Interview Tips for Young Adults with Disabilities
- Prepare, prepare, prepare! Learn as much as you can about the job you are applying for. Make sure you understand what the company does and what the job requires. Be ready to answer the question “Why do you want to work here?” Also be ready to talk about your skills and strengths. Practice answering these questions with someone you know.
- What to bring. You should bring a copy of your resume, a notepad, and a pen. Bring any other documents that the employer requests, such as an application or references.
- What to wear. Dress nicely! Wear work appropriate clothes like a button down shirt and slacks (no jeans, t-shirts, sneakers, or flip flops).
- First impression. Make sure you arrive 10 minutes before your interview time. Never be late or too early! You want to make a good first impression. Give yourself extra time, especially if you are taking public transportation or Access-a-Ride. Turn off your cellphone. When you first meet the interviewer, say hello, introduce yourself, shake his/her hand, and look him/her in the eye!
- The interview. Listen to everything the interviewer says and make sure you answer the question s/he asks. If s/he says something that is upsetting or makes you feel bad, don’t react. Remain calm. Talk about good things that you have done or can do. Focus on your strengths!
- Whether or not to discuss your disability. Interviewers are not allowed to ask you about your disability and you do not need to tell the interviewer about your disability. It is up to you if you want to tell the interviewer that you have a disability. If you need an accommodation at the workplace, you can wait until after you are offered the job to request the accommodation.
- After the interview. Say thank you and shake the interviewer’s hand again. When you get home, send a thank you email or note to the person who interviewed you.