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Struggling with an answer to question about medical leave of absence

Discussion in 'Employment, Education & Disability' started by FauxLiz, May 1, 2018.

  1. FauxLiz

    FauxLiz Well-Known Member Premium Member Donated

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    I have an interview for a new job tomorrow but I am struggling with how to answer the inevitable question related to my separation from my last employer. Due to the nature of the professional field that I work the fact that I have been on a medical leave of absence is public knowledge (documented in news articles and other communication formats) and following the expiration of my permitted FMLA leave and my physicians decision not to certify me to return to that employer without further treatment and restrictions a separation agreement was negotiated. I know that they can't ask about the medical condition but the recruiter called me this morning to say he was aware of the news article and to expect the interview panel members to be aware as well.

    If anyone has ever gone back to work after medical leave or sought new employment, how have you answered questions related to your leave without giving out too much information?
     
    blackemerald1 likes this.
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  3. Chris-duck

    Chris-duck Active Member

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    Would you be able to be honest in your answer in a sort of "this was my issue, I've since done this to fix it and this is the actions I take if I see that it might become an issue again in the future"?

    The actual medical issue won't be what they're particularly interested in. It'll matter more to them that you've learnt/become healthier since and it won't affect your employment with them at the same level as your previous employer.

    Sorry if this isn't relevant. I'd just try and answer the same sorta way as the dreaded "what are your weaknesses?" questions
     
    blackemerald1 and Supervixn like this.
  4. barefoot

    barefoot I'm a VIP Premium Member Donated

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    Can you just say you needed to take a leave of absence for medical reasons (seeing as they already know that as that info has been in the public domain) and then say something to reassure them about how you are now? And, if anyone questions whether you are fit and well now, simply say something like you wouldn’t be interviewing for the role if you weren’t feeling up to it and then segue into how you are excited by this opportunity because blah blah blah....?

    It’s understandable that they may want to address the point. However, having known that you have been on medical leave, they are still choosing to interview you, so they must be interested in you, so I’m wondering whether they’re really just looking for some confident reassurance from you?

    I guess if you are not in a much better place health-wise now, that may put a different spin on it ie if you’re not able to honestly give them assurances that you are better/improving/handling things ok. I suppose I am making the assumption that you’ve applied and are interviewing for the job because you feel that you are going to be well enough to do it...?

    If you don’t feel that and think you will need to take further leave in the not too distant future (either because you are not yet fit to work or for treatment or whatever) I guess you have a decision to make about how open you are about your current state of health.

    Good luck with the interview!
     
    blackemerald1 and EveHarrington like this.
  5. FauxLiz

    FauxLiz Well-Known Member Premium Member Donated

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    I had my interview today and really think that I nailed it. The board chairman was very complimentary at the end, we used the entire hour and a half and I was able to answer the question regarding my leave of absence in a positive manner without being negative regarding my most recent employer. I don't know when they will make a decision but it could be yet tonight. Crossing my fingers.
     
  6. Chris-duck

    Chris-duck Active Member

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    Glad it seemed to go well. Keep us updated!
     
    blackemerald1 likes this.
  7. blackemerald1

    blackemerald1 I'm a VIP Premium Member

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    @FauxLiz so pleased the interview went well. Keeping my fingers crossed for you too. :hug:
     
  8. FauxLiz

    FauxLiz Well-Known Member Premium Member Donated

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    They went with another candidate. Trying not to get really down the recruiter was exceptionally positive and gave great feedback but it is still really difficult to accept.
     
  9. barefoot

    barefoot I'm a VIP Premium Member Donated

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    Sorry this one didn’t go your way @FauxLiz

    Disappointment is never easy or pleasant. I hope you are able to take something positive from the experience (that you applied, got an interview, came up with a good response to the medical leave question, that you received good feedback from the recruiter etc) But, yeah...not getting a job you want understandably always feels shitty.

    Onwards and upwards, hey? :)
     
    blackemerald1 and FauxLiz like this.
  10. blackemerald1

    blackemerald1 I'm a VIP Premium Member

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    Oh @FauxLiz I'm sorry you did not get selected this time. It's really hard to accept & not take it personally.
    However @barefoot is absolutely correct ^^^!
    So keep going, looking & applying. It will happen. :hug:
     
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