Disability Disclosure and Interviewing Techniques

For most job seekers, the interview is the “make it or break it” point.  Remember that you have about a minute to make a good first impression, and first impressions mean everything at this stage of the employment process.  Disclosure of your disability is critical at this point if accommodations, such as access to the building, are necessary to do the job.  If you know the location for the interview is not accessible to you, contact the person who will be hiring you and request an alternate location.

If you do not know if the location is accessible, call and ask questions about accessible parking spaces, or whether the building has an elevator.  It is better to deal with these situations ahead of time, rather than 15 minutes before your interview.  This also shows the prospective employer that you are able to deal with these situations effectively.

During the interview you may want to disclose your disability if you have not done so.  Although the employer can’t legally discuss your disability until after you are hired, you can score points by being up front about any accommodations you might need while also correcting any misconceptions an employer might have related to your condition.

Remember to talk about your abilities, not your disabilities.  Employers need qualified individuals to fill positions.  Find a way to show that you are that person.  Sell them on what you can do, and demonstrate how a disability can be minimized once you’re hired.  Be positive about yourself and be honest.

For more information contact GST Michigan Works! at 800-285-WORKS.