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Job interviews can feel like you’re being put under a microscope as employers try to determine if you’re the best fit for the role. It’s important to sell yourself, but in order to do that, you need to feel confident. To help workers with disabilities gain the confidence necessary to excel when it comes to job interviews, Galt Foundation has outlined four helpful tips.
If you’ve ever had a job interview, you know it can feel like you’re being put under a microscope. Employers have sifted through resume after resume and now want to find the best person for the role. Of course, your goal is for them to choose you.
It’s important to sell yourself during the job interview, but doing so can be difficult if you struggle with feeling confident – something that people with disabilities may experience when entering or re-entering the workforce.
The first thing to remember is that you got a job interview in the first place, a stage only 20% of applicants, on average, get to. To help you gain further confidence to excel, we’ve outlined four helpful tips to use in advance of your interview.
Know the Value You Bring to the Role
It’s human to sometimes get caught up in comparing yourself to others. To help get out of this mindset, which can be detrimental, it’s important to focus on the value that you bring to the table.
When you applied for this position, there’s a good chance you already took stock of the relevant skills and experience you have – now’s the time to use that insight to confidently showcase your talents during the interview.
Become comfortable and adept at highlighting your skills and experience. After all, you’re the person who’s most qualified to be your own cheerleader!
Decide if You’re Comfortable with Disclosing Your Disability
Disclosing your disability is a highly personal decision. However, for many employees with disabilities, being upfront about a disability can dispel any misconceptions and actually help them feel more comfortable and confident. For tips on disclosing your disability, read our guide.
Remember: an employer cannot try to “figure out” if you have a disability. According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, “The ADA prohibits employers from asking questions that are likely to reveal the existence of a disability before making a job offer (i.e., the pre-offer period). This prohibition covers written questionnaires and inquiries made during interviews, as well as medical examinations.”
Do Your Research and Come Prepared
It’s a well-known fact that applicants should come prepared before the interview, knowing facts about the organization and the role. For people with disabilities, it’s also a good idea to be prepared for the format of the interview itself, whether it’s in-person or virtual. This will help avoid any unnecessary stress, improve your confidence, and ensure you make a good first impression.
If you have a mobility disability and are scheduled for an in-person interview, research the interview site and prepare for any additional transportation time, parking, accessibility (i.e. ramps), etc. If you have a phone or video call interview, ensure you have the appropriate equipment and technology necessary. Some assistive technology could include a slant board, closed captioning on videos, and specialized computers. Plus, it’s always a good idea to check your Wi-Fi connectivity and sound beforehand.
For additional tips on preparing for your job interview, read our 5 Helpful Interview Tips for Job Seekers blog article.
Anticipate Interview Questions and Practice Your Responses
In addition to the usual “where do you see yourself in five years” type of questions, it’s a good idea to anticipate other questions related to your disability. As previously mentioned, while employers cannot ask questions that may reveal your disability, it is fair for them to ask questions related to the role that may be indirectly related to your disability.
For example, they may ask you about gaps in your resume or confirm that you have the skills and abilities to perform the job. This is where you may need to decide to disclose your disability or have responses ready to reinforce and highlight your abilities – not your disability.
While it’s important not to sound too rehearsed, it’s also important to have answers ready. We recommend rehearsing common interview questions with a trusted person. This can ensure your responses flow well and help you build confidence when answering trickier questions.
Let Galt Foundation Help
Not sure where to start in your employment journey? We’re here to help. Galt Foundation is one of the world’s largest temporary staffing organizations for individuals with disabilities. With over 20 years of experience, we’ll support you through the employment process and match you with the right job opportunity.
If you haven’t yet secured an interview, check out our latest job opportunities here.
Feel free to get in touch with our expert team. You can reach us here or call us at 1-877-361-1277 – we’re always happy to help!