Going to interviews and getting work experience
Your first step into the job market could be getting work experience. Try these steps:
- Go back to your list of jobs and employers. Contact the employers directly to check if they offer work experience and other opportunities like apprenticeships and what you need to do to apply. Alternatively, you can search for apprenticeships, traineeships or internships.
- Adapt your CV for every job you apply for to fit the entry requirements. You may also need to write a cover letter. Your personal statement might help you here.
- Tell the employer about your visual impairment in your application. You don’t have to legally do this but most employers will appreciate your honesty and forward thinking. It also helps them to make sure that they make reasonable adjustments to their recruitment process so that it is accessible to you. The more notice you give the potential employer about how they can make adjustments, the easier it can be.
Tell your potential employer what equipment you need for the interview
You might need to do a written task in the interview, or use a computer. Let the employer know beforehand about any adjustments you require and be proactive in overcoming barriers. Maybe you could bring your own equipment with the software you need, or let them know about free software such as NVDA they may need to install ahead of time to help you.
Prepare for your interview:
- Look at the entry requirements for the job. How are you going to convince the employer that you can do it?
- How are you going to convince them that they can benefit from hiring someone who is vision impaired?
- Practice your responses out loud, it will help you prepare the answers.
- Try to think like an employer. If you were them, what kind of questions would you ask?
- Think about what you are going to wear and how you want to present yourself.
After the interview, make a list of the things that went well or could improve the next time. Update your action plan and set new objectives. Include at least 3 positive statements about how employers can benefit from your vision impairment.
Practice for your interview
Say things out loud, for example, what you are good at, how you would tackle a problem. Explain how an employer could benefit from your vision impairment. Practice talking about your vision impairment, and turning it into a strength - how does it make your uniquely qualified for the role?
More help with writing a cover letter and going to interviews:
- Tips for CVs and covering letters
- Top 10 interview questions
- Job interviews and tests
- Search interview questions
- Barclays Life Skills
If you live in London, RSBC can help you:
Through a combination of one-to-one mentoring and interactive group workshops, we help you build the skills you’ll need for job-hunting all the way through to employment.
Call 0203 198 0225 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Published: October 2017