Recently I went on a job interview and I thought it would be good to share my experience. For people with a disability such as Multiple Sclerosis, a job interview can be intimidating. For someone like me, who has visible physical disability, it can provoke feelings of anxiety and fear.
In the case of my most recent interview, I felt anxiety about how others would judge me based on my disability status. Despite all the accepting people in the world, I admit I always assume the worst. I’m working on changing this outlook, but it’s hard. Thankfully my experiences in life favor this change. My interview went really well and once the questions started, my only focus was on my professional experience and knowledge. This didn’t happen by chance though. I took the time to prepare for my interview. Being prepared kept me focused on my abilities, knowledge, and experience.
There are a few things I’ve found helpful when it comes to a job interview. Here they are:
Know your rights. Be informed as to what an interviewer can and cannot ask you about your condition. The National Multiple Sclerosis Society offers a great summary of illegal and legal interview questions.
Be prepared for your interview. Study commonly asked interview questions. Potential questions can be found through a simple Internet search. Practice your answers out loud. Learn about the organization. Check out their website and read up on what they do. Don’t forget to prepare a list of questions for your interviewers as well.
Although it’s difficult not to worry about how you’ll be perceived by others, preparing for the interview can help you focus on your abilities, not your disability. And in case you are wondering about the outcome of my interview; I got the job!