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Autism Employee: The Trick to Getting Past the Interview

Updated: Mar 6, 2020

The biggest problem about the job interview process is that it is so focused on communication skills and socialization skills. This puts adults on the autistic spectrum at a disadvantage.



Challenges

Interviewing for a job can cause anxiety and stress for an individual with autism that impacts their performance.


The biggest problem about the job interview process is that it is so focused on communication skills and socialization skills. This puts adults on the autistic spectrum at a disadvantage.


Some individuals will find it difficult to give the appropriate eye contact during the interview. They may freeze up and give one word answers or take too long to answer at all. This can happen when an individual is so worried about giving the wrong answer.


If the employer asks too many abstract or opened ended questions, this can lead to confusion and lack of engagement. On the other hand, questions like, “Tell me about yourself” may result in the potential candidate providing them with their life story starting at a young age.


Or they may answer a yes-or-no question that’s supposed to be open-ended with a literal “yes” or “no” answer.


The employer not understanding autism may believe that their behavior during the interview process is an indication of how they will be in job. When this happens very qualified candidates don’t get past the interview.


So, how can an individual with autism get past the interview?


10 Most Commonly Asked Interview Questions


1 Tell Me About Yourself

2 Why Should We Hire You?

3 What Is Your Greatest Strength?

4 What Is Your Greatest Weakness?

5 Why Do You Want To Work For Us?

6 Why Did You Leave Your Last Job?

7 What Is Your Greatest Accomplishment?

8 Describe A Difficult Work Situation And What You Did To Overcome It

9 Where Do You See Yourself In 5 Years?

10 Do You Have Any Questions For Me (the interviewer)?



Imitate, Simulate, and Apply


As an adult, you want to make sure that you are prepared for the interview. Most people prepare by showering, combing their hair and putting on their best outfit. These of course are all important. But, the real preparation needs to be placed on the interview questions. Think of it like a final exam or an impromptu quiz.


You want to write down each one of these questions and come up with the best answer for each. Keeping the answer to a minimum of 2- 3 sentences. Of course, there may be follow questions to each of your answers so be prepared to elaborate if asked. Also, the list above are the most common there may be questions that are not listed.



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