Diabetes and Job interviews

Since when did it become normal to book job interviews and meetings at lunch time? I don't want to explain why I don't want to meet at noon or 11:30 AM for a 1HR meeting.

I'm usually starving at 11AM ( I'm an early rise and eat breakfast around 6:30AM ) and because I'm on MDI adjusting my meal time means adjusting dinner time etc.

I'm recently unemployed and seeking new employment. What do I do if I feel low during the interview?

How do others deal with this?

Would it be a lunch interview? Meaning that they would feed you? I know. I know. That can be just as problematic.

I would ask if there were any other times available to meet and simply say it's inconvenient to meet at the time they suggested. 'Nuf said.

I understand, Khurt, from the other end, as I'm a late eater and everyone schedules things during my usual eating time. When I went to schedule something between other common lunch times and my own I found a three hour block that was useless!

I don't have this issue because I'm on a pump, so I can eat later or even skip meals and stay stable, I know that's hard to do on MDI. But if you are having a lot of lows close to mealtime you might want to try lowering your basal a bit or changing its timing. But, in general, since I'm out of synch with the rest of the world I've had to learn to be more flexible. Like when someone wants to have lunch at noon and I would prefer 2, I compromise for 1.

As for dealing with the situation of this interview, maybe it would help to have a snack right before the interview so you don't have to worry about it?

I didn't even think of that! I would probably say you "had another commitment" rather than it was "inconvenient". But then if they said that's the only time available you can say you'll shuffle things around and meet at that time (after all, you want the job!)

Have with you some Cappy Ice fruit - it helps me really fast - few minutes and I am fine :)

I would also do as Shawnmarie suggests.. when I'm nervous at all or in a "different" work environment than my typical day, I tend to trend down. I would have a snack before without any bolus so I wouldn't have active insulin running around. Then keep something like sweetarts in your pocket just in case so you can treat without being obvious.

This is a really good topic, though. Practical advice for important real life situations. Good luck on your interviews! :)

Hello Khurt:

This should NOT be any issue regardless of which short acting insulin you are using! Cover breakfast, but do not shoot for lunch, meaning use nothing until you are inhaling the food heading/once back home.

No problem there... if no food is eaten then you don't need insulin to cover it. As for "high sugar" either leave it along entirely, or treat it ultra-ultra conservatively... as if you were going to do heavy exercise... (eg cut back massively)

It's usually a working lunch with no food that presents the problem. If food is allowed -- either provided or I bring my own -- I'm ok with meeting. I'm not trying to hide that I have diabetes, I'm just trying to avoid not being able to eat. It's unhealthy in any case.

I don't want the job if the work environment is so hectic that the only time to book an interview is lunch time.

MY BG is between 65 and 80 at lunch time regardless of the size of the basal dose. It's low and the stomach growling and hunger is uncomfortable. I could eat a snack but them my BG is climbing high during the whole thing and then my entire days schedule is thrown off. MDI means following a schedule and I'd rather not eat dinner at 7PM ( that's really late ) because I had lunch at 1PM.

I guess for me it's not so much about being flexible it's about other people keeping lunch for lunch. I need a break. Breakfast is at 6:30 AM and the work day start at 8AM.

Why make bad health decisions because of a job?

What about the high? What size snack? What constitutes a snack? My BG tends to spike with any sort of carb.

What cappy ice fruit?

I'm usually in the 60-80 range before lunch ( I keep BG very tight. I'm with this disease my while life and I like my eyesight and my toes). Breakfast is at 6:30 so going that long ( post lunch time ) without a meal is rough. I've been advised that skipping meals is bad. If the interview is 1HR ( or more ) that means lunch could be 2PM. Dinner would be 8PM ( 6 hours later ).

I guess I'm looking for way to say "No, this does not fit in with my diabetes meal plan". and have it be left at that. Typically I get people pushing for me to eat later ( because they won't allow food at the meeting ) etc.

I was actually pulled away from my lunch one time to attend a last minute meeting where an executive had a question. I had just taken 4 units of Novolog and only had one small bite of my meal. I was told it was just a quick question. 20 minutes later when I started to shake -- I went hypo -- I tried to excuse myself. Maybe it was the hypo-anger talking but I remember saying something like "Let me finish my meal or someone will have to call an ambulance".

I guess what I was looking for was not for ways to attend the lunch meeting but for ways to decline or "excuse" myself from attending lunch meetings where eating isn't allowed.

My general take is you are going to have to make some adjustments in how tight your control is. I am not sure I understand why reducing your basal wouldn't give you a higher reading, unless your basal is way too high to begin with. For me, 60 - 80 @ lunch would make me pretty uncomfortable for an interview.

Lunch interviews are sometimes also conducted to get a broader perspective on a candidate's behavior out of the office. This gives an employer a better idea of how you will fit into their culture.

What is your basal insulin? I would eat 15 carbs and run a little high for the interview. I am very impressed with your tight control and running 150 for an interview one day would be a normal day for me, ha. Could you eat a tablespoon of peanut butter, or have some scrambled eggs before the interview. Jobs these days are hard to come by.

I hate to sound harsh, but you need to just deal with this. If your basal is set properly, then you should not have to eat. If you are low, then have a couple smarties. And starving is a feeling, you can deal with that. And if you can't deal with starving, then bring a snack to the meeting.

You are looking for a new job. Don't present yourself as a wimp and a brittle potential employee. My advice is to never interview for a job by asking for concessions like not messing with your schedule or agreeing to letting you take two weeks of vacation when you start work. Always portray yourself as someone who can do anything and will go the extra mile to do a good job. After you are employed, then you can deal with obtaining any accommodations you really need.

ps. And if you have an interview that includes lunch, simply excuse yourself during the lunch to go somewhere to test and inject and nobody is the wiser.

Is there any problem with eating early? say 10:45 ish? This semester, I'm teaching across lunch (literally--I have two classes in a row an 11:20-12:45 followed by a 1:00-2:25 on Tuesday and Thursday). I eat breakfast around 6, so I just moved my lunch up on those days--at around 10:30. The only problem comes when I have random students wanting to talk to me at 10:45, and then I eat in front of them.

I think one of the points to having a job interview across lunch is that that's a time when lots of people have a free schedule--especially people who still have a job but are trying to upgrade. It could even have been a courtesy thing that they have the interview at that time. But if they schedule a meeting for 11:30 and expect it to last an hour, they've got to expect people to eat.

Join the real world. Apparently the state laws requiring meal breaks (or ANY breaks) during the day have been rescinded for those over 18 years, and employment is "at will" -- so if you're not willing to compromise on hectic and meals, you may have to just go the independent-consultant route.

I agree with Brian and Teowyn. If you want a job, you will handle your needs around the interview. If you get the job and good insurance, consider a pump. Then time of meals will not be a problem at all.
But for now, just take a small protein/carb snack before the interview for goodness sake! It is ONE meeting, not one every day. You sound like you may not have enough information about glucose management. I would encourage you to go back to the books or online resources for type 1s, assuming that is your type, and read more about adjusting for delayed meals.

And you may never have high BGs but I can assure you that I have thought I was "starving" and just had to eat and checked my BG and found it to be 180 or higher. So I was hungry but my BG was not low! Unfortunately!