Do you announce your disease on an interview?

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 69
   Posted 9/14/2010 6:48 AM (GMT -7)   
I am going on an interview in a few days. Its actually a pharmaceutical sales position for Asacol....LOL   I was wondering if anyone would share their disease info, regardless of job position. Thanks!

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 9/14/2010 7:09 AM (GMT -7)   
I would if you were being successfully treated with Asacol (like me), otherwise, I probably would not bring it up in the interview process. But thats just me:)
Gail*Nanners* Co-Moderator for Crohns Disease 
Crohn's Disease for over 34 years. Currently on Asacol, Prilosec, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain, Zofran, Phenergan, Probiotics, Calcium, Vit D, and Xanax prn. Resections in 2002 & 2005. Also diagnosed w/ Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, & Anxiety. Currently my Crohns is in remission, but my joints are going crazy!
*Every tomorrow has two handles.  We can take hold of it by the handle of anxiety, or by the handle of faith"*

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 129
   Posted 9/14/2010 7:22 AM (GMT -7)   
Although they can't refuse to give you the job because you have an illness, the company might be hesitant to hire you if they think you may need time off for being sick. I think it depends on how the interview goes and the personality of the interviewer.
26 years old. Diagnosed with Crohn's disease March 2008. Battled a C. diff infection from Summer 2009-Spring 2010. Have been dealing with a severe flare for the past several weeks.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 884
   Posted 9/14/2010 8:08 AM (GMT -7)   
That's a tough one, since it's a sales rep for Asacol.  I would normally said absolutely don't tell them.  While mlatida is right that they can't legally refuse to hire you because of it, good luck being able to prove that they discriminated and that your illness is the only reason they didn't hire you.  All they have to say is that someone else interviewed better than you did and no one can prove otherwise.  I've been in HR for about 8 yrs and can tell you that people do discriminate, even if it's not legal. 
That being said, if you feel like having experience with the drug will help you get the job, then it's a tough call.  What will be more important to them...having experience with the drug or having someone who is not sick who will be at work more often (in their eyes...not saying you miss any more work than anyone else).  Best of luck on the interview! 

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 109
   Posted 9/14/2010 10:00 AM (GMT -7)   
I lost a job for announcing I had Crohns.
I interviewed for the airlines, went through all the managers, they absolutely loved me and days letter I got an offer letter contingent in passing a physical ( I was a programmer so I was not worried about the physical). Talked to my future boss, asked whether I should resign, he said yes, I then resigned from Job 1 giving two weeks notice.
I go for the physical and it was a two story building that had a 5 hour physical process, even Xrays and blood work.
I was on Prednisone and was worried that they will discover it on my blood, so on a another questionnaire I reported I had Crohns...That was the end of further physicals, they withdrew their offer by not passing the physical (all airlines employees were going through the same physical). Their reason was that my job may require "stress".
So now I had to go back to Job 1 begging for my old job back and I got it.
Irony: the Prednisone was not been tested in the blood work so if I would not have disclosed the Crohns they would have never known.
Now, 30 years later I could tell you that I will not take a job that upset me or stressed me out, but will not admit I had Crohns.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 1885
   Posted 9/14/2010 11:41 AM (GMT -7)   
If interviewing in the States, don't admit it. If they turn you down, they won't admit it was because of the Crohn's, because that would be illegal. Companies here don't even have to give a reason for turning you down - they'll just say it wasn't a "good fit."
Heck, I don't even admit I'm a Democrat on interviews...they are not supposed to discriminate based on political persuasion, so when I was interviewed by some guy who talked on and on about how great Republicans are, I just said, "My whole family is Republican!" True, they are, but I'm not.

Elite Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 10083
   Posted 9/14/2010 11:55 AM (GMT -7)   
I wouldn't admit to having Crohn's, depression, or anything else. Partly because it's none of the employer's business (as long as you are fit for work, that is) and partly because if they do discriminate against you you have no way of proving it.

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 486
   Posted 9/14/2010 12:51 PM (GMT -7)   
Depends on your employment law I guess.

In New Zealand we legally have to dislcose an illness like crohns if we are asked e.g. on an application form or during the interview process.

If you do not disclose when asked and it it arises during your employment it can result in instant dismissal. Similar to falsifying competency qualifications.

