How can a neurodivergent individual effectively prepare for a job interview/meeting?
Omage of a desk with a clock on its back and pencil on a curriculum vitae with the text underneath saying: How can a neurodiverse individual effectively prepare for a jon interview/meetig

In a series of blogs looking at neurodiversity in the workplace we explore how companies can ensure their recruitment and onboarding processes are inclusive and how that looks.

In my last blog, I looked at how Companies can make their job adverts and interview process neuro diverse friendly, today I will explore some strategies and tips to help neurodivergent individuals prepare for job interviews and meetings.

Job interviews can be nerve-wracking for anyone, but for neurodivergent individuals, they can present a whole other set of unique challenges. Neurodiversity encompasses a range of conditions, including autism, ADHD, dyslexia, and more. Each of these conditions comes with its own set of strengths and challenges, which can make navigating the interview process challenging.

BUT, many ND individuals have unique skills that many organisations see as valuable assets so with the right preparation neurodivergent individuals can excel in job interviews and showcase their unique talents.

Image showing brown paper wripped to show orange label underneath with the word INTERVIEW shwoing

So how can you successfully prepare for a job interview?

As discussed in my previous blog, Companies should advertise on a job description that applicants from ND individuals are welcome and to ask if you require any reasonable recommendations.

Don’t be afraid to mention this to future employees at the time of applying, as reasonable recommendations can make a significant difference to you and your experience.

 

Understand your strengths and challenges

One of the key points in preparing for a job interview is to understand your own strengths and challenges. Take some time to reflect on your unique abilities and how they can contribute to the role you’re applying for. For example, if you have ADHD, you might be highly creative and able to think outside the box. If you’re on the autism spectrum, you might have exceptional attention to detail and a strong ability to focus on tasks.

By understanding your strengths and challenges, you can tailor your interview preparation to focus on showcasing your strengths and addressing any potential challenges.

Research the Company and Role

  • Ensure you take time to research the Company and role you are applying for. By understanding the Company values and job specifications, you can use these to relate and align to your unique skill set.
Two yellow chairs and one blue chair against a yellow wall with the letter HI at the side of the chairs

Practice Interview Questions

  • Create a role play scenario with a friend or family member. You can practice answering some more general questions, such as ‘tell us about yourself’, ‘what skills do you consider you have for this role’, ‘can you tell us a little about your work history’. By practicing the interview scenario out with someone you trust, it can help you feel more confident and surer in your answers.
  • By writing down your answers to some common questions, you can keep reading these back to help you remember or to prompt you.
  • You may have been emailed a copy of the interview questions, if so, this will allow you to prepare your answers in advance.
4 blue chairs and one yellow chair against a blue background

Pre-Interview preparation – Body Language

For some ND individuals, social situations can cause a lot of anxiety. There can be challenges in knowing the correct way to act or respond to certain social cues, and for many, communication can be challenging. Eye contact can be another area that ND individuals find difficult.

  • Again, ask a friend or family member if they can do a role play with you. You can act out an interview situation, concentrating on how you will greet the interviewees, and how you will introduce yourself.
  • Try to work on your body confidence, by remembering to walk tall, and to smile, it will portray confidence and will make you look enthusiastic and engaged.

 

Plan your route and timings

To ensure that you arrive at the interview on time, and not late or flustered, plan your route in advance.

Google maps is not always the easiest to understand when lost and late!

  • Give yourself plenty of time to factor in late buses or trains, or traffic.
  • Ensure you know who to ask for on arrival, or which room you need to go to.
  • If you feel that the journey is too daunting, ask a trusted friend or family member if they can accompany you and wait for you whilst you are in the interview.

Online meeting

Thanks (or no thanks depending on how you feel..) to Covid, our post pandemic working world has enabled remote working and video calls to be the norm. Therefore, you may find that your interview or meeting is to be held online.

A laptop open on a desk showing lots of people on the screen and a cup to the side of the keyboard

,,This can present its own set of challenges for ND individuals. The pre interview preparation points above will help you to prepare for the interview, but the below tips are specific to online meeting:

  • Make sure you are familiar with the platform you will be using, i.e if google meet check in case you need to download it, or can you just click on a link.
  • Have a few dummy runs using the platform, to make sure that your camera and microphone work. There is nothing more stressful than realising that you are on mute and you have no idea how to turn the microphone on.
  • Many ND individuals find it difficult to have a video call, prior to the interview, as part of your reasonable recommendations ask your interviewer if you can turn the camera off (even if you can turn it off after the initial introductions)
  • On the day make sure you are set up in a quiet room where you know you will not be distracted.

Remember, although the interview process can be challenging, with the correct preparation you will have the confidence and ability to showcase your skillset and impress any future employee.

And most importantly, be you, you are amazing!

If you would like help with your recruitment strategies, or if you are looking for business support, come and take a look at www.exec-pro-va.com we would be delighted to discuss how we can support you and your business.  

All the best for your interview.

Love 

Carol & Team xxx

 

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If you missed our last months blog on recruitment you won’t want to miss this one:

https://exec-pro-va.com/are-your-recruitment-processes-neuro-diverse-friendly/

 

 

 

 

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