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Interview Tips for Adults with Disabilities
A job interview can be nerve-wracking at the best of times for anyone. For those with any kind of disability, it can create an added layer of anxiety. There is the concern, however slight, that the disability may take away from aspects of the job the person is perfectly capable of performing.
There are ways of dealing with this anxiety, most of which is done beforehand. Most of these tips may apply to anyone interviewing for a job, but they are particularly helpful to people with a disability added to the mix. Here are some interview tips for adults with disabilities:
Practice for the interview until you feel comfortable
Sometimes, it’s as simple as knowing where and how to sit. Other times, it’s having the responses to complex and possibly controversial questions ready. Anything that causes anxiety needs to be addressed. Role-playing and rehearsing can help to minimize those little rough patches. It also helps increase confidence to know just how you will handle certain questions and situations.
Prepare a professional resume
This step often takes place before even applying for the job. Specific formatting, style, and what information to include in what order can be customized for the prospective company to present you in the best. Preparing your resume reminds you of your accomplishments and what you do well. This can’t help but boost confidence. There are resources available for those that need help with this step.
Research the company before your interview to learn about their organization
It’s always good to know something about the organization you wish to work for beforehand. Even if you don’t use it during the interview itself, the knowledge, in and of itself, will help to increase confidence and cut down on the risk of being blindsided.
Create a checklist of things to bring with you to the interview
The bare minimum of things to take with you is something to write on and with, so you can take notes if you need to. You may also want to bring copies of your resume, your list of questions and concerns, and whatever you need for your disability when you’re out and about. Put them all in an appropriate carrier. This may be a briefcase, a messenger bag, or something else. Just make sure it’s clean and in good repair.
Create a list of questions to ask the employer
Many people forget that an interview goes both ways. An interview is a perfect time to not only show a potential employer why you would like to work for them, but also to figure out if you will actually enjoy the job if they hire you. Don’t be afraid to present a prepared, written list of questions and concerns. If, for whatever reason, you aren’t comfortable bringing up your issues (including those related to your disability), just knowing you have them organized and with you will add to your sense of preparedness and confidence.
Make sure you have clothing that is appropriate for an interview
It does not have to be new or expensive. It does need to be clean, neat, and in good repair. You need to wear an outfit that reflects respect for the organization, the interview, the job you’re interviewing for, and the interviewer(s). This always reflects well on you.
Preparation increases knowledge, which leads to increased confidence, decreased surprises, and your best chance at landing that job. RISE is a registered 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization devoted to helping individuals with all aspects of their disabilities. Just some of the offered services include housing, assistance (at all levels of care) with activities of daily living (ADLs), early intervention strategies, physical and occupational therapies, job-hunting assistance, mental health services, financial management, and transportation assistance. Contact RISE at one of our 25 locations, or visit our website at https://riseservicesinc.org for more info.