Tip for Interviewing During Cold and Flu Season

I am coming down with something. I can’t yet discern what virus has come to visit, but it feels powerful. Right now I really don’t want to interact with strangers or with anyone I need to impress. But there are plenty of you out there who are in my situation (or will be soon) and you have an interview on tap right in the middle of the worst part of the cold. Here are some tips on how to survive this process without catastrophic failure.

  1. In some cases you will need cold medicine to make it through the interview without leaving a mucous slime trail behind you. Do not ever take untested cold medicine on the day of your interview. Give it a whirl a day or two before. See what happens. Otherwise it’s an episode of Three’s Company just waiting to happen.
  2. You know that ad they have recently been running for Tamiflu, the one where the guy is sick and he is giant compared to his surroundings? Try not to look like that.
  3. Bring lozenges in case you have a cough. If you’re worried about sick breath, you can bring mints or those Listerine strips. A pack of those mini grandma Kleenexes isn’t a bad idea either. Maybe you should also bring a thermos of chicken noodle soup. If you can’t find a place to store all this on your person, consider wearing a fanny pack.
  4. If you are lucky enough to have a cold that has given you ‘sexy voice’, run with it. Say sultry things during your conversation.
  5. If you have to cough, try to mask it with some other ambient noise, like an air horn.
  6. Hide swollen neck glands with a turtle neck sweater or ascot.
  7. Under no circumstances should you look in a mirror before walking into your interview.

I truly feel for you if you have to motor though an interview while you are sick. If it’s the flu or something that really has you knocked down on your back, you might just have to reschedule the meeting though it pains me to tell you this. However, as much as we want to persevere and tough it out, no potential employer will look favorably on you if you were the carrier monkey that got the whole office sick. But hopefully you will have a nice holiday break to get over your sniffles (and maybe get a flu shot) so that when January hits, you are rested and ready for any interviews coming your way. And maybe wear a biohazard suit to any holiday parties–just a thought!