Job Interview Tips

You’ve Got a Job Interview and You’re Sick: Now What?

Job interview
Written by Jessie Liu

Going to a job interview if you are sick with anything from a head cold to the bubonic plague is not the best move. Although you really want to go even if you are sick, it puts you at a disadvantage in that you won’t be at your best. In addition, horror of horrors, you might pass whatever you have to the recruiter. That won’t leave the best impression. There are things you can do, and a few tips might help.

Reschedule the Interview

Logically, the best thing to do is to explain the situation, and reschedule the interview as soon as you know you can’t make it. Explain that you have a real interest in this job; however, you don’t think it would be in anyone’s interest to spread your germs. Ask for the interview to be rescheduled when you know you will be well. While you could contact the recruiter by email, a phone call is more personable and would give you the opportunity to ask for a new appointment without waiting for a response. According to one recruiter, it is appreciated when an individual with an appointment expresses concern because of illness and doesn’t want to spread his or her germs. Make the most use of your time by reviewing these 10 toughest interview questions and be extra prepared.

Remember to Send a Thank You

Good manners always matter, and it can be a good idea to send an email or note thanking the recruiter and confirming the new appointment. In this way, you will be starting off on a positive note when your new appointment rolls around.

When You Aren’t Contagious

Sometimes, you may come down with a rash or have a runny nose that is really more of an inconvenience than an illness, and you know you can still do the interview. Should you reschedule? It can be a good idea to reschedule if you are sneezing, have a rash in a visible location or are wiping your nose frequently. While you know you aren’t contagious, it is a distraction and can prevent the recruiter from concentrating on your responses to questions.

Go When You Are at Your Best

Suppose you are getting over a cold or taking medication for an illness that makes your brain foggy. This is not the best time to go for a job interview since you want to be in prime condition to make a positive impression, and you may give less than complete answers to questions or appear less than alert. This is also one of those times you may want to beg off due to illness, and ask for a new appointment. You have one chance for a first interview and want to shine.

Use the Extra Time to Prepare

If you aren’t feeling completely miserable, you can use the extra time until your new interview date to prepare. Practice in front of the mirror until you have your answers the way you want, and keep your responses short and to the point. We have put together a guide on the 10 toughest interview questions. Feel free to go through it and learn some of the best answers. In addition, keep your body language in mind. You want to appear relaxed and in control.

What to Do if the Recruiter is Booked

Occasionally, a recruiter cannot reschedule an interview because of time limits for hiring, because the schedule is full or for other reasons. In this case, ask if the recruiter could conduct the interview via Skype or another option. While it is not ideal, it is better than missing the interview entirely. Remember when being interviewed remotely that you still want to prepare in advance, and dress as you would for an in-person interview.

Being at your best for an interview is important, and using a better way to conduct a job search can get you into interviews faster and offer more job opportunities than searching yourself. TheJobNetwork lets you fill out your qualifications and the jobs that interest you. Our job search site will do the work for you, letting you know when a position becomes available. Sign up for job match alert and get started looking for the perfect job.

About the author

Jessie Liu

Jessie Liu is a digital marketer, specializing in SEO, Digital Analytics, Content Marketing and Social Media. She helps lead TheJobNetwork’s content marketing efforts, including content strategy and promotion strategy. She believes in data-driven decision making. She recently adopted a Beagle mix puppy named Happy. Feel free to tweet her @jessiecliu for pictures of her adorable new puppy or just any marketing related stuff.