Interview

So I was sitting in an interview lately and they asked me what my 3 greatest achievements were?

I said first and foremost my greatest achievent is still being alive today after being dx'd Type 1 D 22 years ago. I followed it up with all the possitives that an employer would want to hear that it makes u planned organised and controlled that it teaches u hard work to be independent and self motivating.

Anyway I didnt get the job. Now I'm absolutely not saying I didn't get the job because of this im fresh out of college and still wet behind the ears (sorry if this is an exclusively Irish saying).

But I want to ask
1. Is being alive with D ur greatest achievement?
2. Would u have said it in an interview or do u think I need a replacement achievement?

Yes I wold say it. I have interviewed more than 1,300 teacher candidates and we selected very few. But, That is a good answer and a good way to introduce the subject. Here is the thing, you do not have to reveal it but I figure this, When they hire me, they are hiring my diabetes. If they don't want my diabetes, they do not want me. The last place i want to work is a place that does not want me.

There will be those who will rightly say no do not tell that. I can respect their opinion and maybe it is more my age. When I interviewed I had a job and I had a place to go back too. But the truth is I always answered that way, if you dislike my diabetes, I do not want to work here. Because diabetes, like the size of my shoe, is something I cannot change.

The only thing I always said was that my diabetes is controlled. That made no difference but I always said it. Incidentally, I had a young teacher interview with us while low. He stopped and asked for juice. Five people were in the room, I was the only diabetic. We interviewed six people that day he was our unanimous pick. It had nothing to do with diabetes, one way or the other. He was simply the best candidate. He is one of our better teachers. I am very proud of him all around.

I am totally "out" about my T1D. I have mentioned it in job interviews at least a couple of times. I figure if that scares them off, I don't want to work for them anyway! And yes, surviving T1D for the last 31 years is by far my greatest achievement! You could always say that you have survived and thrived despite some challenges in your life by focusing on your goals. That's the truth, but it doesn't get into the details.

i would not mention diabetes in a job interview. unless im going to be piloting a plane or driving a school bus or something!

Ummm, no… Afraid I don’t see it that way for myself.

I wouldn’t have mentioned it in an interview unless the job somehow related to health or diabetes in a way that your experience with it made you a stronger candidate such as a nurse, public health, medical assistant, CDE…

We all have many accomplishments, I don’t consider having a disease one of mine…

I've never mentioned diabetes in an interview. However, I can't say that I'd be averse to mentioning it if it was somehow relevent. I hide my pump and turn off alarms before a job interview mostly so that the interviewer won't think it's a cell phone, not because I want to hide my diabetes (I have a Medic Alert bracelet in plain sight, so they'll know I have something medical going on).

I do, however, usually work my visual impairment in as an answer to one of their questions, usually by working it into something about how I've shown innovation or problem-solving in the workplace or something like that. This is in large part because I know that the interviewer knows that I'm visually impaired and is probably sitting there wondering how I'll do X, Y, and Z. For me, bringing it up through an answer to a question breaks the ice and, I think, shows that I am open and comfortable with my disability. I also invite them to ask any questions they might have about how I perform work-related tasks.

I think you need a replacement "greatest" achievement and then two more achievements that don't mention your condition. Not that there is anything wrong with 22 years of control and the efforts and management necessary to do it. I don't consider managing my condition an achievement really, though it is great that we do it, I consider it a job! Wish we could get paid for it ;)

Job interviews are a difficult area to navigate because you never know what triggers will turn the interviewer on or off. I personally find that there are more people than not that have a negative reaction when they hear someone has diabetes, especially in job environments. The cause is partly that it is assumed that health issues might distract from doing a good job, and the widely held belief that diabetes is somehow a self inflicted ailment affecting people with poor self control. So no, I would never start blabbing out about my diabetes in a job interview.

Hmm, I would have used the achievement in my younger days in fact I did to success for one of my first jobs. However, that was probably more down to dumb luck on my part and a sympathetic interviewer.

However, I don't think I'd use it now, having more experience with senior managers, hiring managers and HR I feel admitting to a serious health condition that puts you at risk of increased sick days and so on is a not a wise move in the current job market.

There are hundred upon hundreds of applicants for mosts jobs. I'm sure I read about 2000 applicants for barista openings at a new coffee house local to me in the South of England, most of which I am sure were degree educated, volunteers etc.

http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/378842/Nearly-2000-people-apply-fo...

