Here are a few tips for neurodivergent individuals preparing for a job interview:
- Practice: Consider practicing your answers to common interview questions with a friend or family member. This can help you to feel more prepared and confident during the actual interview. If you have a therapist, role-play the job interview and explore the thoughts and feelings that came up for you during the practice interview.
- Know your strengths: Think about your unique strengths and how they might be relevant to the job you are applying for. Be prepared to discuss specific examples of how you have used your strengths in previous roles or projects. If this is your first job, discuss specific examples of how you have used your strengths at home and in the community.
- Communicate your needs: If you have any accommodations that you need in order to participate in the interview process (e.g., extra time, a quiet space, or assistive technology), be sure to communicate these needs in advance. Many employers are willing to make accommodations to ensure that the interview process is fair and accessible for all candidates.
- Be yourself: It is important to be authentic and genuine during the interview process. This may involve explaining how your neurodiversity has affected your experiences or how you approach tasks and problem-solving. This can help the employer to understand your unique perspective and how you might contribute to the team.
- Prepare for common challenges: If you have difficulty with social interactions or communication, it may be helpful to prepare in advance for common challenges that you may face during the interview. For example, you might practice maintaining eye contact or finding ways to communicate your ideas effectively.
Overall, the most important thing is to be prepared and confident in your abilities. By focusing on your strengths and communicating your needs, you can set yourself up for success in the job interview process. And if for some reason you do not get the job you applied for, do not worry! Keep applying and practicing your interview skills and you will eventually find a job that fits your neurodivergent brain style. Remember: practice makes progress!