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Interviewer knowledge

(17 Posts)
tanith Fri 25-Oct-13 09:58:56

A family member went for an interview for a job yesterday and all seems to be going well, she was then a bit stunned when the interviewer asked about her about a medical condition and didn't know what Epilepsy was, she had to explain about seizures and so on for a few minutes . When she spoke to me she said I'm really not sure the man understood my explanation and what it means to have control and be seizure free.
Now she's worried it could affect her chances. Surely its not an unusual condition and don't most people know what Epilepsy is? He must of been either an HR or higher manager. Am I overthinking this?

Galen Fri 25-Oct-13 10:01:29


sunseeker Fri 25-Oct-13 10:13:41

I did once interview someone who told me they had Aspergers, whilst I knew about autism I hadn't then heard of Aspergers (this was about 15 years ago) and I did have to ask her to explain what the difficulties were. (It made no difference to her being offered the job). Having said that I am amazed that someone hasn't heard of Epilepsy.

Nelliemoser Fri 25-Oct-13 11:16:21

No you are not over thinking it That is astonishingly ignorant, most people should have at least a rough idea. If he was in HR it is quite unforgiveable. It makes you wonder where that guy has been all his life and if he ever takes any notice of anything about him. Which is even more worrying in a way.

MrsSB Fri 25-Oct-13 11:18:50

That is astonishing. I can't imagine that your family member is the first person with Epilepsy to apply to this company, and, even if he/she was, then an HR person really should know about it anyway.

tanith Fri 25-Oct-13 11:46:40

I found it worrying but not really sure what to advise . I don't even know if they advise people anymore if they haven't been successful at interviews.. just wait and see and then maybe an e-mail to the relevant department of the Company? Naming no names but just pointing out that its a condition that is pretty common and should be known about by their staff.

petra Fri 25-Oct-13 12:56:28

I'm getting to the stage where nothing surprises me anymore.
I am livid about this and if it were one of my family I would wait 'till I got the job ( hopefully) and if I didn't, well, they better duck for cover.

Riverwalk Fri 25-Oct-13 13:15:37

What a stupid man Tanith. It's not as though he was caught on the hop - he must have seen your daughter's CV prior to her being called for interview.

Always a chance that he was being a smart-arse by pretending not to have heard of epilepsy ..... he must know the law prevents him asking too much about disabilities, just as they can't ask women about plans for children, etc. Maybe he was sussing-out the frequency of seizures, medication etc and trying to stay within the law.

Hard to know the best course of action ..... half of me would want to contact HR before they made their decision to remind/inform that her condition will not affect performance, but I can understand if she were reluctant to do that.

If she's not successful I would certainly follow it up if I were her.

tanith Fri 25-Oct-13 13:20:47

I did wonder whether it was some kind of ploy to get her to reveal something? what! I'm not sure as she's been completely up front about her Epilepsy which is well controlled, it just seemed unbelievable that he wouldn't know. I will certainly encourage her to approach them if she isn't successful but what if she is? I'd still feel the need to say something to their HR dept.

She is reluctant to do anything as this interview came via the Work Program and she doesn't want to rock the boat either way. As if life isn't tough enough already.

JessM Fri 25-Oct-13 14:01:58

Just done some interviews and forgot to include the question "do you consider yourself to have a disability - and if so would be need to make any adjustments for you. oops. But interviewers should not ask about health in my opinion. never surprised by total lack of medical knowledge in many people.

absent Sat 26-Oct-13 04:48:00

Not only are the lots of people who have never heard of epilepsy, there are even more who have a completely false picture of the condition i.e. people with the condition frequently writhing in spasms on the floor and foaming at the mouth, until losing consciousness and losing control of their bladders. There are still plenty of people who think you have to force a stick into someone's mouth to stop them biting their tongue. Sad but true.

thatbags Sat 26-Oct-13 06:45:01

Not really ordinary people's fault if they don't know what epilepsy is. If you don't know anyone with the condition, how would you know about it unless you are a medic? The same applies to quite a lot of medical conditions.

gracesmum Sat 26-Oct-13 12:32:15

I think it suggests a lack of basic awareness not to have heard of a condition which is really very common. It might be excusable to ask for more information (but not in an interview situation as that could amount to discrimination, unless it affected a person's ability to do the job e.g. driving which can be restricted) however - it's hardly an obscure disease!!

tanith Sat 26-Oct-13 13:00:23

gracesmum thats exactly my thoughts.. and surely even if you have no personal knowledge most people have at least heard of it in general terms and know vaguely what it means. I realise that people aren't knowledgeable about how to react to someone having a seizure but to not even have heard of the condition seems bizarre to me .

Anyway we shall see what happens and how we respond.

Elegran Sat 26-Oct-13 13:24:32

It is not as though they had no warning - it was in the application. If they had never heard of it, the obvious thing to do is to look it up and then ask intelligent questions about exactly how the applicant is affected.

felice Sat 26-Oct-13 13:44:06

It surprises me how ignorant people can be about Epilepsy, a young man had a siezure outside our Church two weeks ago, his friend had put his thumb in his mouth and he bit right through the bone, the young man recovered quite quickly from the siezure but the other boy had to be taken to hospital for treatment. There seems to be a good bit of education in how to give heart massage etc, but epilepsy never seems to be covered.

JessM Sat 26-Oct-13 14:13:43

ya think people always read the application carefully before breezing into the interview. I wish.