Dear Lifehacker, I'm thinking of moving on from my current job, but there's a problem. I have some health issues that require a weekly appointment and I currently have my appointment on a Friday afternoon. My current manager has rearranged my work hours slightly so that I can attend this appointment. My question is: if I get an interview for a new job, should I tell them about this at the interview? If so, how do I go about it? Thanks, Health Conscious
We've covered similar territory to your question in the past. As we said then, you should concentrate on getting them interested first and worry about disclosing your health issues later. Obviously it's important not to lie, but there's no reason why you can't be strategic about when you choose to drop the information.
During your first interview the company will still be separating the wheat from the chaff, which makes it perilously easy to fall into the 'do not hire' pile. Unless they specifically ask you, we wouldn't say anything about your medical issues at this point. All it can do is hurt your chances.
If you land a followup interview, the prospective employer will be more likely to consider your specific requirements as you've already passed the first hurdle and proved you're hirable. Your situation is really no different to other time rearrangement issues such as childcare, and a decent employer will make allowances, especially as modern technology means you can always catch up on tasks afterwards if necessary.
While it will still be a bit of gamble, we'd advise mentioning your medical commitments at the final interview stage, if not before. Waiting until you're offered the job will look sneaky and dishonest. They may also refuse to accommodate you which means you wont be able to take the job anyway.
Depending on the nature of your health issue, it might also be worth contacting a specialist job agency that caters to people with disabilities. Examples include Nova Employment, Houses With No Steps, SkillsPlus and the Australian Government's Disability Employment Services.
Going down this route means prospective employers will be aware of your medical needs before you even step into the interview chair. In other words, you can forget all about it and concentrate on showcasing your skills.
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