As a contractor I don't have to disclose my condition, however, I have recently been in a position to help a fellow crohnnie gain employment by educating his prospective employer so that a promising young man got a chance to prove himself and guess what ... he was a real find for the company so win win ;)

good luck with the job interview :)

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 113
   Posted 9/14/2010 12:58 PM (GMT -7)   
My opinion is that in the US you should absolutely not disclose any illness during the interview process if you want the job. They aren't allowed to discriminate but how could you prove that was the reason if you didn't get the job? I think it's a bad idea.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 845
   Posted 9/14/2010 1:01 PM (GMT -7)   
I am a Tech Sales/Business major and if it were me apply for a pharmecutical rep for Asacol, I would use your Crohn's to your advantage. My sister, her husband, and a brother are all drug reps and your experience with Crohn's disease would give you a huge heads up on anyone else applying because you know first hand about the medication and disease. Many of the doctors will give you more time and legitimacy due to the fact that you are not just telling them the information that you learned in training and are actually giving them the information from the prospective of a Crohnie. If I had not gotten sicker and ended up on SSDI, I was actually going to apply to work with my brother-in-law who works for Abbott selling humira. He is one of their top reps and was constantly recruiting me because of my disease. Abbott recognized the benefit of having someone that uses the medications. Good luck with the job.

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 266
   Posted 9/14/2010 8:01 PM (GMT -7)   
ipdoer:  my bias is to not tell the employer your diagnosis.  They want to to know if you can function and are fit for the job and that is what you are saying yes to.  That you have a chronic disease with episodes of good days and not so good days really isn't any different than anyone else (people who are depressed have good and bad days too for example). 
The bigger issues is what if this medication stops working for you in the future - what do you tell those who know now?  the med sucks?  to me this is a trap of your making.  But you would be very knowledgable about this disease process and its response to medication therapies, maybe quicker to grasp the finer points to use a sales pitch on (vs handing out more free pens) and so I would hold this information close to your chest and not tell anyone.  Information in the wrong hands can be used against you or to hurt you - and it can be either intentional or unintentional. 
Meds: Celebrex, Omeprazole, Liadla, Entocort EC 9mg/day, Vit D, Mulitvit, Omega 3's, Ambian, Neurontin.

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 430
   Posted 9/17/2010 11:14 AM (GMT -7)   
Don't. Say. Anything. about. It.

artist guy
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 1373
   Posted 9/17/2010 11:58 AM (GMT -7)   
no not in the U.S.A. sickness and such is way different in america than in any other country. You're on your own here in united states. If a co. knows you could need to call in sick, never tell. It might be ok if you work for a drug co. maybe 1 year into seniorority you could tell and it might help if you use that drug, but I dought it, your co. wants you at work everyday bottom line

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 15387
   Posted 9/17/2010 12:04 PM (GMT -7)   
Heck NO. I don't ever let on that I have anything out of the ordinary going on. I can see how you could think it would be a benefit in selling Asacol but in reality, it's a risk for the company. Companies want to hire people who are low cost and reliable. If you have an illness, you may not be reliable. It comes down to the bottom-line with business and the better decision for them is probably to hire someone without a health consideration. Of course they can't discriminate against you because of your condition but they can choose to hire someone else, someone healthy. All they have to say is that the other person was the most qualified.
March 2007: Diagnosed with Mild Proctitis - Canasa as needed.
August 2008 - December 2008: FLARE & Anemic - Started Asacol!!
January 2009 - December 2009: REMISSION!! Asacol (9) + Canasa 2x Daily
December 2009 - January 2010: FLARE!! Asacol + Prednisone + Canasa
February 2010 - April 2010: Colazal + Prednisone + Canasa
May 2010 - June 2010: Lialda + Cort Enema + Prednisone : Colonoscopy: Mild / Moderate Active Pancolitis
CURRENT: DOING OK! Prednisone, 6mp, klonopin, Canasa + Vitamin D

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 103
   Posted 9/17/2010 11:52 PM (GMT -7)   
I would tell them about it if you think it might cause you to miss days in the future.  If not, then not to worry unless it is part of their rules.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 845
   Posted 9/18/2010 12:52 AM (GMT -7)   
I understand what many of you are talking about when you suggest not telling the employer out of fear that you will not be hired. Maybe I am old school but I just would never want to work for a company that would not look past my Crohn's and see the benefit that I could bring their company. When I go out a represent a company using my face and my name, I want to be able to do so with pride. I also feel that it is ethical on my part to tell them that I do have Crohn's disease and it is currently under control and I will do everything to give 110% for your company and not let it effect my performance but sometimes I do have flares. By not telling the employer ahead of time, you are potentially setting yourself up to get fired, especially if you work in a right to work state. By telling them before hand that you have the disease and they still hire you, if you do have a flare you will already have their support. They are going to find out eventually. Just make sure that they realize what an incredible asset you are coming to be and that your disease has made you a stronger person that is not easily knocked down. If you are going to be a rep, it is vital and imperative that you show that you are a person that can overcome adversity and bring others up with you.
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