The NESACS Blog
From the Northeastern Section of the ACS, focusing on career management and development
Categories:

Archives:
Meta:
September 2019
S M T W T F S
« Aug    
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
2930  
03/07/08
Interview Question: Employment Gap due to illness
Filed under: Interviewing, Public Relations docs, Mentoring, Mature professionals
Posted by: site admin @ 10:48 am

Several years ago, a lady came to me for
a mock interview.  We reached a
point of conversational comfort, both
graduated from the same grad school,
helpful suggestions for introductions, and
so forth.  Then, she posed her major
concern. 

She had been out of work for nearly two
years due to a bout with cancer.  She was
cured at that point, in remission and her
prospects were good.  She was concerned
that the time gap in her resume would raise
“red flags” that would prevent her considerations.

Perri Capell
wrote a compelling case in the
WSJ on responses to a similar question.
Her case concerned a man.

1. This should permit you to point out
one of your key strengths:  overcoming
major challenges.  It is no different than
the courage of people who have been in
the service of our country, in this respect.

2.  Hiring managers seek the best, most
qualified person they
can.  If you are that

person and this illness is a roadblock for
being hired. it is likely you or I would not
choose to work at this firm.

3.  Be armed with the statistics from your
medical case.  This will point out that
employers have little to be concerned,
especially considering the more mobile
employment situation.

4.  As Capell said, “Spin your recovery
as a positive, like Lance
Armstrong did.”

“Tell interviewers that you’re among the

fortunate people who beat cancer and

weave the fact that you are a
winner

into the story of your career.”

“Use words like succeed and conquer in

your reply.”

5.  Remember, trying to conceal things
only to uncover them later could hurt
your chances.

6.  Health insurance issues should not
be a factor, as Capell indicates.  These
are already factored into premium
determination.

Leave a Reply