Here's the general question: how should I approach job interviews when experiencing physical health problems which negatively impact my ability to perform at an interview? What do I disclose or not disclose to a potential employer?
I'm concerned, first, about making a good impression when I'm very much not in top form. I'm also concerned about being way too personal with a potential employer because 1. that's awkward for everybody involved, and 2. because I don't know anything about US laws pertaining to employment discrimination and I don't want to put a potential employer in a legally awkward situation. (I'm in the USA, if it matters)
Here's what I think my options are:
- Say nothing, hope for the best (I've had very mixed results from this approach in the past)
- Say something vague about not being in peak performance and leave it at that (seems like a really bad option. Am I hungover or something? Am I just making excuses because I have no self confidence?)
- Give my interviewer a little context. I'm not in peak performance because... (this is where I'd worry about employment disclosure laws and/or good ol' TMI. Also, I don't want to appear to be making excuses, especially because my illness is not evident to an observer)
- Tell my recruiter or HR contact what's up and let them disseminate to my interviewers as appropriate. (This one isn't always an option because there's not always a recruiter contact)
Since the answer to this question could vary depending on what the particular health problem is (a cold? uncontrollable diarrhea? cancer?), and what kind of interview I'm doing, I'll provide a little personal context.
Edit: removed some specific details.
I'm interviewing for jobs where interviews involve solving problems on a whiteboard and necessitate a fair amount of cognitive clarity.
I have a non-fatal condition that causes constant pain. The treatment is surgical, with painkillers to ease the gap between diagnosis and surgery.
This is not forecasted to be a chronic condition long term, but I have had a few rounds with it in the short term, this just being the latest. Because I have dealt with this before, I can say with confidence that it doesn't significantly impact my ability to get work done on a day to day basis, but it can impact my ability to think under pressure at an interview and make a confident impression in front of a crowd, my two choices being that I interview in pain or interview on painkillers, both of which are bad choices.