Market conditions currently favor those who are actively looking for work—sign-on bonuses, incentives, and increasing wages are becoming standard in employers’ attempts to fill vacant positions. And while they might not be fully equitable for visually impaired individuals (only 30 percent of the visually impaired population are employed according to the April jobs report from the Bureau of Labor of Statistics), it’s best to prepare and equip yourself with the skills to tackle an in-person, phone, or virtual interview when the time comes. Here are a few tips to leave a lasting impression:
Once you agree to an interview, start researching the position and the employer. From their social media presence and company website to Glassdoor reviews and news articles, try to soak up as much information as possible. The more information you have, the better positioned you’ll be to ask (and answer!) thoughtful questions throughout the interview. When you ask more questions, you’ll appear more engaged and passionate about the role—plus, you’ll have more control over the direction of the interview.
Positive First Impressions
For any interview, it’s vital to make a positive first impression by greeting the interviewers and introducing yourself with a quick recap of who you are and why you’re interested in the position. By showing passion and enthusiasm for the role from the beginning, it’ll be much easier throughout the rest of the interview to prove why you’re a good fit.
Prepare and Practice Talking Points
Don’t prepare for an interview by memorizing answers to questions that may or may not be asked. Instead, consider commonly asked questions then prepare general points that will help you field a variety of questions. This will help you to be more genuine and authentic rather than sounding monotonous or robotic. Plus, don’t be afraid to prepare talking points for questions that might target a weak spot of yours, such as a gap in your resume. This will allow you to arrive to the interview with full confidence and prepared for anything.
Discuss Your Disability
As a visually impaired candidate, you face different challenges than the typical worker. During the interview process, it’s best to disclose your disability, describe it, and discuss how you work with it to succeed in your job. Nowadays, employers can accommodate most jobs for qualified visually impaired candidates—they just need to know so they can properly adjust.
Dress for Success
While it might be harder during a phone interview, it’s important to convince your interviewers that you’re engaged and listening. This might be accomplished by sitting upright and leaning in toward the interviewer to visually show engagement. Dress for the interview—even if it’s a phone call—and smile when speaking to ensure you sound engaged and interested in the role. Also, make sure you get a good night’s rest before interviewing.
Before leaving the interview or hanging up the phone, thank them and ask when you might hear back about the position. Within 24 hours, be sure to send a thank you message through an appropriate channel to each person you interviewed with to reaffirm your passion for the role. If you can, try to personalize the message with a small tidbit of information from the interview.
While important, nailing an interview is only one part of the job search. Our upcoming blogs will feature more helpful tips and tutorials—from searching for jobs to professional networking—to help you or someone you know find a career they love.