7 Tips on Successful Interviews for Adults with Disabilities
The above picture is of a woman in a wheelchair sitting at her desk and looking into the camera.
7 Tips on Successful Interviews for Adults with Disabilities
Are you preparing for an upcoming interview?
The interview process for adults with disabilities can make for extra stress. With this, it's essential to prepare and get in as much practice as possible before the big day.
To help, we're sharing seven of the best interview tips for adults with disabilities. With the right preparation, you're well on your way to an interview that is all the more stress-free and successful!
1. Practice Makes Perfect
When it comes to preparing for a job interview, it's safe to say that practice makes perfect!
To begin your preparation, create a list of your job and volunteer experience. From here, outline a list of your general strengths.
What are you good at and what can you offer to your future employers? Of course, discussing your strengths can feel intimidating. To help, allow yourself the time necessary to get comfortable in discussing what makes you the perfect candidate.
Lastly, prepare a list of potential interview questions. Fortunately, there are countless sample interview questions available online today. Once you've outlined these questions, practice going through your answers with a friend or family member.
Take time to get comfortable in discussing the above. The more you practice, the more comfortable and confident you'll feel on the day of your interview.
2. Learn About the Job
Next, you're going to want to learn as much about the job that you're applying for as possible.
What does this company do and what will be expected of you in this position?
Take the time necessary to research the ins and outs of the company online. While this may sound obvious, only 59% of candidates will visit the company website after discovering a job opening. You'll want to have a general understanding as to what the company stands for and what their background is.
In researching the job, you can better prepare a list of questions to ask your interviewer. These questions will showcase to your potential employer that you've prepared yourself beforehand and that you're excited about the job.
Remember, every employer desires an employee that is eager and enthusiastic about the job. Showcasing your company knowledge and asking relevant questions is a great way to display your professionalism and eagerness to learn!
3. Prepare to Discuss Your Disability
At the end of the day, it's your personal choice whether or not you want to discuss your disability with your interviewer.
While they're not permitted to ask you about your disability, you can choose to bring it up yourself if you feel comfortable. If you plan to discuss your disability, you'll want to practice this discussion in advance.
Remember, if you're not comfortable talking about your disability, it's not essential to discuss it. If you require workplace accommodation, you can request this accommodation after you are offered the job.
4. Dress Professionally and Prepare Your Documents
In dressing for your interview, be sure to adorn yourself in professional and appropriate clothing.
With this, you're going to want to avoid casual clothing such as jeans, t-shirts, and sneakers. Instead, opt for something workplace appropriate such as a dress or a button-down shirt and formal shoes. In dressing the part, you're naturally going to feel more comfortable and confident during your interview.
You're also going to want to ensure that you have all of the appropriate documentation prepared for your interview. This might include anything from your updated resume and cover letter to a copy of your identification and your list of references.
5. Arrive on Time
Short and simple, you're going to want to ensure that you arrive perfectly on time.
Your arrival time will be the first impression that you make on your employer. This is the best way to showcase your professionalism and express respect to your potential employer. In arriving on time, you're well on your way to a positive start!
If you're taking public transit, opt to take the earlier train or bus. While this may result in arriving early for your interview, it's better than arriving late.
Once you arrive at your location, be sure to turn off your cell phone. When we consider that 71% of employers would disqualify a candidate for checking their phone during the interview, it's clear why this step is crucial.
6. Remain Calm
Let's face it, interviews can be a stressful and demanding experience.
During this time, it's only natural to feel overwhelmed and anxious. When this happens, be sure to remind yourself that nerves are an entirely normal reaction to an interview.
In these moments, remember to focus on your strengths and what you can offer to your future employers. This is where your practicing beforehand will really showcase itself.
Think of the interview as a simple two-way conversation. Remind yourself that the interview is just a short and simple conversation between yourself and another person.
Do your best not to overanalyze the situation. Remember, you're also interviewing them and determining whether or not you'd like to move forward with a potential job offer. Reminding yourself of this fact can help to alleviate some pressure that you put on yourself.
Of course, every great meeting ends with a firm handshake and an exchange of pleasantries. Now is the time to thank your potential employer for their time and to showcase your excitement in hearing from them next.
Once you return home, it's always a good idea to follow-up with this employer. This will reveal how serious you are about the prospect of working for them and to showcase great manners.
So, what's the best way to do this?
A follow up can be as simple as a single email. The point of this email is to express to your potential employer your appreciation for their time. This will showcase your professionalism as well as your eagerness to get started.
Job Interview Preparation for Adults With Disabilities
For adults with disabilities, the job interview process can be daunting.
Do you discuss your disability? How can you best prepare for the questions of your employer? What's the best way to showcase your strengths?
These are all valid questions that require preparation beforehand. If you're looking to nail your next interview, be sure to use our guide to help you. Remember, being prepared and rehearsing beforehand is the key to success.
Are you on the hunt for your next job? If so, be sure to check out our job board.