HR types: Should I postpone my interview?

I have a job interview scheduled for later this morning.

However, this morning I woke up with my left eye somewhat swollen and all gunky. I intend to see a doctor about it today, but my wife thinks I should postpone the interview.

My question is, how does that look to the interviewer? Should I keep the appointment anyway and just explain the circumstances when I arrive?

Zev Steinhardt

I would postpone if it looks really bad. It’ll serve as a distraction in the interview and the person you’re talking to will remember that and less about you.

Call and explain the circumstances. If the interviewer has a sense of humor it’ll give you a talking point when you do eventually interview.

Give yourself every advantage you can in an interview. If your eye is going to bother you, or you even THINK your eye is going to bother you, reschedule.

I’m not HR but I do a fair amount of interviews. I take the opposite tack and say never change your interview time. I’ve got a schedule and deadlines, you change when I have a decent candidate, then I’ll just blow you off. Interview times to me are sacrosant, you change it at your risk.

I’d postpone. If it’s conjunctivitis (aka pinkeye), it’s probably very contagious. Admittedly, I am not an HR person, so I don’t know how they’d feel, but I know I’d appreciate it if someone with a potentially contagious disease stayed home instead of coming to my workplace.

My daughter’s had to deal with the dreaded pinkeye three times–once every other summer, without fail. Ick. Ever tried giving stinging eyedrops to a two-year-old?

I would put the ball in the their court.

Call your contact and say something like…

“I have an eye problem…not sure what it is…might be pink eye, not sure at this point, I haven’t seen a doctor…but nevertheless I’m ready to interview no matter what…but I thought I might ask you if some members of the interview team would rather me reschedule for fear of getting this eye-thing from me and passing it on to their co-workers, family members, etc.”

This way you appear to the employer and interview team that nothing is going to stop you from winning this job, but you also have some consideration for others by allowing the company to say…“let’s postpone”…and since they made the decision to postpone…you don’t lose face.

OK, I’ve rescheduled for Monday afternoon. That was the easy part.

Now for the hard part…

It’s not pink eye. It’s a staph infection in the eye (non-contagious). So, while it’s not contagious, it’s not going to look much better by tomorrow afternoon. I bought a pair of sunglasses so that the condition isn’t so obvious to people. I’m afraid to reschedule again, but on the other hand, I’m also afraid of the perception that the interviewer will have if I walk in with sunglasses or a puffed-up eye.

Zev Steinhardt

I actually think this will work out for the best. Your worst case scenario would be if you showed up for the interview and there was nothing visibly wrong with your eye. Many people use a litany of excuses to avoid work or to cancel appointments. The clear physical malady you are suffering makes it clear that you had an actual emergency that caused you to cancel your appointment.

Now all you need is a few self-deprecating jokes and they will forget about and get on with the meat of the interview. Good luck to you!

I would recommend against the sunglasses. Even though your reason is legitimate, they could be perceived as untrustworthy or evasive. An interview without eye contact is almost worthless, IMHO.

If the eye is insanely gross, a medical looking eye patch might be better. Did you mention to your doctor that improved appearance on Monday is very important? There might be some additional drops or something he could recommend.

Good luck, in spite of this bad break.

Especially if you’re interviewing to be a pirate.

Also make sure to remeber your parrot and practice your “ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!” :smiley:

Zev - just “good luck!” ;j

(I’ve always wanted to use that smiley in context!)

Dan Abarbanel

Good luck, Zev! Kick some ass :wink: I think the puffy eye will not harm your interview, since you’ve already explained.

Good luck Zev. I’m with Gaydere, you have already told them about the eye when you rescheduled. When you thank them for the reschedule, mention the eye. Then show them you are the best for the job!

I too strongly recommend against wearing sunglasses.

Also, I don’t think this will be a negative at all, and in fact can be very positve. First off, it can be an ice breaker with some silly line like “I’m thinking of wearing an eye-patch and being a pirate for halloween” or such. Also, anything you can do to be remembered by the interviewers is a positive thing.