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Question:

I am an associate with a top firm on the West Coast. I am interested in moving to a New York City firm; however, I don't know how to go about carrying out the interview process. I know I need to take a few days off, or call in sick, in order to fly across the country to interview. However, aren't I putting my current job at risk by taking time off? In other words, how can I interview for a job when I'm worried about risking my current job? I'd like to just phone it in and schedule telephone conferences. Do firms do that? Otherwise, can I schedule all of my interviews on the same day or two and limit my time away from the office? - Jenny, Los Angeles, CA.

How to interview in a different city without risking your current job?

Answer:

I would be unbelievably wealthy if I had a nickel for every time a lateral candidate said to me, "I'd like to attend the interview, but taking time off risks my current position, so I really would rather do a phone interview or push the meeting off for a few weeks until we get more responses from other firms and then schedule all the interviews at once."

In theory, this is a great idea. You know it. We, as your recruiters, know it. In reality, however, lateral interviewing rarely plays out as neatly as the above comment would suggest.