Thanks to reader Rich for his question about how much to disclose about mental health in a job interview. If he’s going for a position in a psychiatric unit, he asked, is it okay to tell them about the mental help he has received in the past?
That’s a toughie.
As I confessed in my “Lies, Lies, Lies” post, I have fibbed on more than one occasion with regard to my depression. (Please God, forgive me.) Because if I was completely candid (like when I renewed my driver’s license) I would be confined to my bedroom and kitchen.
Now, having said that, I think it’s best to shoot for very vague answers that can have different interpretations wherever possible. Think Clinton on this one, buddy. What would he say? “It depends on what you mean by mental….”
I don’t think anyone can make you disclose your medical history in a job interview. Any lawyers out there who want to help me out on this one? I was under the impression that you have a right to that privacy, but maybe there are exemptions when you’re applying for jobs within the health (or mental health) field. If they do press you for information on your brain, I say, be discrete and only give nuggets of the story if you can.
I guess my perspective on this comes from the fact that I just don’t have that much faith in people yet when it comes to understanding this stuff. There is still way too much stupidity in the air.
What do you guys think? Oh, and of course there’s this too: Can I be a liar and Catholic?