Open briefcase with clothes, toilet paper, baby powder, and other bathroom items inside.

Interviewing For a Job With IBS

In my humble opinion, interviewing and going through the process of finding a new job is among the worst situations for those of us that struggle with IBS.

I don’t think we think about it that often because we spend the majority of our lives working. The time in between an old job and a brand new one is usually minor compared to the time spent employed. The erratic and sometimes extreme nature of IBS flare-ups makes for a very nasty challenge when trying to complete the phone interviews, in-person interviews, tests, and paperwork involved in getting a new job. I’d just like to share a little bit about my recent experience with this situation and how I chose to navigate it.

What if I need to reschedule my job interview?

I guess my first piece of advice is DON’T PANIC. While it is true that we are doing our very best to accommodate a potential employer’s request for an interview, whether it be over the phone or in person, we can only do our best. Doing our best includes performance during the interview and being prepared and such, but it also means choosing where and when to interview. The employer generally makes this call. However, in most cases, they do offer some flexibility with time. Think about when you are most likely to be having IBS troubles. I know from being involved with this site that many people struggle with early mornings the most. If you can avoid the trouble times, this is to your benefit. If you cannot, then you may need to reschedule. This is not the end of the world if you just continue to follow the thing through and don’t expecting they won’t want you because you rescheduled one meeting.

How to prepare for an interview with IBS

Be prepared, be prepared, be prepared. This rule of thumb can apply to both being ready for the interview, as well as a potential IBS embarrassing moment. If you are mentally prepared for the interview itself and have all of the things you might need for an IBS emergency, then your stress levels may go down enough that it will be less likely that you will have difficulty. Have your 'Go Bag’ prepared. A second suit, wipes, powders...EVERYTHING you need to feel like you can get back in the game. There are too many things in the bag to list them all. lol :-)

What if I pass gas during my job interview?

Don’t expect the worst, but if the worst happens, try to roll with the punches. Don’t think it's over because you spend too long in the bathroom. If you happen to pass gas during a face to face, there is no point getting up and leaving, quitting on the entire thing. You’d be surprised, so many of the things that we are so self-conscious about regarding our IBS, others won’t even notice. Most times people are way more concerned about what is concerning them than to be worried about a little gas.

Most importantly be confident, remember who you are, and know that you GOT IT. Confidence is everything in these very challenging situations. Do your best and go for it. That’s all we can ever do.

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