It’s the day of your big interview and…you’re sick! What do you do? Do you limp in and hope for the best, or do you call them and ask to reschedule? While there are no easy answers to this problem, here are some guidelines to help you determine your next step:
Are you visibly sick? Be honest with yourself; can you pull it together for an hour? If you are obviously ill, and risk coughing and sneezing all over the interviewers, it may be best for you to stay home. However, if it is at all possible for you to clean yourself up and get through the interview, then you really should go.
Don’t tell them that you’re sick! Being sick is not an excuse for performing poorly at the interview. If you do attend the interview, don’t tell them that you are sick. They won’t thank you for bringing your germs to their office. Also, remember that interviews are all about first impressions and you don’t want them to remember you as the “sick” candidate.
Do you need to reschedule? If you are too sick to face the interview, then you need to call them to reschedule. Call as soon as possible, and try your best to actually speak to someone. Let them know that you are sick, and ask if you can come in on another day. Be willing to accept any time that they give you, and keep in mind that it may not be possible to reschedule at all.
That is all that you can do. The reality is that you may lose out on the opportunity just because you were sick. We all have to face a little bit of bad luck in our job search, and today was not your lucky day. On the other hand, you may have handled the interview so well that they couldn’t even tell that you were sick. Or perhaps it was no problem at all for them to reschedule. The outcome is now out of your control; let the cards fall where they may, and move on.
(Written by Karen Bivand)