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Last Saturday, I got in a snowboarding accident that resulted in a very noticeable facial injury. While the worst of it has already healed, a large portion of the wound is still healing up and will likely not finish healing up until next week.

Tomorrow I have an interview and am wondering if I should address this facial injury during the interview or just stay mute about it. I'm concerned whether or not the injury could have a negative impression before the interview starts.

  • Potentially helpful follow-up question: workplace.stackexchange.com/questions/78563/… – Ghotir Feb 23 '17 at 14:20
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    @Kilisi I don't know what you're talking about but I know you're now out of the club. – hd. Feb 24 '17 at 8:33
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    To answer your question: the first rule of snowboarding accidents is that you don't talk about snowboarding accidents – Mawg Feb 24 '17 at 8:41
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    pics or did not happen – Koray Tugay Feb 24 '17 at 9:45
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    "Give an example of when you had to deal with a stressful situation." - "Walking into this interview with a face like <suitable similie> wasn't exactly stress-free. I dealt with it by identifying the problem in good time, asking my peers for help determining potential solutions and then approaching the problem confidently. I never ignore a stressful situation, I find the best way to deal with it and deal with it." – James Webster Feb 24 '17 at 14:22
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Short answer, YES

Long answer, yes, of course!

Basically, this is going to impact on your interview either way. Don't address it, you're that guy who gets in fights and shows up to work like this. Explain it and you're the risk-taker who might end up on extended sick leave from a silly accident.

However, the latter is certainly preferable, and might show that you are a fun person to work with. If you can make a little light from it, that would help

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    I would add though, try to find a way to bring it up naturally. "Hi, I'm Russ, don't worry about the injury, I got it in a snowboarding accident" is still not a great first impression. – Kaz Feb 23 '17 at 14:28
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    @Kaz true but being able to say "typical, I've been snowboarding for 6 years and a week before an interview this happens" wouldn't hurt. – Stephen Feb 23 '17 at 14:31
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    If you live in an area where snow sports are popular, the interviewer will probably understand that these sorts of injuries happen and aren't a reflection on your character. It may also give you a way to bond with the person over a shared interest if they are also into those sorts of sports – Kevin Wells Feb 23 '17 at 20:05
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    +1 from me. Anything obvious like that is going to be the elephant in the room - you pretty much have to address it since it's one of the first things they'll notice about you. If you can use that to your advantage, even better. – Omegacron Feb 23 '17 at 22:07
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    Risk taker? They went snowboarding, a thoroughly mainstream activity holiday. But you're right they should handwave it away without fear. I've seen people at work and interviews with broken legs, arms, black eyes, facial gravel rash, caused by anything from walking into posts, inexplicable OTBs on family cycle rides on flat featureless paths, to fainting while having a wee! The OPs story is positively mundane and no-one will care. – Grimm The Opiner Feb 24 '17 at 10:59
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It would be negative if you didn't mention it at all, because that leaves the interviewer to assume the worst - that you were in a fight.

By addressing it at the first meet, it would also be an icebreaker - and a way for them to ask you about what you do in your spare time outside of work, and establish a more casual atmosphere - which is usually great in job interviews(It shows that you're a human!)

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I would mention it. They are going to be curious and will avoid asking as it could be personal.

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    Surely there is a better reason to mention it than that they might be curious. They could be curious about a myriad of things that would be inappropriate to discuss in an interview -- you should explain why this is different. – Matthew Read Feb 23 '17 at 19:16
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    @MatthewRead I did not say might be curious. I said they will be curious. I will hold with that - a guy comes into an interview with a banged up face I will be curious as to how it happened every time. I will not ask because the answer might be personal. It takes all of 20 seconds to dismiss it with I got in a snow board accident. – paparazzo Feb 23 '17 at 20:30
  • "How was your weekend?" "Went snowboarding, got in an accident." It's almost easier to explain than hide it. – user42272 Feb 24 '17 at 19:26
  • @Paparazzi What's the bright line here? Should an interviewee indeed mention everything which someone can be expected to be curious about? For a long-term disability, versus a short-term injury, "How?" somehow seems much less relevant, though the interviewer is undoubtedly going to be curious on some level. – employee-X Feb 24 '17 at 21:59
  • @jpaugh Disclose what you chose. They will likely be curious about the foot in your mouth. – paparazzo Feb 24 '17 at 22:02
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Address it quickly and matter-of-factly. Add a little humor if you want, but you should move on quickly. Even if your injury comes up again later in the interview, just smile and steer the conversation back to the interview. You want to address it but not for it to dominate the interview.

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My wife had once an interview in a very formal place. Of course she left all her stuff in the train she was taking the night before. She went to the interview in jeans, t-shirt and trainers.

When she got into the interview room there was some silence - more surprised than anythng else, as everyone knew she normally would be dressed conservatively. She started by shortly explaining what happened, everyone smiled and then proceeded to the interview. She got the job and was told later by her boss that she made the interview "memorable".

So just be natural, smile and go ahead

Be glad not to be this guy whose friends put a lock around his neck before his interview

enter image description here

(I cannot find the original picture, the one above is from another prank)

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Yes- Taking responsibility is a rare trait in the workplace!
Add humour, too.
"Snowboarding! __ years & tried something new & learned a few do's & don'ts for next time. My grandpa always said a day without learning is a sad day, indeed.
What's the hardest learning experience/impact that's been "worked around", over here?"

Turning around the normal Q of "what was your hardest experience" & venturing into trading war-stories, creates more human rapport (repoire is the sales-lingo typo) & memorability.
You have memorability all-ready nailed down! Now tack onto it!

Good luck & have fun with it!
Jobs, like many things in life, are #s games.

But make sure you have researched highlights that interest you about the co.
Copy them into a doc & read them repeatedly, esp. if you are interviewing w/ mult. co's (& don't want to mix up facts!)

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I'm surprised the five answers here so far all advocate, rather assuredly, that you should explain your injury first thing.

I've worked with a bunch of people that wouldn't give a rat's ass why you have an injury. They're there to figure out whether you have the skills to do the job and whether you will work well in their organization. Spending that time discussing your injury wouldn't even cross their minds.

I would also say that as an interviewee, don't forget that you are also screening them. Do you really want to work with people who are so concerned about why you were injured? Is that really the most important thing for them to be thinking about?

Of course, if you really need the job and opportunities aren't looking great, yes, you can cover your bases by explaining your injury. But keep this in mind: not only would an interviewer who is suspicious enough to think you got into a fight be suspicious enough to think you are making up an excuse, but focusing on your injury first thing shows a lack of confidence.

  • None of the other answers suggest explaining the injury "first thing". They do all suggest explicitly addressing it briefly at a naturally appropriate point in the conversation. I agree with you, though, if the interviewer makes a big deal of it then you probably want to look to other opportunities. – talrnu Feb 25 '17 at 21:57

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