mussakka

Would you divulge WLS in an interview?

29 posts in this topic

I wondered. Would you mention having had WLS in a job interview? For most of us, it's a huge accomplishment which we are very proud of. In my case, it's given me a whole new perspective on life, not to mention a LIFE to go with it.

Thing is, the interviewer only sees the current "you," not the version from which you evolved. I wonder if there would be lingering fat prejudice if the potential employer discovered you used to be morbidly obese or if they would see the grit and determination it takes to overcome obesity and realise the strength of the candidate?

What do you think?

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A lot would depend on the interview and the job you're applying for. If you're asked a question such as, "what's your most important accomplishment in life?" that might lead into if you're feeling like you're clicking with the other person. I probably would not mention it until well into the interview if I did mention it at all.

Lisi1963 likes this

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I feel like most people would see it as a huge accomplishment. Plus, if you're sitting right there in front of them, even if you said you were once morbidly obese, I don't feel like they would think of you that way because they probably couldn't even picture you huge if they had never met you before. If someone had told me they lost a ton of weight, I would be like "oh damn, they must have so much will power and strength to do that!" Buttttt then again, I'm obese so I guess I'm biased on the weight issue thing lol.

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Unless the job involves working with others to lose weight, I don't think it would make sense or be appropriate to bring up. I've interviewed a lot of people over the years and I would think it strange if someone I interviewed gave me such personal health info. It's really not a good idea.

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You are right that this is a major, major life accomplishment. There is so much to be said about a person that can commit to this and stick with it. But, being a former boss, I agree with hollyann. Unless it is brought up by the interviewer, it is best not brought up by you.

If you can link it to something that would show the interviewer you would be "more" qualified than someone else because this directly links to the job, then yes. Otherwise, hold that nugget in your pocket until its time to reveal it.


Best of luck!

Edited by MarteP

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I agree with HollyAnn and MarteP. Also having been a former boss, I would have found it very strange for an interviewee to divulge this information unprompted and there is no question that I would have ever asked that would lead into that conversation. I have had the surgery, I am proud of it and LOTS of people know it, but I think it would be totally inappropriate to discuss that in an interview. Frankly, as the prospective employer, I probably would have questioned the reason for divulging it and would have been less likely to hire the person.

Edited by HarleyRidingGrandma
MarktheNerd, BrigidD and Stephtay like this

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Good responses and definitely food for thought. I actually agree with HollyAnn, MarteP and HarleyRidingGrandma. Interviews are about the job and reasons why you're better suited to a position than the other candidates. I can see why intimating WLS would be a red flag. Besides, it's probably best not to do/say anything would cast you in a bad light.

I suppose, however, that the newfound confidence and empowerment that accompanies WLS would be a great plus in the interview.

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I don't think I would give it up if I were interviewing. I probably wouldn't share all of the big trials and tribulations of my life. I haven't shared on FB and don't tell everyone I meet. Those such as close family, close friends and colleges know.

There is more that shaped who I am than that I have gone from heavy to thin. I think sharing this experience comes with trust and knowing the person who receives this information really cares to know me .

Yet I am sure there is a job where having been down the road of weight loss could lend itself helpful to the position.

Good question and not always cut and dry.

lilrosie likes this

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Wow, is it just me, or can anyone else not read those last 10 post?

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I wouldn't. Not so much because of the prejudice associated with being fat but rather the prejudice associated with weight loss surgery. I have seen online and in life that people seem to think WLS surgery is some easy way out. They don't understand that it is a lifetime of changed habits and hard work. I have heard it described as lazy. A quick fix. I wouldn't want the person interviewing me to be ignorant of what weight loss surgery really is and how much hard work it really is and judge me based on those false ideas of the 'easy way out'.

thin2live likes this

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Wow, is it just me, or can anyone else not read those last 10 post?

Had to be spam. This member was over a 100+ posts in no time at all. I hope it wasn't hard for the moderators to clean up that mess!

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I absolutley would not discuss this in a job interview.

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I don't bring it up in interviews or discuss it at work. It's personal medical history that the employer doesn't need to know about.

