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Information about all aspects of finances affected by a serious health condition. Includes income sources such as work, investments, and private and government disability programs, and expenses such as medical bills, and how to deal with financial problems.
Information about all aspects of health care from choosing a doctor and treatment, staying safe in a hospital, to end of life care. Includes how to obtain, choose and maximize health insurance policies.
Answers to your practical questions such as how to travel safely despite your health condition, how to avoid getting infected by a pet, and what to say or not say to an insurance company.


Why Did You Leave Your Last Employer?

When answering this question, do not convey negative feelings about your former employer, whatever your reason for leaving.

If you have decided to talk about your health to a prospective employer even though you do not legally have to, you could do so in response to this question. If you do, be sure to focus on your abilities.

If you do not wish to talk about your health, but it is in fact the reason for leaving your former employer, focus on other issues if possible. Possible scenarios:

  • You can explain that you were dealing with medical issues and are now healthy, fit and ready to return to work.
  • You can say you were dealing with a family illness.
  • If during your disability you spent time working on a hobby such as writing or painting, you may wish to indicate that you took time off to pursue other goals.
  • You may also think about a similar response if you did volunteer work while on disability.
  • Perhaps you made enough money from your previous job to take some time off to do some things for yourself and your family. Then describe what you were doing during the employment gap that links to how it will help you with the job in question.
  • If you choose to say no more than "I needed some time off," you should be prepared to give a little more information about what you did with the time. The goal is to present yourself to the employer as a focused individual capable of handling the job for which you are being interviewed.

It Appears That You Have Been Out Of Work For A While? Why Is That?

Give short, truthful responses. If you have to disclose that there was a health situation, add as little detail about your health condition as you can. Let the interviewer know that you are now okay,  and the future looks bright. Switch the subject back to the job as soon as you can.

Include any learning experiences or work-related activities you did in the time you have been off work.

Finish your explanation with the reasons you think you can do the job and how you came to that conclusion.

Emphasize your positive feelings about the new job.

As mentioned previously, do not become defensive, and remember to keep the interview good natured. A positive attitude is contagious and appealing!


What Are Your Strengths And Weaknesses?

If you don't know the answer to this question, take pencil to paper and prepare a list. Focus on accomplishments. Remember, your illness is not a weakness.

When focusing on your strengths, think of anything and everything. For example, "I get along well with others," or "I am a quick learner," or "I pride myself on being a team player."

Even if you have been out of work for a long period of time due to disability, you still have strengths, even if some of your skills are a bit rusty.

If your skills are rusty, consider volunteering at a local disease specific non-profit organization or elsewhere to bring them to date. To learn more, see Volunteering.

As for your weaknesses, this is an opportunity for you to show a little bit of skill and savvy. A prospective employer really isn't expecting you to come up with something negative, but which is really a positive. Consider something like, "I can really get bogged down in details", or "My friends tell me I'm too anal about punctuality", or "I prefer to do things myself as much as I can rather than asking for help."

What Are Your Career Goals?

Especially if you are going back to work after a period of disability, this can be a difficult question to tackle, if you’re not prepared for it. You may be upset about your career being interrupted by your health condition, or you may be at a point where you don’t really know where you want to be in 5 years from now, let alone in 1 year, and are just glad to be able to consider going back to work. Whatever your particular situation, remember you are just selling yourself to a prospective employer. It doesn’t matter if you want to be a hairdresser or an architect. The important thing is that you provide a suitable answer to the interviewer.

Researching the company and the position before the interview will allow you to formulate an appropriate response to this question in line with the job for which you are applying.

The job you are applying for should fit into the career goals you bring up. It also gives you a chance to again talk about your strengths and why you are such a good fit for the job.

Keep the goals you describe in line with the job. If you’re applying for a job in a mail room, but say that your goal is to run the company, the interviewer would assume that you would not intend to stay at the job very long.

Tell Me About Yourself

This type of question is used by an interviewer to assess your ability to communicate.

  • Answer in as few words as you can.
  • Don't ramble when answering an open ended question like this.
  • If necessary, take a brief moment to formulate your thoughts before you find yourself "off and running" with no clear answer to the question in mind.
  • Between the resume and interview give people a mental picture of how your career has led you to where you are now. If there have been substantial changes, explain the connection.
  • As mentioned in Tips For Acing The Interview, an interview is not a confessional. Practicing your response to questions like this, may help prevent blurting out information about your health condition that you didn't intend to share.

Why Do You Want To Do This Job When It Is So Completely Different From What You Did Before?

Tell a truthful, short version of your story -- leaving out details about the process you went through to reach the decision to change -- particularly if it relates to your health. Explain your interest in the kind of work which the job includes.

You're Working. Why Are You Looking For A New Job?

Don’t talk about financial problems at your employer or that you could be laid off. It would be better to say something positive such as that you are searching for opportunities that your present employer can’t provide.

What Shouldn't We Know About You?

This is another example of the type of question that is designed to gauge your ability to think quickly and to communicate. As with the question about strengths and weaknesses, it is unlikely the employer is really expecting you to provide them with information that they shouldn’t know about you. The important thing is that you don’t get flustered. Maintain your cool and think about your response for a moment before proceeding.

What is your work philosophy?

Think about how you generally approach challenges and opportunities.

For example, a strong work ethic has been passed down from generation to generation in my family. 

Do you have suggestions for how to make the job better?

If you have suggestions, give them in a positive manner. Do not attack the way things are done or any particular person.

If you do not have a suggestion, consider falling back to a general statement such as: "Before I can give you a reasoned answer, I need to know more about the job as it is instead of what little I know about it, as well as the company culture."

What questions to you have for me?

Stay away from asking about the employer's benefits or details of the health insurance. You can learn about those after you are offered the job.

The impression you want to leave with the interviewer is that your focus is on the job, what you can do to help the employer, your potential future with the company, and the company's future.