The Ninth Day of APH CareerConnect: 9 Ways to Wow an Interviewer As a Job Seeker Who Is Blind or Visually Impaired

Joe Strechay, with his white cane

As we continue the 12 Days of APH CareerConnect with our ninth day. The ninth day brings you our 9 Ways to Wow an Interviewer. You have read about getting a resume ready, and it is time to wow an interviewer with 9 great tips and a few resources.

9 Ways to Wow an Interviewer

9. Connect with current and past employees from the organization, and be prepared to ask appropriate questions about the organization. With past employees, be aware that information might not be current or accurate (depending on why and when they left the organization).

8. Create a connection with the interviewer. Listen to the interviewer and be observant, connecting with an interviewer can set you apart from the crowd. A simple internet search might also provide a little input into the interviewer, but you are walking the line between research and stalking (don’t be a stalker!).

7. Dress to impress, as people will not score you lower for dressing more conservatively or appropriately. You can always dress down in the future, as you want to show an organization that you are serious about the job. As a person who is blind or visually impaired, it can be a good idea to get visual input from others who are not blind or visually impaired. I know I ask for input, make sure my suit is looking sharp.

6. Research the current news and trends around the business, field, and their competition. Knowing the right terms and language can show your knowledge and interest. You can read a past blog post about employer research.

5. There are common questions asked during a job interview, check out the lesson on this in the Job Seeker’s Toolkit in your free APH CareerConnect account. These questions can get you started, but you better be prepared to answer the “Tell me a little bit about yourself” question. This question is your opportunity to sell yourself with information such as skills, strengths, accomplishments, work experience, volunteer experience, and even addressing the basics about your disability and overcome it. The fact is you should address your disability around the implications on your work, but be prepared to explain how you overcome it. Use practical terms and easy to understand language. Don’t go all medical on them.

4. Ask the employer what they value in their employees, and be prepared to explain how you would bring this to the position. Do the research prior, as you might be able to find this out online, by emailing, or making a few calls.

3. Know the skills, requirements, and experience mentioned in the job description, and practice covering related facts and experience of your own for the interview. Role playing with an experienced interviewer can really benefit. Try starting with someone you know, and then see if you can find someone you don’t know as well for a more accurate experience. Reach out to contacts and friends to find this person. No one has ever told me that this was not beneficial to their interview preparation. This provides an opportunity to practice and become more comfortable.

2. One of the most important and toughest things you can do is be comfortable with who you are. This seems simple, but this is so difficult. Most people battle with their own insecurities. We all have insecurities, but we cannot let them impact our employment. Be self-aware, understand your insecurities, and comfort level prior to impacting your employment and that big interview. As I said, we all have insecurities, but we don’t have to let them influence our road to employment.

1. Ask the interviewer if they have any other questions or concerns about you or how you would perform the job. You want to create a level of trust between you and the interviewer. Make sure that they are comfortable with you, your talents, and your disability. An employer is not going to hire someone they don’t trust, and providing appropriate disclosure is part of creating the trust and comfort. Be prepared to explain your technology in practical terms, and bring some devices to demonstrate. I am not saying to bring your desktop, but providing a hands on understanding can make a difference.

These 9 tips are just a small amount of the possible considerations for being successful in an interview. Take the time to read some of APH CareerConnect’s other suggestions in our Job Seeker’s Toolkit, the Conducting a Successful Job Search, and the Interview Tips article.

At the top of the page, you can choose to track the CareerConnect Blog to get notifications about new blog posts and posted comments. Don’t miss the rest of our 12 Days of APH CareerConnect for Christmas, the holiday season, and the New Year. Take the time to let us know your best tip in the comments below.