When you're picking apples from apples any negative flag is likely to get you put on the "no" pile.

I would always keep achievements work related and perhaps have one personal that could only be viewed positively.

Most interviews are just a box ticking exercise, so i'd advise playing the game.

http://www.job-interview-site.com/what-is-your-greatest-achievement...

The above site highlights good ways to structure achievements in a way that most HR departments like. Have a few prepared before interview that you can fall back on.

Perhaps not strictly ethical and it comes down as to whether you view diabetes as a disability, but the best way it to put down that you have a disability on the application, this increases you likely hood of getting an interview as some organisations have quota to reach on this and you're often more likely to get an interview if you're marked as having a disability. If they can see that you can tick a disabled box, but are effectively healthy and in control this could be a form of positive discrimination.

I know it's bad, but I also know from contacts in HR that it happens!

So swings and roundabouts :)

Good luck.

Just be aware of the risks of disclosing in the interview and judge the situation accordingly. It probably depends on the employer and the industry as well.

Its not having the illness that is the accomplishment it is surviving with it. And not letting it hold u back.

I love that u said dont say it and then u told me the arguement why I should say it. Thanks for the link. It was very helpful

Sorry, not the most clear response.

My point was that there is a possible way it could be used to an advantage, e.g. the disability quota. This is especially true for large multi national organisations in my experience.

My advice though would be to avoid bringing it up.

Ok thanks i have plenty other achievements anyway. It is just I am very proud of my D control and it does teach you fantastic skills that every employer wants to see u have

It's my understanding that those check boxes are meant for disabilities that have an impact on one's ability to perform job duties without accommodations, and that employment equity schemes are meant to provide opportunities to populations who faces truly profound barriers to getting hired (the unemployment rate of working-age people with visual impairments, for example, is over 70%). As someone who has a severe visual impairment, I am in the minority by having had relatively little difficulty with finding employment.

Telling someone with diabetes to check off that box just because it is there and might take advantage of the system is like suggesting I use parking spots designated as wheelchair accessible just because I have a disability and it might be more convenient. I can walk just fine, and there might be someone behind me who truly does need that spot. If a hiring committee has to choose between the person who checked off the disability box but appears (as you say) "healthy and in control" versus the person who checked off the box and walks in with a white cane (and the interviewer has no idea how this person will navigate the office without danger, much less use a computer system or go on a business trip), they will of course pick the former even though it's the latter who faces truly pervasive disability-related discrimination.

Of course, if you are talking about jobs where diabetes really does present a challenge, then my comments may be entirely moot. But for most jobs, I would say this is not the case for diabetes.

In Ireland under the Employment Equality legislation D is a disablity. There is no argueing it is hard. I'm not saying other illnesses arent harder. But I need a job I have loans from college and I dont see why I shouldnt use my D if it could help me. But the general feeling from this discussion is that it wont. Though I am a loud and proud Type 1 d so if it comes up I would say it

In the applications I've seen, it always says something like, "Do you have a disability that impacts your ability to perform job duties?" or something similar. Sometimes diabetes does impact our ability to perform job duties, but often it doesn't. I have no problem with people checking the box if it's the truth - if it's a job where diabetes would have an impact. It's the idea of taking advantage of the system (which is how I read the original comment) that doesn't sit well with me. If applications just ask if you have a disability without qualifying further, then it's up to you whether you want to check it or not (diabetes is often included in disability laws).

Good luck in your job search!

Yeah its just a standard question in Ireland. Do u have any disablity? Its in the diversity section usually that asks other things like ur gender or racial background. Which I think is mad cause employers arent really suppose to ask those things either. Im an honest person I dont like to lie. According to Irish leg I do hav a disablity and I do think living with it and controlling it is 1 of my greatest achievements to date. I just wish employers didnt see it as a neg. I hope someday I meet a judging panel with some1 like rick on it who understands the advantages of having a D on your team :)

Wow, yeah, I'm not sure I've ever seen a job application asking about gender and ethnicity. I've only seen those types of questions on surveys. In that case, I would check it, since it's true (I guess depending on if you consider it a disability, which I do in some ways).

Its not about me considering it a disabilty its about the Irish law considering it a disablity. There is some clause on the section about it not being considered but they want to know for what I can only assume is to fill some quota. And if D helps me get interviews why not I do have it its not like im making it up

You are right, but I meant that some people would refuse to check that box because they themselves don't consider diabetes to be a disability, regardless of what law says.