Aspergers - some interview tips
Job Interview Tips for people with Asperger’s Syndrome and ASD related disorders
Preparation is the key:
Make sure you know as much as possible about the job you are applying for.
Use the internet to research the company, look at company history, and read as much about the company as possible.
Who are the main staff and how long have they been working for that company? What is the reputation of the company like?
What have they achieved in their industry?
Make sure you're as prepared as much as possible for the interview, and make sure you know your CV inside and out.
Have a list of your job experience in the relevant industries and achievements ready (Business and personal achievements).
Have a list of your personal attributes and a list of your strengths ready, e .g hard working, punctual, determined, team player etc.
Have some examples written out in case you are asked about them. Have some examples written out or memorised of situation questions, say five or six different ones e.g. When was there a time when you dealt with a difficult customer and what action did you take and what was the outcome?
Or, was there a time when you had to work out of your comfort zone and what steps did you take to achieve this and what was the outcome?
Have at least one example of a positive situation. Such as, can you tell about a time when you delivered superior customer service or a time where you did something different and why? Was there a time when you exceeded your target and what did you do to achieve this?
Generally, situation questions work like this: 1. What happened? 2. What action did you take? And 3. What was the outcome or end result?
If you prepare for these types of question you will be in a good position to do well.
How to behave in an interview
Try to be as relaxed as possible by doing some breathing exercises and positive self talk before entering into the potential employer’s premises and the interview itself.
Relax and try to treat the interview as if it were just a conversation.
Don’t put too much pressure on yourself in the process of the interview. In many cases it takes a few interviews before you get really good at them and sometimes and it may take quite a number, but so long as you're improving each time and learning something from the process then everything will come together.
Also smile and shake the person’s hand and say "Hello (Person's Name) it’s good to meet you. My name is (Your Name).
Give clear, strong and confident answers when possible and try and be to the point. Try not to go on for too long as people with Asperger’s can and do sometimes.
Try not to repeat yourself too much. When you're talking, say just enough to give a short and direct answer, then stop and let the person interviewing talk or ask their next question.
If the person interviewing you does not talk to you straight away then you can in most cases continue to talk, but only if you have enough relevant points to say. If not stop talking and let the interviewer carry on with the next part of the conversation.
People with Asperger’s and ASD often find it difficult to read the facial expressions or body language of the person interviewing them. You may be able to get around this by giving short and 'to the point' answers and by not repeating yourself as much as possible.
Make sure you make eye contact with the interviewer and learn to do this regularly in the same way you would learn your interview answers like a script before you go in to the interview.
At the end of the interview, thank them for their time and say: ‘I look forward to talking with you soon’ or ’Thank you for your time, I look forward to hearing from you soon’. Try to end summarising verbally your strengths or positive points.