Interview Confidence Tips for Workers with Disabilities 

Job interviews can be nerve-wracking for anyone, but for people with disabilities, there might be extra concerns. You might find yourself pondering, “Will this organization accommodate my needs? How can I ensure my abilities are fully recognized beyond my disability?” Confidence is your best friend in these moments. It’s the golden key that can open doors to the opportunities you’re eyeing. 

But how do you build confidence when interview nerves are getting the best of you? This article explores practical tips to help you build rock-solid confidence for your next interview. 

Why is Confidence Important in Job Interviews?  

Confidence isn’t just a bonus—it’s a critical factor that significantly influences hiring decisions. According to Zippia, 40 percent of recruiters will not hire candidates who are not confident in themselves. This is because confident candidates are likely perceived as more competent and motivated.¹ Think about it: when you clearly articulate your skills and achievements, it makes it much easier for the interviewer to see you as a perfect fit for the role. 

Confidence goes beyond first impressions. A recent CareerBuilder study with over 2,500 hiring managers also found that behaviors linked to a lack of confidence, like poor eye contact or fidgeting, can hurt a candidate’s chances of getting hired.² On the other hand, candidates who maintain a confident demeanor are better equipped to handle challenging questions. They can showcase their problem-solving skills and composure under pressure, which are qualities every employer seeks. 

How to Build Confidence for an Interview 

Here are six key interview confidence tips that can help you approach the interview feeling prepared and ready to showcase your skills and value to the employer: 

1. Know the Value You Bring to the Role 

It’s only human to compare yourself to others. To help get out of this detrimental mindset, it’s important to focus on the value that you bring to the table. Before you submit an application, you already have a good grasp and understanding of the relevant skills and experience you have. This is the best time to use those insights to confidently showcase your talents during an interview.  

Become comfortable at highlighting your skills and experience. After all, you’re the person who’s most qualified to be your own cheerleader! 

2. 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 help them feel more comfortable and confident. 

Also, keep in mind that an employer cannot try to “figure out” if you have a disability. According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, employers are prohibited from asking questions that can reveal a person’s disability before making a job offer.³ This prohibition by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) covers written questionnaires and inquiries made during interviews, as well as medical examinations. 

Related Article: A Guide to Disclosing Your Disability to Employers 

3. Do Your Research and Come Prepared 

It’s a well-known fact that applicants should be prepared with facts about the organization and the role prior to the interview. 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.  

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. This will help avoid any unnecessary stress, improve your confidence, and ensure you make a good first impression on the day of the interview. 

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 double-check your Wi-Fi connectivity and sound equipment beforehand. 

Read more: 5 Helpful Interview Tips for Job Seekers 

4. Anticipate Interview Questions and Practice Your Responses 

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. 

Aside from the usual “Where do you see yourself in five years?” type of questions, it’s also a good idea to anticipate other questions related to your disability if you disclose it with the interviewer. 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 indirectly be related to your disability. 

For example, they may ask you about gaps in your resume or confirm if you have the skills and abilities to perform the job. This is where you can either decide to disclose your disability or have responses ready to reinforce and highlight your abilities instead. 

5. Develop a Positive Mindset 

Visualization techniques, where you imagine yourself acing the interview, can significantly reduce anxiety. Incorporate stress-relief strategies that work for you, such as deep breathing or meditation, to ensure you stay calm and collected during the interview.  

Regularly using positive affirmations can also be a powerful tool. These self-belief statements can remind you of your qualifications and achievements, further boosting your confidence and solidifying your self-belief. 

6. Dress for Success with Comfort in Mind 

First impressions matter, and your interview attire is a prime opportunity to showcase your professionalism. Choose an outfit that’s both polished and comfortable, allowing you to present yourself with confidence. Select clothing that aligns with the company culture—business professional for a corporate environment or business casual for a more relaxed setting.  

Most importantly, ensure your outfit accommodates any assistive devices or needs you may have. Feeling good about what you wear can significantly enhance your self-confidence. When you’re comfortable in your attire, you can focus more on the interview itself and less on physical discomfort or self-consciousness. Let your outfit be a silent supporter, empowering you to deliver your best performance. 

What to do After the Interview 

Interviews aren’t always perfect. Maybe you stumbled over a question or felt a bit nervous. That’s okay! Use this as a chance to identify areas for improvement. Consider practicing a specific response type or researching the company culture more in-depth. This pinpoints areas for growth and allows you to equip yourself with valuable tools for future interviews. 

Ideally, you might even get feedback directly from the interviewer. This can be incredibly insightful, offering a chance to learn from their perspective. If feedback isn’t offered, don’t be afraid to politely request it since many interviewers are happy to provide extra guidance. 

Every interview is a learning experience. By reflecting on both your strengths and areas for development, you build confidence and a strong foundation for future success. 

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 secured an interview yet, 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! 

References 

1 Boskamp, Elsie. “40 Important Job Interview Statistics [2023]: How Many Interviews Before Job Offer” Zippia, 21 June 2023, www.zippia.com/advice/job-interview-statistics/

2 “Press Releases—New CareerBuilder Survey Reveals Top Body Language Mistakes Candidates Make in Job Interviews” Career Builder, Accessed 8 March 2024, press.careerbuilder.com/2010-07-28-New-CareerBuilder-Survey-Reveals-Top-Body-Language-Mistakes-Candidates-Make-in-Job-Interviews

3 “Job Applicants and the ADA.” U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), ADA, Rehabilitation Act, 29 CFR Part 1630, Accessed 8 March 2024, www.eeoc.gov/laws/guidance/job-applicants-and-ada#:~:text=The%20ADA%20prohibits%20employers%20from,as%20well%20as%20medical%20examinations.

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Let’s start a conversation! Are you a person with disabilities searching for a job or an organization with temporary or long-term employment needs? We look forward to helping you realize your potential.

Contact Us

Let’s start a conversation! Are you a person with disabilities searching for a job or an organization with temporary or long-term employment needs? We look forward to helping you realize your potential.