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Disclosing vacation plans as a final candidate

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Q: I am planning to take a family vacation this summer. We have already booked our plane tickets and hotel for the first two weeks of July. I am also interviewing for a job and am a finalist for two different roles. My question is when do I disclose my vacation plans? I don’t want to be kicked out of the final pool just because of a family vacation.

A: Vacations are important, a time to recharge the batteries and make memories with family and friends. A two-week vacation, especially around the first two weeks of July, should be disclosed to a prospective employer.

Many employers will ask a final candidate if the candidate has any time off planned. Their goal is not to deny the time off planned but instead make sure that they can accommodate it. An employer does not want to be surprised by a new employee’s vacation plans either. There are certain weeks which are more commonly requested vacation weeks too, including time in early July (around Independence Day), late summer weeks (around Labor Day) as well as the late December (between Christmas and New Year’s Day).

As a final candidate, I would recommend that you disclose this information now. You don’t want to surprise an employer with this information and “start off on the wrong foot.” Rarely will a candidate be eliminated from a final round because of vacation plans. You should, however, make sure that you understand the company’s vacation plan and any pay that may be part of the vacation policy. Employers are permitted to set their own vacation plans and some may offer pro-rated vacation time during the first year.

As a newbie to the company though, realize that you may not be eligible to take these commonly requested weeks in future years. Often companies let the most senior employees take these weeks, if there are several employees who have asked for these week.

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