Acing the Interview – Top 10 Tips for All Abilities
Landing the right job for you and your skills
Interviewing for any job can be daunting—from clicking ‘Submit’ on your application, to mastering the right grip strength for your handshakes. But there are plenty of excellent tips and tricks from folks of all abilities who have endured every part of the interview process, and landed the job.
Read our Top 10 Tips for acing your next interview!
- Don’t be afraid to brag about yourself a little! When completing your resume or application, highlight your best work-related attributes.
- Practice some possible interview answers beforehand by thinking what questions might be asked of you.
- Wear something that makes you feel happy and confident. Make sure it’s clean and appropriate, without any uncomfortable tags or accessories that may distract you.
- Do your homework. Make sure you research the company or organization thoroughly and come prepared with at least 3 questions for your interviewer (example: What would make a person successful in this role? What’s your favorite part of working here? What new programs might be in the works?)
- Look up directions to your interview in advance, check the traffic at the same time as you’ll be going the day before, and even go for a test drive! If you have a car, it never hurts to bring printed directions with you, just in case your GPS doesn’t work.
- Arrive at least 15 minutes early! Showing that you’re punctual and can plan ahead will speak volumes to your interviewer. If you use a wheelchair or walker, consider searching the company’s address beforehand using a street view setting to locate ramps, automatic doors, and disabled parking spots.
- Be friendly with your interviewer and the front desk staff. Your interview starts when you enter the building.
- Come prepared to talk about at least one honest, positive, distinguishing attribute about yourself that’s not on your resume (example: I have a daily rating system of my own performance, so I can keep track of my productivity.) Make sure what you say about yourself is true; it should convince them to be a good trait because it convinces you, too.
- It can feel uncomfortable sometimes, but making eye contact and shaking hands show your interviewer that you’re interested in the role and engaged in the interview.
- At the end of your interview, ask the person you met with if there’s anything else you can answer for them, thank them with a handshake, and follow up with a thank-you email the next day. It makes you stick out for your courtesy and determination!
Remember, in the end, interviewing is a numbers game. You may land the job during your first interview, you may have to come back for more interviews with other people, or you may have to start the process again elsewhere. Look at each interview and application as an opportunity to grow and learn, and remember that you are fully capable of finding the right job in which your skills will make a difference.
Written by: Abigail Guerdat, Communications & Grants Associate, Easterseals Bay Area
Tips contributed to in part by Reed Epstein, CEO & co-founder of Smart Art Box and Ensemble Box; Marc Gendelman, Physical therapist; Aasiyah Ghazi, Leadership consultant; Donna Kirven, Associate Director of People Success, ESBA; Stacey Murphy, Associate Director of Family Engagement & Support Programs, ESBA; Paul Tauger, attorney at law; Stuart K. Tubis, attorney specializing in ADA law.
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