Interviewing with diabetes

By Beerlilly Latest Reply 2014-06-08 00:59:47 -0500
Started 2011-04-04 13:32:05 -0500

I am currently looking for a new job around where I live and I've been on a few interviews.
My question is: Do you have to tell the intrested party (company; that your interviewing with) that you have diabetes during the interview or wait till you fill out the emergancy contact form after being hired? If you were to tell the company, how would you frase the question or statement that you have diabetes?
What do all of you think??

50 replies

klfrcmom 2011-04-11 12:56:05 -0500 Report

There are too many false perceptions out there about diabetes. I know people who think if you are type 2, that means you are lazy … if you are type 1, you are prone to absences, etc. etc. people are ignorant, please don't give them ammo

wrmjw1 2011-04-11 10:00:11 -0500 Report

I personally would tell my interveiwer that Im a type 1 diabetic, just to let them know. I dont want to have to explain why Im taking an insulin shot or checking my blood sugar, I would rather they know ahead of time. I also want them to know because if something happens I would rather they know about the risks before I get the job.

jayabee52 2011-04-11 10:36:40 -0500 Report

If your objective is to get the job, that may not be the best way to accomplish that since that knowledge might prejudice the person hiring you against you. They DON'T want problems in the workplace. And if they're paying for insurance, they might be prejudiced against you to keep medical costs down.

Once you are hired, then you want to notify your supervisor and co-workers of your diabetes and what to do if you go low. JMHO.

0tina0 2011-04-11 11:14:06 -0500 Report

Thank you James…I have been reading all post here and I am amazed at all the people that would just disclose this information in an interview. If the purpose is to obtain the job…then it is not legal for them to ask (if you aren't going to drive a school bus) so it really in the applicants best interest to save that information until they are hired. I have always been in management…and I shudder everytime I read that someone is freely giving the information on their diabetes without getting the job first. I do believe in honesty…but I believe that the time for being honest about your medical conditions that have nothing to do with the job…is not at the interview.

jayabee52 2011-04-11 12:42:22 -0500 Report

Thank YOU Tina! I read what you said in another discussion on this topic, and it made a lot of sense to me! So thank YOU for sharing that insight with us there. (Yes, he CAN be taught! LoL!)

dietcherry 2011-04-11 12:05:33 -0500 Report

I think theres kinda 2 different discussions going on here. I never have disclosed my D status in an interview but would def share it with my company after being hired. I was responding to the opinion, as I think most others are too, to not mention it at all, even after getting the job. I worked for Victorias Secret while in high school and told them for the first time after several months on the job because I had to treat a low. They fired me the very next day! The excuse was they didnt need me anymore despite the fact I was top salesperson! So I learned that hard lesson early on but I still would rather be safe than sorry! PS They were the only company that ever showed me discrimination and in response I dont show them the money! :)

jayabee52 2011-04-11 12:36:16 -0500 Report

Was it the company or was it the particular management in the store?

The title of this discussion is INTERVIEWING with diabetes. That relates to the hiring aspect.

jayabee52 2011-04-11 12:49:49 -0500 Report

yep, —— I don't have many more hairs left to split. LoL!

But I do like to keep focus if at all possible.

Yet I am as guilty as anyone with going off on side topics as long at they're fun.

dietcherry 2011-04-11 23:18:52 -0500 Report

Yep like I agree with most all the opinions on this subject. Who says there is only one right opinion? Ive been in the workforce 27 years and it used to be I could get away with not disclosing my D to employers-and wouldnt. Not anymore. Now I must let people know because I am very brittle and have lost control of my own body. I never have disclosed my health status in an interview but if the day comes and the need arises, I most certainly will. My health and safety are more important to me than any job and I do what I have to do everyday to survive. My answer to the question has had to evolve over the years to keep pace with my challenges.

