Friday 5 May 2017

Advice for Disabled Interviewees

I was on holiday in Spain for 1st May this year, but just finished on time my contribution for Blogging Against Disablism Day 2017 (#BADD2017). Due to my aphasia I have been unable to read any of the blog-posts until today. For my first read I chose, "Autistic in the Workplace: Ableism and Interviews".

I felt so upset about this writer, StrangerDarkerBetter's experiences that I penned this response:

You are NOT to blame. Employers can be very lazy and quite unprofessional when it comes to interviewing and as such frequently break discrimination laws by asking unlawful questions.

A sensible small to medium employer (SMB) will have sat down themself or a large employer requested that their Human Resources (HR) department look at the requirements of the job. Looking through CVs/resumes the good SMB/HR will cross-refrence with their own check-list of requirements. This should be done 'blinded' - i.e. without reference to gender, sexuality, dis/ability, race or ethnicity, politics, age and appearance (as photos would give the game away). In this way the best qualified &/or experienced interviewees should rise to the top.

There is some evidence that employees who are considered disabled are more productive and more loyal to their employer. I think I also read that disabled folk take less sick leave compared to able bodies (but this obviously excludes chronically sick & disabled folk who generally need more time off for medical appointments, sickness, etc.)

Ultimately, SMBs need to feel that you can be part of their team, that you & they can work together. This unfortuantely is the 'real world' and success does come down to personalities and their hang-ups & prejudices. However, if an employer does not want me, I certainly do not want to work for them.

I am not an expert however I have a suggestion: maybe have a short spiel about your condition, perhaps including a dignified appeal to look behind your neuro-atypical aspects. Be forthright about your atypicality and what advantages may arise from your joining the team.

Please do not feel despondent. Treat every so-called 'failed' interview as a run-through for the job you are ultimately going to get.

From the bottom of my heart I iterate that YOU are not to blame. Take heart! And the very best of luck for that ultimate position. %)))

I do so hope I have not been politically incorrect and that folk will accept the sincerity of my attempt at trying to help.


The reader can puruse this year's submissions &/or previous years' archives for BADD here.

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