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Getting a Job: Building Your Interview Skills

Filling out a job application and creating a resume are only two parts to getting a job. Another important part is how you interview. People with disabilities communicate in many different ways, but it all means the same at the end.  Some may have limited verbal communication, but may use a speech board, an interpreter, or another form of communication. Making a good impression during a job interview doesn’t only include how you answer questions.  Here are some other ways to shine during the job interview process.

It’s common to feel nervous and anxious during an interview.  Know your rights in an interview. There are questions that are illegal for employers to ask, including questions about your disability, your marital status, your age (unless there is an age requirement for the job, then they can ask you if you are over a certain age), or if you have children.

An employer can ask if you will be able to do a job with reasonable accommodations. Reasonable accommodations mean that you can do the job using some adaptations or piece of equipment (assistive technology). For example, using a speech recognition program to type documents on a computer or using a stool to sit behind a counter instead of standing.  You should let the employer know that you can do the job with reasonable accommodations if they ask but then talk in detail about it after you are hired. 

After the interview, it is good manners to send a thank you note to each person that interviewed you.  The note does not need to be lengthy but should acknowledge that someone took the time to talk with you and should remind him or her that you are interested and available to answer any more questions.  This can also go a long way to helping your resume float to the top of the pile!

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