0tina0 2011-04-11 23:39:50 -0500 Report

I agree with ya'll in that it needs to be disclosed where we work…just not at the interview. I am also pretty brittle and the people I work with are awesome…more than awesome. And I totally agree that my health is more important than the job…but unfortunately, I really can't pay for my meds or co-pays without my job, so I need one in order to get the other…

pixsidust 2011-04-07 15:28:19 -0500 Report

I am a recruiter for a major worldwide firm. I work with companies all over. I do not want to know personal information about you on an interview. I do not want to know anything discriminatory at all. I am there only to make a determination of your work skills. We do not want to know everything and just being honest telling me anyway, tells me you have no common sence. I become concerned with those who blab everything that is not pertinent to the job. After you work somewhere is different. Everyone at work knows I am Diabetic…They did not on the interview.

ssigner 2011-04-07 14:54:07 -0500 Report

I started with this awesome company as a temp. When I did the interview for permanancy, they explained that the training process was 7 to 9 weeks and they wanted to know if I had any appointments that interfere. I let them know, then, that I am Diabetic and may have to see the dr within that timeframe, but would try to keep it down to a min. They said, "No problem".. I just graduated from the training and now that I'm on the floor, I let my supervisor know as well as the 3 people around me so that if I'm having an issue, I have support to help me. I do understand it is illegal to discriminate, especially because of the Disabilities Act, due to medical issue and some companies may be more uninformed than mine and that's the reason they do what they do. Perhaps if they were educated then they wouldn't be so quick to judge… Good Luck!

Guardianstone 2011-04-07 02:38:56 -0500 Report

Been trying to return to work since '99'. Once they hear about any illness (stroke damage, diabeties, bipolar, etc.) they lose the application. I actually saw one hr rep shred my app before I left the office. (wanted to ask another question.)
I know it wasn't right, but try proving it.
I say if they 'don't ask, don't tell'.
Good luck kid
Guardian stone

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2011-04-06 15:11:49 -0500 Report

I agree with what others are telling you. It has been my experience that potential employers are not allowed to ask you about specific health conditions unless your health is somehow a bona fide job requirement. But always a good idea to check on the employment laws in your own state. Your state's Website will have this informaiton. Best wishes for your job hunt!

Indyana Joana
Indyana Joana 2011-04-06 14:37:14 -0500 Report

I would think that would be an illegal question for them to ask unless it is something that would affect the work you are applying for. After you are hired, I would definitely tell them. Always have an emergency kit and supplies nearby. Let them know what needs to be done and who needs to be called in an emergency. Be proactive. What people don't know scares them. the more they know about your situation the more comfortable they will be with it.

melissa5786 2011-04-06 10:21:20 -0500 Report

You don't have to tell them anything. However, I'd want to be honest about it from the beginning because I don't want to to put myself in a harmful situation. And I think at least your boss would need to know because God forbid there is a situation while you're at work. Someone needs to be in the know. And honestly, I wouldn't tell other coworkers right off the bat, so who better to know than your boss?

Jim Edwards
Jim Edwards 2011-04-06 10:16:47 -0500 Report

No. A lot of people do not understand diabetes. Heck, they surely do not want you to pass it onto all the other employees! For the most part, it should not effect (or is it affect? I know it is not infect, so you choose!) your work. I work for a small company and I may not even see a number of the staff on a given day, but the ones I see the most, including my boss, know that there is a current medication, condition, and suppliment list in my truck and there is now one in his drawer in an envelope that is marked with my name on the outside.
I do not think that telling them or not is a sign of honesty. Do I tell them that my Dad died of cancer just because it increases my chance? Do I tell them I have an ingrown toenail or a bunion or any other "defect"? How about high cholestrol, high blood pressure or that I have SAD? I agree with OtinaO. If your condition does not directly interfere with the work you are expected to do, you have no need to tell. I wish you the best in you interviews.

0tina0 2011-04-06 09:54:37 -0500 Report

Let me address this from a different perspective… I have hired many many people. I don't want to know their health issues. I want to make my decision based on the interview. If I know they have diabetes (like I do) I don't want to give them the job because we have something in common. And I don't want to NOT hire them because I know how much work a diabetic can miss. If the applicant is interviewing well…I don't need to know extra stuff. It is like I don't care how many kids you have, how many pets, if your hubby is sweet or mean. If the interview is good…great…I will hire you without the personal information we are not allowed to ask. My rule is if we don't ask you…don't offer.

Stuart1966 2013-10-08 11:09:31 -0500 Report

Point of information?

Been diabetic my entire life, and have never missed a single day of work, because of it. Highs, lows… irrelevant, I'm at work.

