A job interview can make many people feel anxious or nervous. You may get butterflies in your stomach or have sweaty palms. This is a normal reaction, but we can help you control those feelings and prepare for your first job interview. Check out our five interview tips for people with disability and find the confidence you need for your next interview.

  1. Choose when to talk about your disability  

In Australia, you can choose when to tell an employer about your disability. You could tell them about your disability:

  • Before the job interview
  • At the interview
  • Or when they offer you the role.

Always let the company know about your disability if you need help in the workplace or support to attend the interview. You never have to share specific medical or personal information about a disability.

  1. Focus on your abilities 

You can’t spell disability without ability! When managers hire new workers, they don’t just look at practical skills. They also look at your personality and how you communicate with other people. These can include:

  • Having a friendly attitude
  • Being on time
  • Wanting to learn new skills

Your skills are something you should write down before your interview so you know what you are good at and can talk about them in your interview. Make sure you explain how you have used those skills in other jobs or at school. Maybe your disability has helped you gain some of these skills? That is something to be proud of, especially in a first interview.

  1. Map out how you will get there

Part of preparing for an interview is planning how you will get there. Whether you are going with your carer, driving yourself or using public transport you need to know:

  • Where the interview will be held (the address)
  • How to get there (car, train, bus)
  • Is the location accessible and does it meet your needs (ramps, elevator)

Knowing this information will help you feel less stressed. Be sure to allow extra time for traffic and delays.

Afford’s SLES and DES services offer travel training to help you feel ready to tackle every new adventure. Our Penrith school leavers combined their travel training with a VIP visit at Sydney trains.

  1. Practise, practise, practise! 

Practising interview skills is a fantastic way to prepare for an interview. As a general guide, some common interview tips are:

  • Walk into the interview with your head up and shoulders back
  • Let the interviewer lead with handshaking – if they hold out their hand, shake it
  • Sit where they guide you to sit
  • Maintain eye contact as best you can
  • Place your hands in your lap or under the table if you are nervous

Monique, who attends Afford’s School Leaver Employment Supports (SLES), has shown the that practising can help you get ready for a job interview.

  1. Dress the part

The clothes you choose for the interview should be clean, neat and in good condition (no holes or tears.) Do not wear casual clothes like jeans, t-shirts and sneakers.

  • Men should wear button-up shirts, dress pants and dress shoes
  • Women can wear a knee length or longer dress or skirt, blouse, or dress pants

You should always choose clothes that make you feel confident because when you feel good on the inside, it shows on the outside!

Afford’s employment services will have you feeling confident and interview-ready in no time.

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