More Interview Questions and Answers
Do you have any medical conditions to declare?
Alternative and related questions:
Do you have a disability of any sort?
How do you cope with your disability?
The meaning behind the question:
No hidden meaning. It's a perfectly reasonable factual question.
It is permissible for an employer to question you as to whether or not you have a significant medical condition or disability. However, the Disability Discrimination Act generally prevents them from taking this into account when making their selection. On this basis, one might wonder why they have the right to ask you at interview and why can’t it wait until they have made a firm job offer? The reason is that an employer is only obliged to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ to accommodate such an employee. If, despite such adjustments, a candidate would still be unable to do the job effectively (as a result of their medical condition or disability) then the employer is nonetheless allowed to reject their application.
If you do have a medical condition or disability which you should declare then your aim should be to briefly disclose the nature of the issue and then go on to detail what, if any, adjustments would be required for you to undertake the role.
While it is uncommon for an employer to discriminate on the basis of a medical condition or disability, they may have concerns as to the changes they will need to make. If you are aware of state funding which may be available to support such changes then you can go a long way towards assuaging such fears. You should also reassure them that, subject to these changes, you will be able to undertake the role just as effectively as anyone else.
I am partially deaf in my left ear but I wear a very discreet hearing aid in that ear and this effectively resolves the problem. No adjustments would be required on your part to accommodate this minor disability. As you can see from my CV, it has no impact on my ability to get the job done.
Word of warning:
Don't make the mistake of thinking that the interviewer is asking the question we covered in Chapter 4, "What's your sickness record like?" That's definitely not the same question as this one.
The Interview Question & Answer Book
More interview questions and answers
Talking about your current employment
- Can you tell me what you enjoy about your current job?
- What will you remember most about your last job?
- Is this the first time you have made an effort to move away from your current employers?
- How do you feel about the possibility of leaving your current job?
- How would you describe your current employer?
Talking about this vacancy
- Wouldn’t you be better suited to working in a larger/smaller organisation?
- How do you feel this vacancy differs from your current role?
- What reservations do you have about your ability to undertake this job?
- Can you describe your ideal working environment to me?
- How do you feel we compare to our competitors?
- What would you say is our Unique Selling Point?
- What would be your analysis of the current trends in our industry/sector?
Understanding your career path, plans and ambitions
- What aspects of your career path would you like to have been different?
- What are your greatest regrets about the path your career has taken?
- What has been the greatest challenge you have faced in your career to date?
- What do you think are your main career options for the next five years?
- What exactly does the word ‘success’ mean to you?
Addressing problems in your career history
- Why did you only stay with this organisation for such a short time?
- Why did you stay with this organisation for such a long time?
Coping with stress and pressure
- Are you able to multitask?
- Can you juggle a number of different projects simultaneously?
- How do you handle rejection/disappointment/failure?
- How do you deal with interpersonal conflict?
- What does tact and diplomacy mean to you?
- What makes for a successful team?
Management and leadership
- Would you describe yourself as a good manager?
- Do you really think you’re management material?
- What is your attitude to delegation?
- Can you give me an example of a time when you had to lead from the front?
- Have you ever had to fire or lay off a member of your staff?
- How would you describe your ideal team member?
Personal and professional development
- In what ways do you intend to improve upon your performance?
- How has your current job prepared you for greater challenges/responsibility?
Interests and activities
- What book are you reading at the moment?
- What newspaper do you take?
- Are you interested in current affairs?
The amateur psychiatrist
- If you won the lottery what would you do?
- Can you tell me about the best teacher you ever had?
- If you could meet any historical figure, who would it be and why?
- What are you most afraid of?
Money, money, money
- Why aren’t you earning more?
- How much do you think you are really worth?
- How much does money matter to you?
- Would you still be interested in this job if you current employer offered a pay rise?
- Have you ever had to take a pay cut to keep your job?
- Have you ever asked for but been refused a pay rise?
Author: James Innes