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CHD During a Job Interview: To Mention or Not to Mention?

Thursday, December 18, 2014

By Jon Ritchings, Jr.

Yesterday I had my first interview in a couple of years. It was for an internship in a medical office. One of the things I thought about was, do I mention my congenital heart disease?

When I was writing my resume for this position I struggled with adding things like my Facebook groups, social media experience, this blog, and my experience as a patient—to show I have had some contact with the medical community. If I did put this stuff on the resume, though, I would be saying, “Hey, guys! I have a physical defect that will cause lifelong issues.”

In the end, I decided to not mention it on the resume.

When I went in for my interview in the morning I was still undecided as to how I would handle the question about being out of work for two years and how much detail I might get into regarding my health issues. Once in the interview, I quickly relaxed. Things seemed to flow smoothly.

The issue of my CHD didn’t come up until we started talking about customer service, or in this case, patient service. The woman interviewing mentioned that she has been trying to train the front end on how to provide better service to their patients. She asked me how I thought people at the front desk should act and why. I told her that they needed to be pleasant, smile, be efficient, and get to know the regular patients so they can greet them by name when they walk in.

I then told her I know this from experience as I was born with a heart defect and have had to visit doctors’ offices more often than most people. She was thrilled, and she said it would be good to have her staff working with someone who has spent so much time both in customer service and as a patient.

I think in future interviews I will hold off mentioning CHD unless it comes up. If it does, I certainly won’t be as nervous or hesitant to talk about it and the unique perspective it gives me.

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