Should I mention past medical issues in an interview?

One thing I have noticed that a lot of job seekers are unclear on is whether or not they should mention that they were out on disability or had to take time off for a medical issue. My recommendation is that you stay away from any conversations about medical leave, medical procedures or disability. You are better off to say you had a personal matter to attend to or something similar as the term “personal matter” does not typically have the same negative connotation as medical matter or issue.

The reason you would want to stay clear of these topics in an interview is that an employer could potentially use that information to discriminate against you. Legally, they are not supposed to discriminate, but that doesn’t mean that they won’t. 
An employer is not allowed to legally ask you any questions about your medical history so there is no reason you should go out of your way to disclose that information unnecessarily.
So how should you handle it if you have taken some time off for a medical leave or medical procedure?
I would recommend saying something to the effect of “I really enjoyed working for my last employer (start with what you liked about your last position), however, I had some personal matters that I had to attend to that required me to take time off for an extended period.”
Most employers will be OK with this type of an answer. Some might push you further asking “what personal issues?,” but most will not because of the legalities around pushing for more information.

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