Kim M and Stephtay like this

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I feel that unless they ask or know somehow-like they did history on you and found this out, it would not be a good idea to mention it at that point. It could be a big red flag to the employer and you never know what someone's prior history might have been with this. I have a friend that at his prior corporate job, a woman had the surgery and died. He was not supportive and will not even talk to me about it today. So, if he were interviewing you, I would guess you would not get the job based on that fact and it has zippo to do with your potential job performance!

Those personal things, like your sex life, really have no place in getting hired for a job.

Stephtay likes this

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That is up too you if you want them to know then tell them:)

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I manage 8 people have done my share of job interviews, so all I can add it is that it is not a good idea to share anything about your medical history with a potential employer (they should not ask either).  I get that you may be proud of a wonderful accomplishment, it would be wiser to highlight something else.  Having had training on discrimination and the EEOC law, revealing this kind of information is like woman telling a potential employer that she is pregnant during an interview.  It is great news, but should not have any impact on her qualifications for the job, not should it be used against her. 

angel0524 likes this

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I manage 8 people have done my share of job interviews, so all I can add it is that it is not a good idea to share anything about your medical history with a potential employer (they should not ask either).  I get that you may be proud of a wonderful accomplishment, it would be wiser to highlight something else.  Having had training on discrimination and the EEOC law, revealing this kind of information is like woman telling a potential employer that she is pregnant during an interview.  It is great news, but should not have any impact on her qualifications for the job, not should it be used against her. 

I agree with this and it is why I would not discuss WLS on an interview.  However, if asked about personal achievements (I have been asked this question on interviews), I would mention my weight loss itself and discuss the efforts I made through diet and exercise.  It shows focus, commitment, goal orientation, and follow through.  Those are qualities all employers look for in candidates.

princessblog and Racewalker48 like this

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I wouldn't say anything about it. I've worked for myself for 35 years, but remember old interviews and most of the time, I asked more questions than the person who was supposed to be doing the interviewing. I've hired a lot of people too and would find it strange for someone to tell me something like that.

That said, I have no problem talking about it with people I don't know.

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No, I would not mention it. I interview people on a regular basis and if someone I was interviewing told me about WLS or another personal life accomplishment I would wonder why they were talking about their personal life rather than focusing on the job they are trying to get. However the skills it takes to be a successful WLS patient would be great to talk about. Patience, planning, tenacity, flexibility, comfortable with change, etc, etc, etc. I think those qualities would be assets in most jobs.

Racewalker48 likes this

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Never.  Unless I was trying to get a job at my baratic surgeons office, (which I am) then he would already know.

Aviator, tmcgee and Lisi1963 like this

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Absolutely not!!!  As an employer, I did not encourage people to bring personal matters to the office because it causes a lot of problems down the road. You are there to work, not adopt a new family. I want to know what you can do to make my business a success, not how you cope with personal matters (except that I don't want them interfering with your work). Adding to this is the negative view that many people have of the obese as lazy and not too bright. You want the employer to see you as strong, sharp, energetic and smart so don't connect the dots to any potentially negative image. (WE know the truth about how hard this is, but others do not and are not particularly interested in knowing.)  You don't want to plant the seed of the idea that you may backslide at some point in the future and become a less useful employee or that you may have medical problems, either pre-existing or potential future, that could disrupt the work flow, raise insurance costs, etc.

 

Keep your personal life personal. 

 

We have health care privacy laws for a lot of very good reasons.  

Stephtay, LoriW and Aviator like this

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I interview people weekly and honestly I want to know about their competence to do the job and WLS just isn't relevant. It is a great accomplishment but in an interview I'm looking for your work to speak to how good of an employee you will be.

Stephtay, lilrosie, GAviv and 1 other like this

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I can't possibly see a reason where this could be necessary or relevant.

lilrosie, Stephtay and tmcgee like this

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I wouldn't bring it up at all.  It's my personal medical history and it shouldn't be relevant.  I have other great accomplishments in my life that I could bring up and I am not in anyway dissing my accomplishment with WLS. 

GAviv and tmcgee like this

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No, and for an employer to ask about it violates HIPPA.

There is no reason or benefit to you to divulge that information, and lots of potentially bad things that could happen.

princessblog likes this

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