Your Sick and Have an Interview – What to Do

It’s the night before your big interview and you are starting to feel a tingle in your throat, an itch in your nose, or a bit of a turn in your stomach. What do you do?

GO GO GO!!!! Hit up Walgreens, CVS, Kroger (whatever), grab some medicine (but geez nothing to make you comatose!), wash your face, hit the sack, wake up, eat a good protein breakfast, wash your face again, get dressed, and get to that interview! You can fake it for an hour. Even if you cough a few times, let the hiring manager know you are under the weather but not contageous and you were too excited to interview to cancel. Every hiring manager wants to hire someone that will a) be at work and b) be excited to be at work.


No one wants to hire someone that will call in at the drop of a hat. Why? They are hiring you to solve their problem. If you call in, even for a day, you will not be solving a problem for them. In fact, you will be creating one for them as the rest of your team struggles to cover your workload and answer client questions on your responsibilities. If you call in for an interview, you are pretty much telling them right away that you may not be as dependable as someone else. The hiring manager and firm does not know you. They don’t know your reputation for being ethical and dependable. You are starting over when you go to a new firm. So, everything you do from the initial phone screen to accepting the job offer is being mentally noted. Chalk it up to bad luck, but honestly, in 14 years, I’ve only had two people get hired when they called in sick for their interview (and one got fired a month later for attendence).

On the other hand though, if you have a stomach bug and are vomiting every 30 minutes, it is time to hang it up and call in. You won’t get the job if you cover the hiring manger in your stomach acid so it’s best to chance it to a reschedule and hope that no one else secures a job offer before you get your chance to strut your stuff.

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