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I am a seasoned management professional. I was involved in a MVA, rear ended, and to make a long story short, underwent double cervical fusion surgery. Because of the pain and disability associated with this surgery, I resigned from my position as the Director of Operations for the data center that my son owns, as he could no longer "hold down the fort indefinitely" as I attempted to recover. This was in March of 2012.
For the last six months I have been actively seeking to return to the workforce.
Yesterday, I had my third interview for a management position for which I was qualified. The interview was with the company's CEO. I would classify the interview as a "stress interview" because he was less than cordial, had a tv on behind me, and his questions were partial and evasive at best. At the beginning of the interview, he asked me why my eyes were dilated and if I was taking any medications to which I responded "no" - unbelievably inappropriate/illegal questions at best! When I was asked why I left my last employer during this interview, my answer was brief, with minimum details to provide evidence of a valid reason for length of unemployment.The interview was brief -- 15 minutes.
The position was a temp to perm position so I called my contact with the agency. She informed me that the CEO did not want to proceed with me because I have a "spine problem" and that I was "loopy?". I told my contact that I was not loopy and that it was Mr. CEO's questions regarding my medication usage are illegal. She agreed and said that when she met with me I was professional and that I had beautiful, large blue eyes!
Going forward, I am considering a change to my strategy for answering the obvious question of why I left my previous employer, and not currently employed, to avoid being adversely discriminated against again. However, I do not want to risk that a reference may tell a potential employer of my experience.
Any suggestions or advice is appreciated.