Posted in Bipolar Disorder - I have it

Interviewing a person with Bipolar Disorder

Interviewing a person with bipolar disorder presents a challenge. Will her mental health diagnosis influence whether you hire her or not. I hope this post is interactive, and that you will answer the questions as you read. The links at the bottom are good self-checks.

What if the one being interviewed has bipolar disorder?

Imagine that you are interviewing someone for a position that involves interaction with the public. The person has all the qualities needed to do the job well. She has the communication skills needed. She is knowledgable. She personable. Her references are good. You are pretty sure you will hire her, but a second interview is company policy. At the board meeting that day, someone comments, “You do know she is bipolar?” Would that knowledge, change your decision? (Legal ramifications are outside the scope of this post.)

I have bipolar disorder and have been interviewed and hired or not hired several times, both with the interviewer being aware I have bipolar disorder and not being aware. I neither have a definitive answer nor do I think anyone does. Somedays I would not hire myself, but my past employment history shows those who did hire me are not sorry.

If you are interviewing a person with bipolar disorder, understanding a few key points should help. First, no two people who have bipolar disorder are alike. Even if you have past experience with people who have bipolar disorder, you will be doing this sperson with bipolar disorder a huge injustice if you judge her by your past experience. The same is true if you judge her from your exposure to characters with bipolar disorder in books, television series, or movies. Those are is seldom accurately portrayed.

To do the person and your company justice, educate yourself. The following links are a good start.

The myths:

Bipolar Disorders information from

Bipolar Disorders information from

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