12 May

Tips for the person with autism
presenting at the job interview

Many high functioning persons with autism have the skills required but experience limited success for gaining a position in the employment world. Their resumes may indicate the right person for the position but they do not advance beyond the screening interview. This is critical because many interviewers make their judgment within the first 30 seconds. Here are some points that may help.

– Remember to smile. This makes you look self-confident and happy to be there.

– Dress neatly. Take care of personal grooming, have a good haircut.

– Look at the interviewer. If you have trouble looking at the eye, look at his/her nose.

– Nod your head at appropriate times to show you are listening.

– Don’t interrupt the interviewer. Listen until the speaker is finished.

– Sit up straight. Keep your feet flat on the floor. Don’t rock, shake, or jiggle your legs or feet.

– With a friend, teacher, or mentor, practice the interview, answering commonly asked questions.

– During practice, pay attention to body language and the tone and volume of your voice. You’re your interviewing mentor, rehearse the correct body language and voice.

– Practice the handshake. It should be firm, but not too strong.

There are a million questions that the interviewer could ask. You can’t be prepared for everything. But practice interviewing will prepare you for most answering styles and body language.

Adapted from an article by Yvonne Fast, Author and autism advocate. Published in Autism Spectrum News, Spring, 2014, Vol. 6, No. 4

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