Interviewing can be nerve-racking for everyone.  Saying the right thing, avoiding saying the wrong thing, and making yourself seem awesome.  But as I search for jobs for after graduation, I am faced with an interesting dilemma.  Do I mention my Crohns Disease.

So Tell me About Yourself…

This is probably my least favorite question of all time during an interview, because right off the bat I have to decide whether or not to share that I live a very abnormal life.  The interviewer wants to know what you are passionate about and what drives you to succeed.  Well if I’m being honest, I am passionate about educating and helping others with Crohns disease.  And my suffering is what drives me to succeed.

In the past, I have chosen not to share that I have Crohns disease in interviews because I am afraid it will make them not want to hire me.  But recently I had someone ask me if I would really want to work for a company that wouldn’t have hired me if they had known about my disease.  This really got me thinking.

In the last interview I had, when the interviewer asked, “Tell me about yourself,” I chose to include my Crohns Disease.  It felt good to give an accurate and complete picture of myself, my accomplishments and my motivation behind my accomplishments.  I left the interview feeling great.

Was it something I said?

This past Friday, I found out that I didn’t make it to the next round of interviews.  I was devastated.  I had really wanted this job and all of a sudden the opportunity was taken away and there was nothing I could do.

As I play the interview over and over in my mind, I can’t help but wonder if telling them I have Crohn’s Disease was a mistake.  I wonder if I should have just skipped over that major area of my life and pointed out the things I am proud of…I can’t help but wonder, was it something I said about my Crohn’s disease that made them not choose me.I know it’s illegal not to hire someone because of an illness, but that doesn’t mean that it didn’t effect their decision.

To be honest, I have no idea how to handle the situation, because no one is ever going to admit that they didn’t hire you because you said you have a disease.  I don’t know what to do about future interviews and I feel frustrated that sharing an important part of my life could have been used against me.

There is nothing I can do to change the outcome of the situation, so instead, I just keep on wondering.  Keep replaying the situation.  And the dread for my next interview grows as each day passes in my not so normal life.


Sarah Brocker

Hi my name is Sarah Brocker and I have Crohn's Disease. I've got 8 scars and am missing two feet of intestines and my life isn't normal, but whose life is normal? I want to use my experiences to help you, even if it means sharing embarrassing experiences. I am also looking to break the stigmas associated with IBD in order to make living with IBD just a little bit easier. All I want to do is help, so please, let ME help YOU!

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