When interviewing for a new position, is it common practice to count the days spent on interviews as vacation days?

It wouldn't seem unreasonable to count these as vacation days, except that I could also see them as being work days. If I were only visiting to give a lecture and speak with faculty in another department, it would seem like work, and presenting at a conference is certainly not vacation.

A few follow up questions - does it matter that I am a post-doc (e.g. would it be different from a faculty, in which case interviewing for another position would not be in the interest of the current employer)? Would it be different if I were interviewing at a company rather than a university? Does it depend on the country? I am in the U.S.

(this is related to the question related to Do presentations given during interviews count as invited talks?)


2 Answers 2


You should ask your advisor, but it is reasonable for an advisor to allow you time (potentially several weeks or months) to essentially be away from the lab and your research in order to interview for jobs. In my opinion, this is a concession that is reasonable to give as a reward for hard work during previous phases of an advisee's research. If not, the advisor likely does not have the advisee's interests in mind. That could come back to bite him/her later when attempting to find new advisees.

On the other hand, if you're spending a lot of extra leisure time on the trips that is not part of the interview, then it should probably be considered vacation time.


In most cases you will not take all of your vacation days and work more than the required number of hours, so it shouldn't really matter. As a post-doc, you should ask your advisor.

  • Are you implying that, If I work nights and weekends, I should never have to take a vacation day?
    – Abe
    Commented May 30, 2012 at 16:35
  • @Abe who is making you take vacation days? I am not a good role model, but when I don't work on a Sunday, I count that as a vacation day. The HR bean counters have different, but unclear rules, I believe that most academic contracts in the US and UK state how many hours a week you must work, and do not mention not how many hours a day or how many days a week you need to work. If you put in 37.5 hours in each and every 7 day period, then I don't see how anyone who counts vacation days could say you took vacation.
    – StrongBad
    Commented May 30, 2012 at 16:48
  • @DanielE.Shub But what if you work Saturday and Sunday and use Monday to go to the mountains?
    – gerrit
    Commented Mar 6, 2013 at 10:28
  • @gerrit as I said, to Abe, I am not a good role model, but I consider any day I don't work a vacation day.
    – StrongBad
    Commented Mar 6, 2013 at 10:44

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