Interview Tips for Autistic Adults

Going to a job interview can seem scary, but being prepared will help you feel more comfortable. It’s a good idea to write down some of the things you want to say and then practice saying them to a friend. You can also practice in a mirror or with a webcam to see how you look and sound. Here are some more suggestions from your friends at Ability Life Solutions to help autistic adults with job interview tips.

Successful Job Interview Advice

Be on time.

Plan ahead of time so that you will get to the interview location at least 10-15 minutes early. This will give you time to adjust to the new environment and prepare yourself. On top of that, interviewers are always looking for punctual employees, so this can set you apart!

Bring several copies of the documents needed.

Organize your resume, transcript, certificates, and any other documents you need ahead of time. You will look prepared and confident when you have the paperwork ready to go when it’s asked for. If you’re not sure where to start when writing your resume, this article has fantastic suggestions.

Greet the interviewer with a handshake and a smile.

Try to make eye contact when you say hello. If looking someone in the eyes makes you uncomfortable, look at their forehead when greeting them. They will think you’re looking at their eyes! If possible, learn their name ahead of time so you can greet them by name. 

Make small talk.

Don’t expect to jump right into the job interview. Be ready to make light conversation as needed. You can prepare something to say ahead of time if you are nervous about chit-chatting. You can also get ideas for things to say by looking around the room. Photographs and knick-knacks the interviewer owns are great conversation starters.

Bring something to write with.

You will feel more prepared if you have a pen and notepad (or a stylus and handheld device) to write notes on. This can also help keep your hands busy if you are feeling nervous. If you think of a question while the interviewer is talking, you can write it down in your notes so you don’t forget.

Highlight your positive attributes.

Be ready to talk about yourself and the things you can contribute to this job. Don’t forget to mention your willingness to learn!

It’s up to you whether you want to mention that you’re an autistic adult interviewing for the position. You can share the information, but you don’t need to if you aren’t comfortable. 

Successful Job Interview on the spectrum

Listen carefully to the interviewer.

Be sure you understand the question. If you don’t, it’s perfectly OK to ask for clarification (and that’s much better than making up an answer)! Don’t be embarrassed if you’re nervous—the important thing is to be honest and to pay attention.

Close on a positive note.

Ask what the next steps are—this makes it clear to the interviewer that you are interested in the position. Additionally, finish the conversation by thanking the interviewer for their time and the opportunity to speak with them. 

After the interview has ended, it’s a good idea to follow up with a thank you message. A brief video message is an easy way to let the interviewer know that you appreciate the chance to talk to them. You can also express how excited you are about the possibility of working for them. This little positive reminder often will help set you apart from the crowd!

Whatever happens, don’t get discouraged. Remember to stay positive and use these interview tips for autistic adults. Your friends at Ability Life Solutions are rooting for you—and more than that, we can help! Our free video library is packed with resources to help you in your job search. If you need more help with interview preparation, schedule a consultation with us and we’ll work to get you ready.

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