Job Interviews, General Careers Information and Links

When you go to an interview, make sure you understand the company, what they do and you can show you understand them.  Do your research.  As shown by the above YouTube video from Fixers. 

Understand the job role you have applied for and make sure you have saved the job description (job duties) and person specification (the experience and qualities they are looking for in a person they want to employ).  Make sure you understand the job description.

Identify at least four skills (things you have learnt and developed, like IT and qualities you have, like parts of your personality and being honest).  Find ones that would be useful for this role, that relate to the job description.  Consider your past experience, your education, any volunteering, anything you can talk about to show your skills and abilities, as well as your qualities/personality.  You need to tell them why they should hire you and make examples relevant to your life.

Practice mock interviews and questions, like tell me about yourself?  Or, why do you want to work here?  Why do you like this role?  What would you like to be doing in 5 years’ time?  Have a few questions for them, like why do they like to work for the company?  What is a typical day like?  Is there any training?

Think about your non-verbal communication like your body language.  Always be polite and do not use slang.

Always dress appropriately, such as to be smart and professional.  Make your hair smart and do not wear too much perfume or jewellery.  Be early to the interview, like ten minutes, having already planned your journey.  Before the interview, look over your application.  Try to manage your anxieties.  Greet them with a firm handshake and make eye contact.  Answer the questions with actual examples from your education and experience, making your answers about you!  Make sure you know who you are meeting and anything you need to take with you, like ID and your qualifications.  Answer the questions you are asked.  Be sensible with real life examples, making sure you share your experience and talk, but not for too long.  Make sure you listen and think through what you are going to say, focusing on work suitable examples.

Different disabilities and learning difficulties can cause the need for a different interview and general recruitment arrangement adjustments, so you may consider declaring your disability.  For those that have a blue badge, there is a need to ensure there is accessible parking near the entrance that can be reserved.  It may be that if you have a mobility disability or you use a wheelchair or a mobility scooter.  You may like to declare your disability to ensure you can easily move around the interview area and get your parking needs secured.  It may be you need to check if they have a lift or the general accessibility of the building.  You may need to ensure they interview you in an accessible location and remember you can claim Access to Work Funding should any modifications be needed once you are hired.

If you have a learning disability, like a Moderate Learning Disability, you may like an advocate to come into the building, or even the interview with you in some cases.  Everyone is different and some people may not want this adjustment but remember, through Access to Work, you may qualify for a job coach or a Support Work and the interview does not need to be different.  You may like information in an alternative format.    

If you have a Specific Learning Difficulty like Dyslexia and, as part of the interview there are tests, you may like to inform them so you get extra time or other arrangements, like a screen reader or computer. 

If you have a hearing impairment, you need to ensure you are facing the interviewer, that you are wearing any hearing aids you have and are positioned well for lip reading.  You may find it easier to tell your employer, so they are aware when asking questions.  You would benefit from an interview in a quiet room with windows closed.  You may need a BSL Interpreter or communications worker.  You may like information in an alternative format. 

If you have Autism, you may like to declare so you can ask for adjustments, such as avoiding hypothetical situation questions, interviews in quiet rooms without background noise, questions that are direct with concrete language and with extra time to answer, with possible work trials to show your abilities and questions in advance in the waiting room to help you prepare.  You should be given details of what to expect, like, if there are any tests in advance to help you prepare. 

If you have sight issues, it may be you need information in alternative formats or need an orientation aid or need to bring an assistance dog.

If you have conditions like ME, it may be you would like the interview at a certain time to avoid travel at busy times. 

General interview resources and job finding links: 

Scope Job Interview clip.  https://youtube/B0VPlqegTKM

Monster interview cheat sheethelp with how to answer common interview questions good to help you prepare and can be used for mock interviews so you need practice.

Barclays Life Skills.  SEN work Skills/Interview skills.

Barclays have a range of interactive employ-ability-work skills, interactive PowerPoint presentations and activities aimed at students 16 and over with SEN.  It covers interview stills using the STAR method, typical questions and videos, CV and career planning, helping with employ-ability skills and identifying strengths.  Very good and free information.  

SCOPE Disability Charity Interview and Applications help for people with disabilities/learning difficulties.

SCOPE Disability Charity Work and Careers help.

Mencap Easy Read Interview Advice.

They cover:

  • Finding a job or work experience
  • Application forms and CVs
  • Going to a job interview
  • Starting work

The Works for Me Toolkit from Speak Up Self-Advocacy. 'Works 4 me' was funded through a grant.  The project aims to support 'Valuing People Now' (2009), by creating a training programme available here.  This project offers an Easy Read set of worksheets for those with learning disabilities.  While quite a few years old, most of the information, like on Access to Work, is still relevant and the worksheet provides a simple introduction to practical employ-ability skills, like timekeeping and getting work read, selecting suitable jobs and understanding important employ-ability tools like CVs and application forms.

The Federation for Learning Disabilities has produced a booklet on Getting a Job, covering finding work for people with learning disabilities with lots of tips. 

My Kind of Future from the Federation of Learning Disabilities.

Offers many worksheets planning for the future.  It is very person-centred, including getting ready for work, getting ready for living independently, planning your own support and understanding direct payments, friendships, getting out and about, staying safe, moving into your own home, health and being healthy, managing money and benefits.  

General careers advice I cling sites with lots of general career videos.

Disability Rights Booklet on ‘Doing Careers Differently’, to help with career planning and provide case studies to help people with disabilities with their careers.

Plotr a General Mainstream Careers Information Site, intended for young people not disability-focused.  It is Government supported.

I Cloudprovides you with lots of different career stories, videos and information for you to explore what career may interest you

Careers Boxoffers a Very good selection of careers videos

CareersOMeter allows you to camp are up to three career options, simple by searching for the career or job role that interests you. For each one you get a simple card next to each other with vital statistics like pay and if the job has growth

BBC Bitesize Careershelps you explore career options based on your favourite subjects

Barclays life skills insightful virtual work experiencewith tasks to complete

 Work experience information from all about careers

National Careers Service - Explore Careers