An interview is your chance to come face to face with representatives of the firm and to really show them that you have got what it takes to be successful in their organisation. As well as thinking about how to answer questions, if you have a disability or long-term health condition you will also need to decide whether to discuss or refer to this during the interview. You may also need to request any adjustments or support you require during the interview in order to demonstrate your potential. This section looks at all aspects of preparing for and undertaking an interview, including the additional considerations for someone with a disability.
The Purpose Of The Interview
In terms of disability, the interview is not an opportunity to discuss what adjustments you might need if you were to be offered a position. It is highly unlikely that the interviewer will bring up your disability or what support you require. However if you wish to talk about it during the interview, you can mention it in your questions as the interview is coming to a close.
- During the interview concentrate on your abilities and strengths, not on what support you need.
- If you wish to talk about the support you will need, leave this until the end of the interview.
- Discuss your requirements positively; provide recommendations as to what you may require.
- Know the time, date and location of the interview, and the name of the interviewer if you have been given this.
- Have a contact phone number to hand in case you experience any travel problems.
- Concentrate on the interview at the interview - nothing else.
Many organisations use behavioural or competency-based questions as part of their selection processes where the interviewer will be looking for specific examples about exactly what you achieved or demonstrated in such situations. Try to find out in advance if the interview is competency-based and prepare accordingly.
- Prepare examples you want to use ahead of the interview however only use them if they are relevant.
- Listen to the question; if you don't understand it, ask for it to be rephrased.
- Avoid rambling in your answers, especially if you do not know the answer.
- Take time to sit down and think about you: who you are and what you've achieved.
- The most common interview question is "Tell us about yourself"; be prepared to answer this succinctly.
- Interviewers usually want to know about your personal qualities rather than your achievements.
Referring To Your Disability
Remember that everyone should draw upon a wide variety of examples to answer questions to demonstrate your range of experience. By mentioning your disability in this way, you are in control of the conversation and can project a positive image for your interviewer. However, you should not use disability-related examples for too many questions.
- Present all examples, including disability related ones, positively.
- Ensure you draw upon a wide range of examples to demonstrate your different strengths.
- If you are going to use disability-related examples, be prepared to answer further questions about this.
Requiring Adjustments Due To Your Disability
An adjustment to the interview process will enable you to be assessed on an equal basis to your peers.
If you do require an adjustment it is your responsibility to communicate this to the organisation in plenty of time to enable them to both source and implement what you require. Failure to do so may result in your interview being delayed.
- Know what adjustments you require and be confident to request them.
- Help the employer understand what you need and why.
- Be timely in your request; the earlier you ask the easier it is for the employer to implement.
Steps To Success
- Prepare. If you fail to prepare, you are preparing to fail.
- Sell your self: Concentrate on demonstrating your strengths and abilities.
- Listen to the question. Ensure you answer the question you are being asked; not what you would like to have been asked.
- Gather your thoughts. Do not be afraid to pause and gather your thoughts ahead of answering a question in order to remain focused.
- Request what you need. Asking for support or adjustments will ensure you can demonstrate your full potential.