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WIBU to not shake hands during interview

(26 Posts)
TieGrr Thu 07-Dec-17 13:49:07

I have an interview tomorrow that can't be rescheduled and I've come down with a mild cold this week.

I think I already know the answer but would it be ok to just not shake hands at the start and explain that I'm getting over a cold? Is there any chance this would negatively affect me?

DesignedForLife Thu 07-Dec-17 13:49:54

I think that would be really unusual.

NoelNiki Thu 07-Dec-17 13:50:10

Take a decongestant and wash your hands right before the interview and right after and dont touch your face.


SunnySkiesSleepsintheMorning Thu 07-Dec-17 13:50:22

Honestly, I’d just shake and use anti-bac gel after. It’s not going to make a difference.

MikeUniformMike Thu 07-Dec-17 13:50:27


araiwa Thu 07-Dec-17 13:50:37

It would seem strange to me

Wash your hands?

JaneWonder Thu 07-Dec-17 13:50:52

Wash your hands before you go in then shake as normal. Don’t risk standing out as the weird woman who wouldn’t touch anyone.

Agustarella Thu 07-Dec-17 13:53:11

You can if you want, but it's not the bubonic plague you've got. Unless you're visibly streaming, a handshake should be fine, I would think?

Placemarking as I also have interviews coming up and could do with a crash course in etiquette, should be some good advice on here.

And good luck for tomorrow of course!

IcingSausage Thu 07-Dec-17 13:53:13

Yeah, I’d think you were a little odd if I was your interviewer.

Just wash your hands immediately before the interview if it’d make you feel better.

PinkHeart5914 Thu 07-Dec-17 13:55:59

Very odd, it’s just a cold not the Black Death.

Wash you hand before interview, wash them after. What’s the problem?

TieGrr Thu 07-Dec-17 13:56:23

Huh. Glad I asked now.

I'm mostly worried about sneezing during the interview and them thinking badly of me for risking passing on a cold to them. But then, I currently share an office with someone who goes mad any time someone is ill in case she gets sick, so my opinion might be skewed.

thewisestoldelf Thu 07-Dec-17 13:56:41

You'd look very strange

EBearhug Thu 07-Dec-17 14:05:26

I was in a meeting with external customers earlier this week, and one of our side said, "I've got a cold starting, so I won't shake hands, if you don't mind, to reduce the risk of passing it on." It seemed entirely natural, and no one minded at all - so I think if you approach it upfront like that, it'does be fine. If you just refused to shake a proffered hand, that would be weird.

DJBaggySmalls Thu 07-Dec-17 14:12:46

I dont shake hands, I have arthritis.
Its pretty sad that there are people who react negatively to it; women never used to shake hands anyway, its new.

tendergreenbean Thu 07-Dec-17 14:14:39

I wouldn't personally risk doing anything that might go down as a bit weird at an interview, however slim the chance.
Antibacterial gel before and after interview, problem solved.
Take a decongestant, they're unlikely to look badly on the fact you've come in a bit under the weather - if anything you'll look like a more attractive employee because you seem unlikely to take time off sick for a cold.
Good luck OP!

OhThisbloodyComputer Thu 07-Dec-17 14:27:15


You are being very sensitive and thoughtful, which is commendable.

But it may backfire because they might suspect that you are making too much of a fuss over a cold. I'm not sure if the virus is spread via the hands.

By drawing attention to it, you may trigger an alarm bell in the interviewer's mind and, if they've had a previous employee who has phoned in sick at the drop of the hat, they might (wrongly) associate you with the same behaviour.

Shake their hand. if they catch a cold, screw them.

It's a jungle out there. Come on, you've got the eye of the tiger. Let the interviewer hear you roar.

What I'm trying to say is don't introduce anything to the process that has the potential to be misunderstood. Take it from me, I've screwed up millions of meetings and I'm the master of giving unforgivable bad first impressions.

Good luck.

Keep it simple.

MadisonAvenue Thu 07-Dec-17 14:27:44

There's not really any point using antibacterial gel to protect people against a cold virus. Just wash your hands very thoroughly before the interview.

TieGrr Thu 07-Dec-17 14:43:01

It's a jungle out there. Come on, you've got the eye of the tiger. Let the interviewer hear you roar.


Will have to remember this one tomorrow!

OhThisbloodyComputer Thu 07-Dec-17 14:53:47


Good luck.

You can't do any worse than me.

I once accidentally booted an interviewer while trying to fit myself under the tiny rickety table they'd chosen. Also, the jolt to the table spilled their tea, which splashed into their saucers.

Another time an interviewer led off with one of those awful speeches where they tell you what to think: Something like "Are you brilliant? We only hire brilliant people here."

I like to be honest, so I said, well no, I don't see myself as brilliant.

that went down badly.

Another interview got terminated when the bloke said "do you want to be a millionaire," which he said I could achieve by some ridiculous Apprentice style bullshit. When I said no, they stopped the interview and asked me to leave.

I thought it was such a ridiculous question.

So good luck. I'm sure it will go well.

OhThisbloodyComputer Fri 08-Dec-17 00:02:20


Please let me know how you get on

ByThePowerOfRa Fri 08-Dec-17 00:04:07

I would think it was quite strange if someone did this at interview tbh. Just wash your hands first and bring some tissues if you think you’ll sneeze.

TieGrr Fri 08-Dec-17 11:25:38

Shook hands, cold behaved itself.

Think I was strong in some areas but weak in others. Now the waiting game begins.

MikeUniformMike Fri 08-Dec-17 11:27:59

That millionaire question is terrible. What a tosser. Was it related to the job?

OhThisbloodyComputer Fri 08-Dec-17 11:28:57


Good luck. It's the waiting I can't stand.

You didn't kick anyone under the table, or spill their tea? If so, that puts you ahead of me.

OhThisbloodyComputer Fri 08-Dec-17 11:34:13


The millionaire question was an implication that that's what I'd earn in commission and bonuses if I was prepared to put the work in.

Although oddly, the bloke interviewing me looked like he'd slept in his suit while living out of a skip. and presumably he must be on a fair whack to be able to offer me a million pound slice of his income.

But I guess he was one of those eccentric multi millionaire philanthropists.

I still bitterly regret not getting that answer right.

Next time, if a man in a cheap dirty suit asks me if I want to be a millionaire, I'm going to have the right answer to hand: "Yes"

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