Needed a doctors appointment, but no more so or less so than the next person beside me. Gotten flu, food poisoning, had surgery, and diabetes was a piece of that recovery as well, but never did it prevent me ever from working, for more than 30 minutes, maybe an hour if I got into serious trouble. Even so, back to work we go…

I cannot understand the ~…how much work I can miss idea…~ What am I missing ???

bostonman 2011-04-06 09:39:49 -0500 Report

good luck with the intewrview but i donb,t think you have to tell them about your health issues, as long as you can perform your duties they have asked you to do

nightengale54 2011-04-06 09:27:41 -0500 Report

I agree,they need to know right off the bat.Be open and honest with them.Cause if its the right job for you and they hirer you They will know that they have hired an honest person and be understanding.

kittenpurr1 2011-04-07 15:40:40 -0500 Report

I agree, what if you were to have your level drop, or go up, and they think you are drunk, worse you go into a coma- wear a MedicIdBracelt that gives all your info to the hospitals and the paramedics, you wouldn't want to be treated for something they didn't know about, and you have a reaction. The bracelet lets them know the meds you take, the hospital of choice, emergency contact info. I have managed a lot of places, I would rather know, than guess.

ibcathy 2011-04-05 21:29:02 -0500 Report

I am in the same situation as far as interviewing and letting companies know about it. I also have CHF which complicates matters further. While legally can't not hire you for that reason, most will not. There are enough applicants that they don't have to claim that as a reason. I would be careful divulging this information up front. Diabetes is something you have not who you are.

Pynetree 2011-04-05 08:28:47 -0500 Report

Hey, you are there to sell yourself to them…list all your selling points…honest, diligent, people skills, dependability, etc. If your diabetes is a strong selling point…bring it up in the interviews, but if you're not working it into your sales pitch…leave it out. Time enough to share after you're working there.

GabbyPA 2011-04-04 21:14:38 -0500 Report

They cannot "not" hire you because of your diabetes, but you are not required to tell them anything. There are a few types of jobs that need to know if you are diabetic, as it can make for an unsafe, such as driving big rigs or public transportation. But if your diabetes is not going to interfere with your job, then I would not bother to list it.

Eventually, after you are hired, I would make sure that you have at least one or two people in confidence about your condition and have instructions on what to do if you suffer a low on the job.

northerngal 2011-04-06 15:33:36 -0500 Report

You being diabetic is protected information that they are not allowed to ask. Do not tell them, your skills are what they need to know about. By the way, diabetics can not drive vehicles for hire or big rigs, there is no legal way a diabetic can get a license for those jobs. A company that would allow it, isn't one you'd want to work for because they aren't honest, or they aren't safe.

sc1boy 2011-04-05 21:21:34 -0500 Report

I do not agree Gabby. I have had a few episodes on the job while I was working and they knew that I was a diabetic and then they were able to help me quickly and it was the honesty that got the job. Then when I got it up they sent me home so I could get better and then welcomed me back to work the next day,

Stuart1966 2013-10-08 11:17:37 -0500 Report

Hello Sc1boy

Since the question was specific to INTERVIEWS, (ie getting the job), your description is an entirely different issue e.g. Should we tell once we are hired…

Entirely different creatures.

dietcherry 2011-04-06 09:13:39 -0500 Report

I agree with you sc1; I do not want to have an emergency at work and no one knowing what to do for me. Lows are easily treatable but time is of the essence! If a company doesnt want me because of D, than that is a company I dont want to work for.

sc1boy 2011-04-04 21:11:18 -0500 Report

if you tell them it shows that youare straight forward and are not trying to hide anything I tell mine when I went for interviews.

Stuart1966 2013-10-08 11:25:19 -0500 Report

And a potential financial liability. People with "diseases" by definition, are sick. At some point "sick people" won't be able to work, will require time off, accommodations, etc.

You must have a very specialized skill set… with some serious, serious experience(s). For the interview purpose revelation of our diabetes is solely negative information, and consciously or not will bias them in a negative manner.

sc1boy 2013-10-08 12:56:41 -0500 Report

I am not special at anything I am just a hard worker when I do work. and being honest is what I have done that is part of me as well as being a Christian. If you tell them from the beginning like I did then it shows them that you are an honest person. I worked in the retail field and in the food area and they all understood that I might need to stop and get a drink of soda or something to eat and was fine with that as long I did my job.

kdroberts 2011-04-04 13:38:17 -0500 Report

You don't have to tell anybody anything about it if you don't want to. Depending on the size of company and what benefits you are taking you may have to disclose medical history to the insurance company but they aren't allowed to tell your employer.

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