Job Hunting Questions

Excellent response, Michele. I agree wholeheartedly

Hi again

I had an afterthought: you have 2 more aneurysms being monitored. It may be that you might to have more procedures - you will have to tell them then.

I also have another aneurysm being monitored.

When I had surgery last summer our HR person told me that I was the reason their insurance rates would go up at renewal January 2014 - have feeling based on what happened after I went back to work and the layoff that they purposely gave me now work so I would be out of the company without fear of wrongful termination lawsuit.

Wish you the best

ShawnHR and Cynthia,

I ran this question by a friend of mine who is an HR professional. Her response was the same as Cynthia’s. The other point of emphasis is to make sure that your response is consistent with whatever you have posted on social media or what has been shared with your previous employer.

You should not have to go into any details about your medical condition.

My entire career was post-rupture and I also had two surgeries for clipping. While I didn’t have a “gap” in employment, I always disclosed my treatment and unruptured annies at the time of any physical examinations for grad school and employment and discreetly to someone in the departments where I worked as a part of emergency info.

Good luck to you ShawnHR! Let the good work that you have done in the past speak for you!

I was one of the lucky ones and was able to go back to work in 5 months but it was tough at first. The men weren’t sure I could handle the job, working in the refinery, but I showed them different. My personal opinion is not to talk about
your health with anyone. Just my opinion

I have had no problem finding work in my field and i was very honest about my brain aneurysm and surgery. I have had to turn jobs down and be more selective though

Hi ShawnHR!

What a great question. I had a difficult time returning to my job after just two months off, and I certainly understand the desire to return to a schedule and some normal semblance of a life (not to mention earning money).

My thought here is, though it sounds cliche, honesty is the best policy. I know it seems risky to alert a potential employer to your medical situation, but I think I'd prefer to know ahead of time if a company or organization is going to have a problem with it and not be supportive.

I think it's good to start with an honest, clean slate so no one can complain that you weren't truthful in the beginning if/when you have medical follow-ups down the road. And you can have peace of mind that you're joining an employer that is aware of your history but welcomes and supports every skill and advantage you bring to the table instead of focusing on things that will likely not be a huge issue in the big picture of your work.

In fact, I think I might say exactly what you mentioned in your have no real residual effects from your surgeries, save for minimal memory issues that you deal with quite well.

I was lucky that I was able to return to the same employer I had before my SAH but I did deal with a lot of anxiety and overwhelming feelings when faced with re-integrating into my job after such a huge ordeal. Not to mention, I was only four days into a new health insurance policy when I became ill and I was so nervous they'd be upset about having to foot a giant bill on my behalf.

But everyone was very supportive and helpful and patient, which is so important. I think you deserve to work for an employer who will value your work abilities and talents, not get hung up on your history.

Best of luck making the decision!

Heather B.

Again I caution you about being brutally honest about what you have been through - my employer which I had worked for 7 yrs prior to my aneurysm - saw me at my most vulnerable and on my death bed - but when I returned to work for 2 yrs they blamed every little thing on the fact that I had been sick and how it affected my brain - same scenario for the other employers which I had afterwards and had told them - people do not understand what we have been through and there is no way to explain it them - they do not need to show us compassion - revealing my illness to my boss has never worked in my favour - for those where it did, I consider them extremely lucky

Hi ShawnHR,

So I spoke with our HR director and she said and I quote “it is none of their damn business”. You do not need to disclose medical issues unless you will need an accommodation to do the job. She did suggest if you can swing it to start out part time to test the waters and your abilities to perform the job and keep the pace.

She also said that you need to be comfortable telling them face to face the gap in your employment history was because - you insert the reason. Personal time to stop and smell the roses, medical reasons that are behind me now, etc. she said keep it simple and easy to repeat.

We wish you success.


We live in parallel universes. I had a 6 figure job in NYC, returned a month after clipping, and did the job well for 11 years. Then I moved to another job with a better salary (headhunted for it, no HR) but had a seizure at work at the new job and needed a cranioplasty (skull bone damage). Someone who knew me at a previous job spilled the beans about the aneurysm to someone at the new job and people love to gossip. When there were layoffs, despite a series of excellent job reviews by superiors, I was selected for layoff. Now 6 months later, I can't get a job in my field, possibly because of gossip in a very small specialized field. And, when I try to go to other jobs related to my skill set, I am not qualified and don't have the experience for that job. .

I haven't said anything about the aneurysm to HR, because the clipping was long enough ago (1995) that it doesn't affect my work history. I don't mention epilepsy in applications and when they ask about them most recent gap, I tell them I was laid off.

No matter what was said to HR, the story might come out through gossip or someone who knows someone at the new job. My ego can't take much more rejection and I'm losing all hope and will probably retire early. Can you start an internet job, working for yourself? My unemployed cousin makes money selling things on Ebay.

The economy is worse that they are telling us. One HR person told me that I was one of 6 selected for an interview out of 300 resumes. I didn't get the job and neither did 299 other people, most of whom probably didn't have an aneurysm. It only takes one little thing to get rejected, so imagine if they found out about my big thing. All we can do is keep trying.

Hi! I suggest looking into a “vocational rehabilitation program!” I live in NY and ours was called “Vesid” now ACESS VR or something like that! They provided me with a job coach that both helped me find a job and then learn new tasks! I write a blog about my journey if you are curious… and I have links to different resources I used too!! Blessings! If I can help in any way send me an email or message here!

Hi ShawnHR,

I think most of us agree, the mere mention of a past medical leave to explain gaps in time is sort of like watching your own resume' catch fire, right before your very eyes! lol, best of luck to you ,

Peace, Janet

Good Morning All:

While I agree it is none of their really business explaining gaps in employment is a legitimate question to ask in an interview. My line has been that I was working through some medical issues that are now behind me. I also tell them as I was leaving my last doctor’s appointment his parting words were “You have put this behind you and there’s no reason to try to fix something that isn’t broken.” This puts an end to the discussion and also makes it clear any medical issues will not affect my ability to perform the job responsibilities which is all they can legally ask in an interview.
Best of luck to you !!

I've been thinking about returning to work too. Thinking about starting w/ volunteer work as I'm a little insecure about how I'll manage. I hate to lie in an interview. I don't blame them for asking.. I had a job for 25 years and retired due to being out so long. I can't come up w/ a good excuse, I know if they ask why I left or why I had a 1 1/2 year gap, I'll panic!!