I want/need a little plastic surgery before I start a job, from which I need at least 2 weeks to recover. That means 13 August. if I don't do it now, I will never have such an opportunity to fit it in. 2 weeks ago the recruiter said that they want someone to start the end of this month (July).

I have an in-person interview this week. Do I let them know up front that I cannot start until 13 Aug, or do I wait until I get an offer and let them know that I have something scheduled out of town and not give them specifics?

  • It is better to tell them before the interview. However, better to show your enthusiasm and interest towards the job. Hopefully they might agree. Good Luck.
    – samarasa
    Commented Jul 7, 2013 at 15:12
  • I'm pretty sure most, if not all, recruiters will tell you that the company wants you to start "right now" even if the company never said such a thing. Recruiters know that the longer it takes for a person to move over to a new job, the less likely it is that they'll show up. The "hotter" your industry is, the more pressure a recruiter will apply.
    – NotMe
    Commented Aug 3, 2014 at 3:29

3 Answers 3


For the employer, a delay of 2 weeks ought not to be a big deal, and most companies would wait longer than that to get the right person. If they don't ask, you could just raise it by saying "I've heard you wanted someone to start as soon as possible, but I'm only available on Aug 13, is this ok?" It does need to be discussed however, as the employer has established the expectation already that you could start earlier.

Raising this sort of thing by email ahead of an interview is awkward and risks cancelling or delaying the interview, and gives other candidates a look in. It makes sense to do a good job selling yourself in the interview to get them "hooked", and then give them a little bit of bad news.

So if you were applying direct I would bring it up at interview. However as you are going through a recruiter, you already have someone whose job is to grease the wheels, and I would suggest raising it with the recruiter now, and discussing whether your recruiter should bring it up before the interview, or whether you should raise it at interview.

  • 1
    Well said. If you're dealing with a recruiter, tell them immediately. It's in their interests to sort these sorts of things out for you. Commented Jul 7, 2013 at 22:43

This is probably a moot question, as you will almost certainly be asked during the interview when you could start. But if not then you should volunteer the information. Do NOT wait until the offer has been made. If they expect you to start immediately, they are not going to be happy to find out at the last minute that you are unavailable.

If the start date is their number one priority, then they will immediately go on to their second choice regardless of when they find out that you can't start when needed. If it is not their number one priority then being surprised with your unavailability is going to be at least as big a mark against you as your unavailability - how can they trust you to meet your deadlines if their first experience is you failing to do so?

As for how to convey this, just say that you can start work after X date.

  • Thank you- Yes, nothing was confirmed during my 1st discussion with the recruiter. --and I thought if it was the right job- I would postpone until my next vacation.. but, as I spoke to the Dr since then... I am now wanting to proceed- unless the job is fantastic. -Which as far as I can tell.. I am not in love with-... but, I want a job and I do need a job! Thanks again- Very helpful
    – sunny
    Commented Jul 8, 2013 at 2:26

The two weeks should not be a big deal - unless for some reason this is a very short term/tight deadline engagement.

Wait until they get serious. Go to the interview and leave it open.

If you're asked point blank at the company, don't lie, but keep the summary short - you would like to take X weeks between jobs to cover a personal/medical objective. No details.

Make sure you cover the time adequately - for example, if you don't plan to schedule the medical treatment until you know you'll be quitting a current position, it's not that your start date is "August 13th", it's that you will start X weeks after you have a formal offer where X = notice given to current position + reasonable time you can schedule the appointment + reasonable recovery period. That way, they understand that delays in formal offers will invoke delays in start time.

The thing to avoid here is a lot of details about the treatment. You might say "health related" or "medical" just to give a sense that you are at the mercy of the medical system here. But where you're new to the position, going into much detail about your medical concerns or history is not a win.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .