score: 50
  1. Chipotle // Score: 50
  1. REI // Score: 50
  1. Old Navy // Score: 50
  1. H&M // Score: 50
  1. Disney // Score: 45
  1. Google Play // Score: 45
  1. Best Buy // Score: 45
  1. Macy's // Score: 45
  1. Lowe's // Score: 45
  1. Subway // Score: 45
  1. Amazon // Score: 40
  1. Gamestop // Score: 40

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