Finding a job can be a tough process for anyone, but for someone with a disability, the experience can be especially overwhelming. Although a person’s condition may not inhibit them from doing their job well, employers may still have some concerns. Therefore, it’s up to the candidate to show the employer he or she is the best person for the job, despite their disability.
Here are five tips to remember when interviewing for a job:
Highlight what You Can Do – Not What You Can’t Do
Every job seeker has to explain how they can meet or exceed the job requirements. Offer the interviewer a detailed plan of how you will complete your daily tasks by giving examples. And, if you need to be accommodated, let the interviewer know in a positive way by saying something like, “As long as I can get my wheelchair through the aisles, I can make my daily sales quota.”
Address Necessary Concerns about Your Disability
While you are not required to disclose your disability, it may be difficult to avoid the subject. Especially if it’s obvious, like being in a wheelchair or being hearing impaired. If you have a disability that’s visible, mention it momentarily and then continue the conversation to explain how you can still complete the work.
Though you may be afraid of being stereotyped, it may benefit you to make it clear that with reasonable accommodations you are able to perform the job’s essential functions. Not illustrating the full picture could leave the employer feeling like you can’t do the job, which could hurt your chances of being hired.
Show and Prove
Don’t just explain what you can do – point out previous jobs, internships, and volunteer work that demonstrate what you have done in the past. Then, tell the interviewer how you will apply the skills you’ve learned to the position you are applying for.
It’s easy to become discouraged, but keeping a positive attitude throughout the interview can help you immensely. If you feel insecure about your disability or are worried you don’t have enough job experience, try increasing your self-confidence before the interview. Think of the skills you learned from activities over the years, and you’ll quickly realize you have a lot more to offer than maybe you initially thought.
There are many useful groups and online sites that assist workers with disabilities. The U.S. Department of Labor provides disability resources that can help you get on the path to employment. Programs like the LifeWorks training course offered by The Jobs Partnership helps men and women prepare for a career, whether they are currently unemployed, underemployed, or stuck in their job.
To begin discovering a whole new world of opportunities, apply today for our 12-week no-cost LifeWorks training course. You will work with a team of coaches who can help you with the specialized training needed to get into some of the hottest, most in-demand career fields.