Disclosing vacation plans as a final candidate

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

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

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.

Pattie Hunt Sinacole is a human resources expert and works for First Beacon Group in Hopkinton, an HR consulting firm. She contributes weekly to Boston.com Jobs and the Boston Sunday Globe Money & Careers section.