Interviewing Myself – Disclosing Autism During a Job Interview

Transcript thanks to my AMAZING volunteer, Kara!!!

Hi guys.  NeuroRebel here.  This week I wanted to talk about coming out autistic during your job interview, the interview process, and the journey to being openly autistic at work because it can be a minefield.

First, I want to say that this might not be right for everyone.  There are just some situations where unfortunately, for one reason or another, it just may not be safe for someone to be openly autistic because there are still plenty of stigma and misinformation out there.  But those of us who are able to be openly autistic, it’s important because we do need to correct that misinformation.  And just by existing and being honest and open with the world, we have the opportunity to do that.  So, I wanted to share with you about me being openly autistic during my job interview process.  You may not want to disclose maybe in the first round of interviews.  I would say second round or later in the interview process might be more appropriate, and that is because of the unfortunate amount of misinformation that is out there.  Unfortunately, when you mention to an employer “I am autistic” or you mention “I have a disability and I need accommodations” their mind may jump to “Oh, is this person working in my company going to make my job harder?  Is it going to be difficult for me to hire this person compared to someone else?” That’s sad, but it’s a harsh reality.

When you do, in your interview process, come out and say, “I need accommodations to be able to do my job effectively” … when you say it just like that, you’re only asking “This is what I need from you.”  I try to lead with “This is how I show up to the workplace.  This is who I am as an employee.  These are my strengths, and what I can do for you and your organization and your team.  But, in order to be able to be the most effective and efficient employee, these are the things I need from you…” and then I make my ask.  “I am autistic.  For me, that means I have sensory processing differences.  I can get migraines from fluorescent lighting.  I am really overly sensitive to body temperature and my body doesn’t regulate temperature well.  I work best in a quiet environment with very little distractions.  But, because of this, I am highly self-sufficient, and when left on my own to just quietly do my work, I am one of the most productive employees you’ll ever meet.  I promise.  I just really need from you the space in order to do my work efficiently.  The other thing that I will ask from you is, so that I can keep track of everything in the day: if you have tasks that you need to give me, I may grab something to write with and/or my laptop (because I can type a lot faster than I can write) and that will make sure that I get all of the details – because I can manage and control all of the details as long as I get them down somewhere, either in the computer or on paper.  I need your help giving me time to get everything in writing since I do have difficulty holding those details in my mind; but I guarantee you, I can keep track of all of them if you let me do it my way.”

So those are just a few, or a couple examples of asking for accommodations in a job interview.  It’s kind of awkward and weird interviewing myself.  My history is actually in recruiting and hiring, so I do have experience hiring people, but I don’t usually hire myself, so that’s kind of weird.

Thank you, guys.  If you want to see me hire myself and do more of these mock interview videos, give me a thumbs up and I’ll do more of them.  I need some practice, I feel like, on interviewing myself.  It’s weird.  Thank you, guys, so much for watching.  I’ll talk to you next week.  Bye!  Don’t forget to subscribe.  I put out new videos pretty much every Wednesday.  Bye!

5 thoughts on “Interviewing Myself – Disclosing Autism During a Job Interview

  1. Good points. By the way, I appreciate that you’re putting up transcripts now. As much as I lose some of the experience by not seeing and hearing you, I also tend to be very, very busy, and I can read faster than I can watch, so this makes it less likely that I’ll skip a post.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Hi Christia,

    I live in the UK, but I believe the anti-discrimination laws are the pretty much the same in the US as UK. The reason I say this is that I recently had a professional job advocate to help me get a job, and he advised to leave the disclosure until after the offer has been received. The theory is that once you have been accepted through the interview process, and have the job, they are much less likely to change their minds.

    I followed that advice with my new company and waited until I had the offer in my hands before I mentioned it. I am openly autistic to my colleagues there as well.

    Just a thought…

    Cheers,

    Richie

    Liked by 1 person

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