I am currently employed working full-time (9 to 6, lately many days working over-time) and I am having a hard time deciding how to approach taking time off work to attend an interview. I am looking for a new job because I am moving from the suburbs to the city. The commute is long and costly (commute would be close to 2 hours each way), and unfortunately my current pay is just not worth the commute. I am willing to take my time and be selective at interviews because I do not want to risk taking too much time off from my current workplace and I do not want to be disrespectful. I recently received a call to set up in an interview while I was at work and when I called them back during my lunch break, the supervisor I spoke to wanted me to come in that day because they were going to make a decision on picking someone the very next day. I am bad at lying and didn't want to risk getting in trouble at work so I thanked the interviewer but sadly told them I had to reject the opportunity because I didn't want to be disrespectful to my current employer by not finishing my shift. I was so disappointed; I knew I could lie to my employer but I felt bad because we were busy and I couldn't leave them hanging like that.
I don't have a lot of time-off (only 14 hours) so I know if I had to go to interviews I would have to be choosy and make sure the risk doesn't outweigh the benefits (preferably by having enough days or even a week notice to take time off). What are your suggestions for taking time off work to interview without jeopardizing your current job? I know people who call in "sick" or make up some stupid excuse to leave while on their shift but I don't feel comfortable doing that. Any constructive advice would be appreciated. Thanks!