A job interview is a daunting enough prospect without having to worry about additional factors, but if you’re living with a disability, it’s only natural to be concerned about whether it will have any impact on your meeting.
Of course, the good news is that it absolutely shouldn’t, however, it’s important you do everything in your power to ensure that’s the case. Here are four key pointers to making sure every job interview goes smoothly.
Be up front with your interviewer
While you don’t have to disclose your disability or discuss it in the interview, we’d recommend doing both where appropriate. Ahead of time, it’s virtually essential to make sure your interviewer is aware of any limitations you may have. This will help them understand and accommodate your accessibility requirements, find out whether you can do a proposed interview assessment and sort out any other reasonable adjustments required for the interview.
In the interview itself, talking about your disabilities may work to your benefit. Your experience of living with a disability may be a valuable quality to the role, while your condition may also have allowed you to develop desirable skills and characteristics for the job and your potential employer. Naturally, you don’t want to make the interview all about your condition, but don’t be afraid to use your relevant experiences and skills to your advantage where possible.
Be prepared at your end
While the company you’re heading to has to do their part in preparing for your interview, it’s important you do what you can on your end to make sure things go well, too. Make sure you have everything you need in place well ahead of time. Think about what you’ll need to take with you, consider your transport options and ensure you’ve carried out all the normal interview preparations to give yourself the best chance of succeeding.
Make sure you get the same treatment everyone else does
Throughout the course of your interview, you should be held to the same standard and treated the same as any able-bodied candidate, and the questions you face should be job focused and relevant to your skills and experience. The interviewer does have the right to establish whether you’ll be able to carry out all the essential facets of the role, but other than that the interview should move along as any other would.
If you do face discriminatory questioning or an inappropriate approach, you are well within your rights to take the case to a tribunal. If something like this does happen, take the necessary action, move on and don’t be disheartened – you’ve dodged a bullet in finding an employer you wouldn’t want to work for.
Understand the need to be clear on reasonable adjustments
So, the interview has gone well and things are looking good. If you are offered the role, it’s essential that your new employer has the resources in place and the desire to make reasonable adjustments to accommodate you and allow you to fulfil your role. These adjustments could involve things like accessibility and flexible working patterns. Whatever it is you need, make sure you have it in place before you start.
It’s only natural to be nervous for a job interview. However, your condition shouldn’t play any more of a factor than it needs to. Follow the steps above, make sure everything is prepared both at your end and your interviewer’s and head into your meeting with confidence.