Do you tell about fm at a job interview?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Lendi, Jul 28, 2003.

  1. Lendi

    Lendi New Member

    I'm interviewing for a new job today. It is a 6 hr position in the same town I live in which would save me 3 hrs per day. I really think I would like this job, but do I tell them about the fm/cfs? I don't think I would miss too often because of fm/cfs with the difference in scheduling plus being able to come home at lunch to rest a bit. But, I don't want to mislead them, either. There are times when no matter what, I just fall apart. I don't want to get off ont the wrong foot by misleading them and I know learning a new job will be send me into a flair. But, I know I can do this and I don't want to ruin my chances.
  2. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    What employers usually ask is whether you have any condition which would interfere with your ability to do the job. If you can honestly say no, then do it; however, if you feel your FMS is going to cause you to miss work, then it would be dishonest not to tell them. Just realize that if you do tell them, it will likely cause them to re-evaluate you as a candidate for the job. A lot depends on the job. When I was hiring for receptionists, I needed someone who would be there everyday to answer phones and make appointments. We had some flexibility, but I didn't like taking a higher salaried person from her job to cover for the receptionist while her work went undone. You need to look at it from the employer's perspective.

    I think the best thing to do is to find a job that you know you can do or one which will be flexible enough to accommodate your FMS. There is nothing worse than missing a lot of work, dragging in sick half the time, and finally being let go for too many absences.

    Only you can decide whether you can do this job. Just be honest with yourself and your employer.

    Love, Mikie
  3. JP

    JP New Member

    I have been a boss many times and have interviewed hundreds of people. During an interview, I want to know that the person will come to work and fit in with the others. Your last statement says it all, "I know I can do this." That's what counts. I think our health is very private.
    I hired a woman one time that seemed to be a very good fit. However, her health conditions made her an unsafe worker in this specific environment. She was not safe and her co-workers were at risk. This is different. She had siezures and we worked with large sheets of glass. Had I known about the condition, I would have worked to find her work in another part of our company where she and others would be safe.

    Hope this helps and good luck to you...Jan
  4. kayfrey

    kayfrey New Member


    I am going to be looking for a new job soon myself. I was a receptionist at a very busy company for 2 years. I answered the phone for 30 companies plus, did some computer work.
    My bosses were great and tried to help me, they put me on 3 days a week and I shared my job with another. The job was so stressful that I had flares often. They eventually had to let me go in March because they needed someone who could handle it every day and I could not.

    If you don't tell and they call you previous employer, they will tell them of your absences and sickness, so it seems to be a catch 22.

  5. elaine_p

    elaine_p New Member

    I think if you do decide to tell them, you should *also* tell them what you said in your last sentence, "I know I can do this". And if you're sure you can do it, I don't know that you need to mention your FMS. Sure, it might interfere sometimes, but everyone gets sick....

    I have been honest in the 4 job interviews I've had since I got sick. One was interesting. I told the guy I had CFS and could only commit to working 3 hours, though I would try to work more. (It was for data entry, and they were hiring for the one evening a week they had a slew of stuff to be done. They preferred to hire people who could stay there 'til midnight if needed.) He said he was okay with that. After I no longer worked there and asked him for a letter for Social Security, he made a comment about my only being able to work 3 hours!

    A couple posts have recently been about whether to tell coworkers about your illness. I think the general concensus is to NOT tell people unless they have to know (like your boss, AFTER you're hired and have had time to prove to him/her that you're an asset). I guess I'm adding this in case you get the job! Good luck!
    [This Message was Edited on 07/29/2003]
  6. Kim

    Kim New Member

    If you believe you can do the job there is no need to tell them. If health insurance comes with the job it might affect their decision to hire you.

    If your former employer advises them of your health status they may be violating the law (there are many scenerios both ways on this one and I won't go into legal advice).

    Best wishes!

  7. Jasmine

    Jasmine New Member

    Personally I feel you are under no obligation to tell them about your FM. They will only use it against you and you may not get the job because of the FM. The job market is very bad right now and with so many applicants, the boss is only looking for reason to eliminate potential candidates for the job.
  8. Lendi

    Lendi New Member

    I interviewed this morning, and I'm probably what they are looking for because of some past experience that I have. But, I decided against the position because there was going to be quite a bit of driving to do. And, although for the most part it was a 4 day 7 1/4 hr day work week, there would be some evenings and weekends involved as well. So, I felt it only fair to withdraw my application. I'm still looking though and appreciate your advice. Lendi
  9. Spoonerpaws

    Spoonerpaws New Member

    I have never been to a job interview where they ask about my physical condition. I am not even sure that it is legal to ask this????

    I would not bring it up unless specifics are asked. You would not tell them if you had MS or Cancer or Lupus, so why tell them about the FM?
  10. marecee58

    marecee58 New Member

    I am currently unemployed and have no intention of telling my prospective employer that I have FMS/CFS and risk not getting the position. Infact I truly beleive that the reason my previous employer included me in the lay-off several months ago was because I wasn't feeling well and had taken time off to see doctors and have tests done. So, theres no way I'm gonna open pandoras box during an interview.
  11. Annette2

    Annette2 New Member

    It is none of their business. The bottom line is: if you can't do the job, why take it? If you go into a job knowing you have a certain problem, why take a job that you can't do well, or can only do half-way? Knowing I have FMS, I would not take a job that meant standing on my feet for long periods of time, or lifting or carrying. It's not fair to you and it's not fair to them. When I interviewed for my present job, I did not tell them about my FMS. I also did not tell them I had hayfever, menopause, or IBS. Why should I? In the 4 years I've worked there, I've only taken off 3 days for illness. Do not accept a job if you can't perform it the way they want.

  12. iconracr

    iconracr New Member

    Do you tell them if you have other conditions? Will it effect you performance or work? I have had CFS/FM for 10 years now. I had to work hard and longer hours to do what others in my field.

    I told only a few about it. It was not a concern. I had a good career despite everything. But, the hours I had to put in just about killed me.

    Hope you get the job.