Job interviews and psoriasis

When it comes to getting a job it can be very hard work, filling in job applications and attending interviews can also be very daunting. In this piece I will be writing about my experiences of combining a full time job with treating and living with psoriasis.

When preparing for a job interview, there are many things we need to think about. Everything from whether we know everything in enough detail for all the questions we may get asked, to what we should wear. Job interviews can be very stressful and it is important we are ready for what we may face. It is also vital that we feel confident and prepared in order prevent stress, so this doesn't have a negative impact on our psoriasis and make it worse.

Preparation

Preparing well for the job interview can help by making sure you are feeling ready and confident. If you are feeling stressed, this can often cause psoriasis to flare up and could cause you to become anxious and uncomfortable. By preparing well in advance you are likely to be a lot less stressed, which means you can control your psoriasis better.

I have found that being  prepared,  and making sure I have researched around the knowledge area I may need to know, organised an outfit in advance so I don’t panic on the day and also having a copy of relevant documents I may need in a folder, ready to go Has really helped me in the past when going into an interview.

Although it is important to make sure your potential employers are aware of your psoriasis and what needs you may have, it is also important to remember that psoriasis doesn’t define who you are. Use the opportunity to showcase your skills and talents and tell them why you are the right person for the job.

Clothing

Finding something to wear can be one of the most difficult things to sort. For most interviews, you are required to wear smart clothing, however you need to make sure you feel comfortable in what you are wearing. 

My advice would be to wear something quite loose, so you don’t become agitated or uncomfortable by the clothes, for example if you get hot or your psoriasis is sore and your clothes are rubbing against your skin. It is also useful to have a top underneath a jacket you are very comfortable wearing, so that if you are hot you can take off your jacket and still be comfy. I know that my psoriasis tends to get worse when I’m too hot, so if you are still to hot after taking off your jacket be honest and ask to open a window if this an option.

Dealing with the attention

When it comes to meeting new people and having very visible psoriasis, it can be hard to predict what can happen. For example, my psoriasis can be severe on my hands and it can be very embarrassing. However, I’ve found that for the majority of the time, people will accept that my psoriasis can be very red, raised and sore, which makes shaking hands awkward. They are often understanding of this and it has no real effect on the interview.

On the other hand, sadly sometimes there can be people who would refuse to shake hands, as often psoriasis can be mistaken as contagious. Although I do not promote covering up psoriasis, on an occasion like this I always prepare by keeping a hand moisturiser in my handbag and using some camouflage cream to help prevent any embarrassment that might occur and make me feel more confident. 

As I have mentioned in my previous blog, if you list psoriasis on your application, employers should hopefully have researched what psoriasis is or ask you to explain a little bit about it and there should be no issue. Regardless, it is important to make yourself feel as comfortable as possible.

Be up-front

Be up-front with potential employers about your psoriasis if it is likely to impact your job and make sure you use your interview to explain about any time off you may need and what else may be essential to helping you in the workplace. Being truthful is the best thing to do, as employers will appreciate your honesty. It also prevents any problems after you may have started work. For example, when working in an office it can be very hot, ensuring you are able to work near a window or have access to a fan can prevent your psoriasis from becoming itchy and uncomfortable is something simple but effective.

Be self-aware, not self-conscious

Finally, one bit of advice I have from experience is to try not to itch during the interview, I am very unaware of how often I scratch my skin, apart from when my family and friends bring it to my attention and tell me to stop, as it is something I do naturally. Although this is something that can’t really be helped – the last thing you need is your skin bleeding in the middle of an intense interview!

UK/IE 2013b/00060b. Date of preparation: June 2015

Get in touch: what's your story?

Have something to share? Maybe you want to get in touch with a blogger or respond to a blog post. Would you like to tell your psoriasis story to help others or ask a question? Tell us what's on your mind and we'll get back to you. Please review the Privacy Policy to see how we will use your question or comment.

Jessica and Psoriasis

Visit Jess' blog

Browse All Posts

Want to ask a question?