Weird question about interview (re:overweight/ not needing insurance)


I know that was a WEIRD title, but I wanted to be descriptive. And this IS a weird question, and maybe someone has asked this or wondered it, too?

I am very overweight, (to give an idea by "very", I wear a 3X scrub top and 2X pants....) but in my current bedside job, I can "run" for 12 hours like all my other coworkers, and I take excellent care of my patients.:nurse: My weight honestly does NOT interfere with my job. I admit once I get home, my joints are achy, but I take lonnnng, hot baths with TONS of epsom salts! :D

Here's the "weird" question. I want a NEW job....terribly! When I interview, I want so badly to tell them I do NOT need their health insurance, (I'm blessed to have it through my hubby).....because I'm afraid they look at my weight and think "she'll be a burden on our health insurance plan...she probably has diabetes, hypertension, etc" (I have NEITHER, by the grace of God, although of course I know I am at high risk for those and more if I don't lose weight SOON, and I plan to!!!).

Is there ANY way I could say this in the interview without them thinking it was a stupid/ weird thing to say??? I just want them to know that the weight does NOT affect my job performance at all, and that they don't need to worry about their premiums going up because of me......I get glowing reviews from all my supervisors, my coworkers also appreciate that I will help them anytime I can, and I am very enthusiastic!

Thanks in advance! :)

netglow, ASN, RN

4,412 Posts

IMHO, if you bring that up suddenly, "I don't need health insurance" then, they will wonder why you said it. That stuff doesn't come up till they offer. They might go over benes in the HR interview, but they would do that with whomever is sitting in that chair anyway. If your interviewer is going to make assumptions about your health and ability to work by your looks there is not one thing you can do to prevent that except, losing weight. People do make assumptions, they just cannot say, "hey you sure are overweight" in an interview. Your worries about being on the corporate plan and increasing risk is probably not so much an issue with a large corp. (even tho they might be considering that too), the concern they might have is your potential call-off probability, or injury on the job potential eg workers comp.

classicdame, MSN, EdD

2 Articles; 7,255 Posts

Specializes in Hospital Education Coordinator.

I would not wonder about your needing our insurance as much as your health risks that would cause you to miss a lot of work.

Specializes in NICU, Peds, Med-Surg. Has 29 years experience.

oh wow, calling off--- that never occurred to me. Well, sometimes in interviews, they do ask about attendance, and I can tell them I've RARELY ever called in during the five years at my current position, and my supervisors will also confirm that.

Although I do realize, maybe the two of you mean the potential to call in in the FUTURE......thank you for your input. Maybe I should tell them I've cut out sugar and *almost* all white flour, and I'm going to start ZUMBA classes......!! :) (I PROMISE I am kidding, I would NEVER mention that in an interview!)

MrChicagoRN, RN

2,589 Posts

Specializes in Leadership, Psych, HomeCare, Amb. Care. Has 30 years experience.

With any applicant I wonder if they'll be able to do the job, maintain the pace etc

While absenteeism is a concern, whether or not you need insurance isn't.

And if you mention not needing it they may presuppose an underlying condition.

chevyv, BSN, RN

1,679 Posts

Specializes in Acute Mental Health. Has 15 years experience.

If I was interviewing you, I would want to evaluate if I feel you would be a good fit for the unit. Many people of heavier. Are you a team player? Are you personable? Do you ask questions during the interview? You can surely mention the shifts you work. Working 12 hr shifts isn't easy. Go for it!!!

netglow, ASN, RN

4,412 Posts

I hope you understand that I'm not knocking you OP. My Aunt has been what I say morbidly obese as long as I've known her. She has some native american ethnic genes from a group that tends to have a heavier build plus she has always had a hearty appetite. :) However she has been/is well into her 60s one of the most full of physical energy people I've known! I think it's just hard to have someone who may not know a person like my aunt, believe that you might be just like her, and be able to run circles around people. Seriously she exhausts me.

Specializes in NICU, Peds, Med-Surg. Has 29 years experience.

oh no, I know you weren't knocking me....I wanted honest answers, and the two posts about me possibly calling in a lot made sense! I also know that mentioning I don't need their insurance sounded weird...and let's be honest....kind of stupid....LOL!

Your aunt sounds awesome! :D And like I said, I honestly DO "run" the entire 12 hours, and yes, I ACHE after, and I know carrying all that extra weight on my joints isn't helping! (also, I didn't mention my AGE, but let's just say I work with a few twenty-somethings and I'm old enough to be their Mom ) :cool:

I forgot to mention that 2 positions I applied for are desk jobs (QA/ Chart Auditing), but I also applied for one 8-5 Outpatient Clinical position. .....OH, to work NORMAL hours!!!!! :yeah:


827 Posts

Specializes in pediatrics, public health.

In an interview, I believe that you should always emphasize the positive, as much as possible. So in your case, you emphasize that you have been working 12 hour shifts and providing excellent patient care, and that you have a great work ethic which includes an excellent attendance record. You explain that your supervisors are very happy with your work and are willing to provide you with references that back up what you are saying about yourself.

This should make it as clear as you possibly can make it that your weight is not an issue. Whether they believe it or not is not under your control, but give them all the info they need including the references and you will have given it your best shot.

Good luck!


45 Posts

Specializes in ER.

I don't think in an initial interview with the nurse manager would be the appropriate place to mention health insurance. They don't really care... but like other posters mentioned they worry about call offs, frequent doctor appointments, or not being able to physically do the job. Maybe you could stress how you can run circles around some of the other nurses. I would try to make a joke about how the excess weight just adds momentum and you keep going.

Long Term Care Columnist / Guide

VivaLasViejas, ASN, RN

142 Articles; 9,982 Posts

Specializes in LTC, assisted living, med-surg, psych. Has 26 years experience.

I'm the same size as the OP and have rarely, if ever had trouble finding a job because of it. It wasn't even a factor until I hurt my knee and had to leave floor nursing a year and a half ago, and that probably has as much to do with the fact that I'm over 50 as overweight. Even so, I wasn't out of work for very long. Good luck, OP, you'll be just fine as long as you exude confidence in your skills and abilities!!