Job interviews can be a stressful experience for anyone. Key to ensuring you succeed in an interview is preparation. The Careers with Disabilities interview guide provides jobseekers wth some handy tips to take on board when preparing for your job interview.
Firstly, if you’ve already been invited for an interview – congratulations! Getting through to the interview stage is a feat in its own right. Now it is time to prepare. Even the most qualified and experienced candidates need to prepare for their job interview. Following our top interview tips will help you make sure you can convince the hiring manager you are the perfect candidate.
Disabled people may face additional challenges at an interview. You have the right to ask for reasonable adjustments at any stage of the job application process, including the interview, if your disability creates a disadvantage. For more information, visit our guide to your rights as a disabled person.
First impressions count. Research the company culture and the position you’re applying for. This will give you an idea of the most appropriate dress code and what will make the best impression. Even though many companies now offer casual dress codes, this does not automatically give candidates permission to dress casually in the interview. Whether you decide to dress formally or not, being well-presented is a must.
The key to good communication skills lies in your ability to listen. Your interviewer will be providing you with lots of information throughout the interview. If you are not absorbing everything they say, you may miss out on important information.
Prepare answers carefully
While it is advisable to consider the type of questions your interviewer may ask, do so with caution. Ultimately, you don’t want to come across as scripted. Instead of preparing full answers to questions, try thinking of some bullet point ideas you want to cover. Moreover, scripted answers are less adaptable. You never know the type of questions you will be asked so try keeping your answers flexible.
Practice non-verbal communication
Communication is not all about what you say. In fact, good non-verbal communication is a great way to demonstrate your confidence, engagement, and attitude. This includes standing straight, making eye contact, and connecting with a firm handshake.
Stay on topic
It is important to keep all answers short and relevant. Rambling or providing complex, unclear answers to questions will not go down well with your interviewer. Key to staying on topic is considering the type of questions your interviewer may ask in advance.
It is likely that your interview will end with the opportunity for you to ask your own questions. By preparing some questions in advance, this will demonstrate to your interviewer that you are engaged and interested in the company and position. The best questions come from listening to the information given in the interview and asking for additional information. However, preparing questions beforehand works too. You may want to ask:
- What does a typical day look like?
- Where do you see the company going in the next few years?
- What are the most immediate projects that need addressing?
- Can you tell me more about the team I will be working with?
- Will you be able to offer some adjustments to help manage my disability at work?
- What types of skills are the team missing that you’re looking to fill with this new hire?
- Do you have an equality, diversity and inclusion policy in place?
We understand this is a stressful process and want to support you in all ways that we can. Visit our Disability Advice Hub for more information on finding work for those with a specific disability. If you need further support, visit our guide on finding help in your area.
Careers with Disabilities wish you the best of luck with your job interview. Prepare, rest, relax and try your best! Don’t feel defeated if the outcome isn’t what you had hoped for. Visit the Careers with Disabilities employer directory and jobs board to discover inclusive organisation looking to attract disabled applicants.