How to Interview When You’re Sick


You can plan a lot of important details around a job interview, such as what you’ll wear, how you’ll answer common questions, when you’ll leave your house, and more. However, you can’t control how you’ll feel. No matter how much sleep you get the week before or how many vitamin C supplements you take, you could still wake up the morning of your job interview feeling wretched. If you’re still well enough to get up and move about, it’s probably in your best interest to go on with the interview as scheduled anyway. After all, if you had a key presentation to make for your potential employer and woke up sick, they’d expect you to soldier on, wouldn’t they?

Luckily, there are plenty of ways to deal with a sudden illness, and you only need to be at your best for a short time. Your preparation should start before you leave the house. Take medicine to alleviate your symptoms, such as an upset stomach and fever. However, make sure it’s formulated in such a way that it won’t make you drowsy. Try to get something in your stomach, even if it’s just soup or hot tea, so that you have some energy to draw on. Go through your morning grooming routine, starting with a hot shower. You can also use cosmetics to hide signs of illness like circles under your eyes.

Add some extra items to your interview bag, most notably tissues and a bottle of water. Once you get to the interview, warn the interviewer that you’re feeling a little under the weather if your symptoms are obvious. Use hand sanitizer before shaking their hand, and consider offering them some, as well. Then just get to work. Sip water and wipe your nose when you need to, and in general try not to make a big deal out of being sick. Recruiters tend to be understanding and respect the fact that you showed up on time to make a go of it.


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