Given the fact I have spent most of this year applying for jobs and attending interviews, I thought it would be prudent to draw on my experiences to provide some tips and advice for anyone that struggles with the less than pleasant ordeal of job hunting.
Getting an interview is actually the hard part, but being able to perform and express why you are the outstanding candidate to any prospective employer may prove to be highly problematic to just about anyone, let alone people on the spectrum.
There is no other way to address the nature of job interviews other than they are tough and going to require you to act with conviction and purpose in an incredibly interrogating atmosphere. The only thing you can do in terms of preparation is to draw on yours and other people’s experiences to work out strategies that could make the entire process that much smoother.
Below are some of the basic things you can consider if you have a job interview lined up and how they could ease away any fears and anxiety you may have leading up to the main event.
Research the Company
Having a strong and rounded understanding of the company that will be interviewing you means you are going to be prepared for any questions they decide to throw at you. Showing a keen interest in how they operate and what they currently have in the pipeline shows you are genuinely interested in them and would like to take up employment.
It’s all about creating safeguards so that nothing throws you off balance when you are interrogated Alan Sugar style. You are likely to know your own life story back to front so less prep time should be spent going over your previous experience and Education. You should instead dive deep into the inner workings of the prospective company and really understand who the hell they actually are.
Relax and Rationalize
Don’t worry if you cannot answer a question or believe you have spoken out of turn, we are all human and all highly susceptible to making mistakes. The interviewer should understand that and will always be looking at how you respond when you are evidently struggling. Maybe add humour to the situation or fight back with an even more detailed response that catches their attention immediately.
I don’t think they are going to be looking for a flawless performance, especially if you are applying for an entry level position. You simply need to demonstrate you possess a productive personality that will fit in with the team they currently have in place. If you have any conditions that may impair your ability to put on a sales performance, then tell them beforehand as employers cannot discriminate against people that have certain difficulties with human interaction.
Bring a Portfolio
I always find that bringing along some form of portfolio is a great way to help you re-establish composure if you start to falter. You can use previous work as a guide for you to talk through what you have done before and how it could apply to the position you are going for. This is your comfort blanket which will provide reassurance that you are capable and have achieved notable things in the past.
When all said and done, employers just want to know you can do the job. If you have a pile of work that demonstrates your capability, this will be more significant than people who have a fun and quirky personality but without previous experience. Basically, experience trumps everything else.
Plan Something Fun
This could literally be something as simple as grabbing a coffee from McDonalds. Having something to look forward to will make the interview seem like one small part of the day rather than something that is all consuming. If you get anxious in interviews, then maybe some form of exercise could be a great way to dishevel some of the negative energy that has been engulfing your body and mind.
You should always reward yourself when you have undertaken something you find difficult. Job interviews are a huge undertaking and can really drain people throughout their duration. Its all about finding very simple ways to channel your mind in a positive way and balancing the day with a healthy dosage of both important and recreational activities.