Sneaking out for an interview

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How can you disappear from your desk without broadcasting the fact that you're looking for a new job?

With analyst bonuses about to be paid, now's the time when investment banks' greener employees are liable to nip out to have a few words with alternative employers. Bearing this in mind, blogger The All Nighter is offering handy excuses for getting out of the office without revealing what precisely what you're up to. Here they are, distilled:

· Dentist, doctor, home delivery (only good for one interview, hard to pull off twice - unless you're having root canal treatment).

· Complain about back pains from sitting in front of your PC - out of paranoia about law suits, banks will first replace your chair, then (if you keep complaining) pay for chiropractic sessions which will give you the excuse to get out a few times a week.

· Go out for regular cigarette breaks. When you're gone for a bit longer people will assume you're drinking coffee as well as having a smoke.

· Wear a suit at all times - that way it will be less conspicuous when you come in wearing a suit for your interview.

The last point may be the most important. We asked a (very) senior banker how he spots people who are going out on something other than company business: "It's obvious because they are wearing a suit with a tie done up," he says. "They also leave at odd times and, more to the point, I have a call report system which lets me know precisely what they're doing at each time of day."

Is this a problem, we wonder? Apparently not: "I don't mind that people are going out interviewing," our senior friend explains. "If I drive it underground then they'll just respond by creating false meetings and doing it at the weekend. I'll then know less about them than I do now - if they're not happy (and want more money) it's better to know about it."