Job Interview

I'm hoping someone has some advice/knows the legal whatnots on this...

I have a job interview next week. It's for a position I really want, it exactly matches my skills and I can easily fulfil all their selection criteria.

If during the interview they ask about the time my uni course has taken (5 years instead of 3 due to ill-health/hospitalisations) what should I say/do I have to legally say? I'm a lot more controlled than I was and genuinely feel I can manage this job, but my past hospitalisations would count against this. How much detail do I have to go into (I have asthma plus other issues), or could I get away with just mentioning one issue?

If they don't ask anything, are there any legal obligations for me to say anything? I will need some time off each month for my hospital visits for Omalizumab/seeing consultant - at what stage would I need to agree this with them?

25 Replies

  • Unless effects the job ie if working with children have to be of good health you dont have to tell them, but if asked i would just say long term health issues!

    Good Luck though from me and snowygirl (was telling her what was going on forums as cant get internet in costa where I can!)

  • I do not know the legal side of what to disclose at interview. Personally for me I always disclose my asthma and anaphylaxis for my own safety as in previous jobs lone working was always an issue and the environments I was working in. So adjustments needed to be made to make sure medical emergancies where covered and the areas that I worked in where safe.

  • I would just say your degree took longer due to health problems. They should not press you to describe what these were, and if they do I would just say 'I don't think you meant to say that' or I don't think you are allowed to ask that'. Then once you have been offered the job then deal with the health stuff. If it is a big company then this should be done through occy health if there isn't an occy health it would be a good idea to speak to your line manager as soon as you have accepted the job. Sometimes occy health are good and will tell managers that you should have different sickness targets or need frequent hospital appointments.

    Finally good luck and hope it goes well.


  • The Government is trying to get people back to work, so be bold and succes will follow. You are stepping up and have the right qualifications.


  • Nothing useful to add but just wanted to wish you the best of luck with the job interview! I hope yget it and that if you do everything goes smoothly.

  • Good luck Ratty.

  • Thanks everyone for your advice and good wishes (here and by PM) - really appreciated. I think it's going to be a case of see how it goes and just respond as well as I can. Part of me thinks that if they do make a fuss over it, then it's not really somewhere I'd want to work anyway, so might be better to find that out at the interview stage. Got sooooo much preparation to do - presentations, writing, normal interview prep, slim into my interview suit (!!!)...

  • hey ratty

    hope the interview goes well! i really am impressed at what your trying to do.


  • Good luck I'm not sure when your interview is but I'm sure all the prep your doing will impress the interviewer so much they will not take a second look at the health issues. x

  • Good luck Ratty and well done to get an interview.

  • Thanks so much everyone, really means a lot. :) It's next week - so either I'll be celebrating or eating chocolate to console myself. Either seems a good outcome! :D

  • Just thought I would update in case anyone didn't want to ask :) - my interview was unfortunately (possibly fortunately as my asthma is a bit wobbly!) cancelled so I've got to wait a few weeks for it to be rescheduled.

    A dilemma: if my asthma is playing up a bit at interview time, am I better dosing up on the Ventolin to keep the symptoms under control but it will make me really shakey (not good when I have to do a presentation!) or keeping Ventolin use as low as absolutely possible so I'm not too shakey but risk having more obvious asthma symptoms?

  • Aww! Never mind,you come first and next time you have interview,bet you knock them dead with a fantastic presentation xxx

  • just to let you know ratty i always bring up my asthma at the end of the interview just so they know reason for sickness levels but say that when i am fit i work to the best of my capabilities but there are times when asthma not as good and i can't do as much. Most employers appreciate you being upfront with them about long standing illnesses.

  • thanx for advice for Ratty, I must say it has also helped me as I have an interview next stressing over it though and can see myself back in hosp with another attack eeekkkk...fingers crossed it wont.

    does anyone have an suggestions of how to keep nerves calm to prevent any miss haps...possible something to start working this week lol


  • Good luck with your interview as well Charlie!

    Only just remembered something which may be useful to you and Ratty. One of my colleagues has MS and epilepsy. The way it's done at my work is that you have the interview, then if you get the job you have to fill in a medical questionnaire which is administered by an independent company who ring you if there are any concerns and discuss it with you. I had a minor issue that was dealt with by health and safety, but my colleague said she saw occupational health before she started and they worked out a plan for her with her boss eg she gets tired very easily and sometimes just needs to go home so they have agreed that if she needs to she can go home, and when it comes to things like work trips eg one that we did recently she can just say no to them.

    Obviously companies are different and at my last job I think she might have struggled, but think the way my current one does it is how you're supposed to, unless thejob is something that is totally unsuitable for the condition eg manual labour, running up and down stairs all day.

  • Good luck Ratty & Charlie-warlie

  • thanx philomela, thankfully the job is within the same company just a different department so occy health should and technically still do the same for me...and should work the same with the new employer...well im hoping so any should I still inform the potential new employer of my asthma and severity during the interview or not!?

    and thanx TJ


  • Unfortunately I didn't get the job and they're being REALLY cagey after I asked for feedback. Everyone who knows me and my referees are really suprised at the outcome as they said it'd be hard to find someone more appropriately suited and qualified. There could be any number of reasons and I suspect, especially if any health stuff has come into their decision, I'll never find out. Maybe it's best that way. My uni I have to say are being really supportive, I'm doing some very part-time work with them at the moment, but generally allowing myself some time and a bit of a break as the stress was getting to me and with my asthma really playing up, I don't feel up to copious job applications. Thanks to everyone for your support - I'll probably be asking more questions at some point!

  • Aww Ratty sorry to hear that. Applying for jobs is hideous anyway as you know (been there done that way too much as it was during the recession and I am terrible at interviews, but in some cases I was glad eventually that I didn't get some of the jobs I applied for). It must be especially frustrating though to have your asthma get in the way. Not that it's much consolation, but sounds like they might have been pretty rubbish and stressful to work for with that attitude?

    Glad your uni is being helpful and supportive. Really hope something else comes up soon with a better attitude (I don't know what the figures are, but I wonder how much it costs a company in the end to hire the wrong person for the job vs the right person with health issues? Maybe they should consider that.)

  • Thanks Philomela - I've been trying to tell myself ""wouldn't want to work for them"" anyway. Just got to find a way to believe it! For now I just need to give myself and my lungs a little break.

  • Sorry you didnt get the job.Next time lol x

  • Sorry to hear that Ratty. Know how you feel as have had several disappointments myself.Have thought I was just right for the jobs but was told I came across as nervous and also overqualified. Sometimes they already have someone in mind and others are just there to make up the numbers! Sad but true.

    Just keep applying and something will turn up. This job wasnt for you.

  • I am so sorry Ratty that you did not get the job

  • Send in a freedom of information request and request a copy of the interviewers notes.........oooops could make some one very uncomfortable. I am not sure BUT i think that can be used if some one has been discrriminated against might be worth checking out ???????????

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