How to do a job interview with concussion

Image: Mops/Pixabay

Without going into too much detail about how I managed to concuss myself, yes myself, let me go over a few things just in case you, too, find yourself in the situation I did this lovely Bogotá morning on my way to a job interview. Job interviews are pretty nerve-wracking at the best of times, no? You have to remember all the good stuff you’ve ever done in life, make yourself sound interesting and intelligent and let the interviewer know you’re worth keeping around.

But try doing that with a splitting headache, all-over body pain, a new and intense fear of motorbikes and having just crossed four lanes of Bogotá traffic where motorbikes reign supreme. I was a shaky mess at this point and it was not one of my finer moments.

I did manage to arrive at the cafe, where the interview was going to be held, early though. So I sat down, bought a coffee and waited for a pretty relaxed 20 minutes before the time of our scheduled meet up came around.

Right on time, my interviewer Paul walked in.

“Have you been waiting long?”

“No-no-no-no. No, I just got here.” My half-empty coffee cup and line of conga-dancing Nos suggested otherwise.

“Another coffee?”

Dammit, he’s on to me.


He grabbed the coffees and made his way to a table. This is it, the beginning of the interview, I thought. Put your professional hat on Sarah!

Let’s rewind a bit, I feel I should share some information. Just so you know, quite a while after being concussed it is okay to sleep. As long as you wake up on the other side of your nanna-nap, sleep is your friend. Of course, you should avoid sleep for a good while at first, but once that mountain has been climbed, sleep it off.

Do not, I repeat, DO NOT stay up all night the day before your interview, annoying people on the internet. Sleep deprivation will not solve your problems and will just annoy the people you are messaging at 4am in the morning because you are bored and can’t seem to catch some Zs.

Sleep deprivation, though, will make way for enlightening early-morning pre-interview comments like, “I’m Australian and I’m on my way to the pub after this interview.” For the record, that is inappropriate job-interview talk. Write that down.

Also, try not to annoying your lovely friends and housemates by insisting you get a lift from them three hours before your interview actually begins, just so you can make sure you arrive on time, buy a coffee, get comfy, eventually realize that you’re not just chilling out at a café and get prepared for your interview. What was I doing here again?

And perhaps write little notes on your arm just to make sure you remember where you are, what you’re doing, what your name is, all the important stuff.

“Hi,” glances down.


Ok, so we’re back at where we left off. The interview has begun and I’ve made a bit of an idiot of myself, generally just talking too much and not sure if what I’ve said is relevant to the job at all, but eventually, somewhere between talking about how cool Bogotá is, literally it’s freezing, and what the job entails, we shake hands, have a laugh and share travel stories from the country that we can’t get enough of but just can’t figure out why.

And with that we go our separate ways and I head off somewhere in that direction with my fingers crossed in my pocket, ready to take on Bogotá’s Transmilenio bus system and hoping I can make it back across four lanes of traffic in one piece.

For the record, I did end up getting the job. And, yes, I was probably still semi-concussed when writing this piece.

Have you ever had to do a job interview in a terrible state? With an injury? A hangover? Help me feel better about my own experiences and tell me all about it.