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Whenever I go for a interview employers prejudge me - how can I be more confident?

debrasibs88debrasibs88 Member Posts: 3 Listener
edited April 2018 in Employment and careers
Social prejudice towards disabled people. 
I find that whenever I go for a interview employers prejudge me before I even sit down to be interviewed. I had a partial hemiplegia at birth at affected my right side, fortunately for me my family encouraged me attempt also anything an able bodied person can do. However I struggle to prove this to everyone else that I can actually do it. 

Can you please advise how I can be confident in myself and not try to prove people wrong that I can do what they say I cant? 

Replies

  • JennysDadJennysDad Member Posts: 2,308 Pioneering
    Hello Debra (?) @debrasibs88 and a very warm welcome to the community to a clearly plucky lady.
    I don't have answers immediately, though I may have something to offer once I've got to know you a little better, but there will be other members here who will be able to relate directly to what you are saying and feeling. Bear with us and folks will start to get back to you once your message filters through.
    In the meanwhile, if there is anything you would like to ask us or if there is anything more about yourself that you'd care to tell us, don't hesitate to do so. It all helps.
    Very warmest best wishes - and respect - to you,
    Richard
  • Sam_AlumniSam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,731 Disability Gamechanger
    Welcome to the community @debrasibs88
    Im sorry to hear you are struggling with this, you might like to read about our SUpport to Work team who can offer  support you with:
    • employability skills
    • CV guidance
    • interview techniques


    Scope
    Senior online community officer
  • Sam_AlumniSam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,731 Disability Gamechanger
    We have lots of information about employment on the website that might help too.
    Scope
    Senior online community officer
  • Sam_AlumniSam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,731 Disability Gamechanger
    @pia_scope can you offer any other support?
    Scope
    Senior online community officer
  • pia_scopepia_scope Scope Support to Work service Posts: 41 Courageous
    [email protected]

    I'm sorry to hear about your situation.
    Unfortunately there is employers that might prejudge or maybe just don't know how to approach a disabled person. 
    The good thing is that you have an encouraging family and that you yourself seem to have come up with a good solution by expressing a wish to build up your confidence.
    That's a great approach!
    There is a lot of free confidence building exercises accessible online and it's all about finding the ones that works for you.
    Don't expect any over night miracles but with time and bit by bit your confidence has the potential to grow by practising the chosen confidence building exercises.

    Another thing that comes to mind is that maybe it could be a good idea to disclose your disability in the cover letter?
    In that way a potential employer would be aware of your disability in advance and might therefor be better prepared to conduct the interview.


    I hope that you soon be on your way to become a more confident person, and remember, the only person that you have to prove something to is to yourself.


    I wish you all the best!

    Kind Regards
    Pia



    Pia
    Scope Employment Advisor
    Phone: 0300 222 5742
    Email: [email protected]
    www.scope.org.uk/supporttowork

  • MarkinsuttonMarkinsutton Member Posts: 83 Pioneering
    Sadly prejudging people comes with part of the interview I have been on the other side of the fence and being the interviewer and found myself having to make difficult choices and those who do not come across confident in the interview has been the deciding factor. I also used to run interview workshops when I worked at the college and one thing I used to say to people is use your disability as something to break the ice. An interviewer isn't really allow to ask but it doesn't stop you bringing it up. my most beneficial part of my disabilities is my Dyspraxia many see this as a bad thing but I am able to turn it around and make it a good thing of being organised and having a structure to my work. employers then think its a good thing to hire someone with a disability 

    If you can contact your job centre or if you know someone who has conducted interviews speak to them or get onto a practice interview workshops. It does help. It was Barclays life skills on the TV who used to fund the workshops I did at the college I worked at. You can get onto these causes for free. remember all interviews are good interviews even if you don't get the job. if possible get feedback but sometimes the feedback can be very basic and doesn't help but the experience of the interview will help you. 
  • debrasibs88debrasibs88 Member Posts: 3 Listener
    @Sam_Scope @pia_scope @Markinsutton
    I’m really touched by your prompt responses! I have been looking for workshops like you’ve mentioned near home but there aren’t any I’ve found. I’m currently employed but my biggest challenge is taking that next careers step as a project manager, unfortunately I do not drive and I do not qualify for PIP at the higher rate which means  I cannot afford to drive, most roles within project support( that I have seen so far) require someone that can drive. 
    I have also considered disclosing my disability on my CV but I was talked out of my old boss. I feel it’s almost a shock when employers meet me in person as I’ve heard that I don’t sound how I look? I’m not sure I know what that means.
     I tend to loose that confidence when people offer too much help that I wouldn’t have asked for, not that I don’t need it. I just like to try things out first before hand. 
    @Markinsutton how do I address the elephant in th room (disability) I’m an interview? 
  • MarkinsuttonMarkinsutton Member Posts: 83 Pioneering
    Hi @debrasibs88 that elephant in the room is always difficult one. Without knowing you personally it hard to say. from what I can tell you have some visual disability as well as maybe some hidden ones.  For me I always put it on a application but never in the CV unless it was included as a positive light for example under hobbies I have put before 'I volunteer at a disability sports club, having a disability myself enables me to get the most from the members who attend' 

    I also wear hearing aids and I have said before, 'You may notice I have hearing aids but this doesn't stop me from doing anything anyone else can do, I may need people to slow down or repeat themselves but I have found that in the pass if explained people I come in contact with are quite understanding'. 

    Another thing I can suggest is there must be something that is knocking your confidence and I bet it is that is the elephant. Think to yourself what would I want an interviewer to hear me say if I was the person who was interviewing me. For example anxiety can be a big one for people who have disabilities so by saying stuff like. I suffer with anxiety as you may have guessed. I overcome this by planning jobs I need to do and this makes me a super organised person because I always have had to learn ways to deal with every situation. by acknowledging your limits for a better word it highlights to a protectional employer or position within your company what you do to address them. 
  • peterpetepeterpete Member Posts: 37 Courageous
    Of course you're a bit nervous but they too are too they are humans and are following stricken guidelines in dealing with disabled people.there not there to judge there treating you with courtesy 
  • debrasibs88debrasibs88 Member Posts: 3 Listener
    Many thanks for @Markinsutton and @peterpete this is extremely helpful! And very encouraging 
    I had partial stroke at birth which affected my right side I have very limited use of my right side. So when you walk into a room it’s obvious! At first I thought perhaps talking about it when I get to a new setting helps but those that know me say they often forget that I’m disabled. I also find it difficult to admit When I’m struggling with something due to fear of being labbled as incompetent. 
    I’m still not entirely sure what kind of reasonable adjustments I need ie in a work setting or social setting  for example I dread going out for a meal with friends (unless my a very close friend is around) because I can’t use the cutlery. Or say if some work colleagues invited me to a social setting I tend to politely decline. I also find that I’m still figuring out the reasonable adjustments for my work station as I am office based. Any advice on this one? 

    Im soooo sorry for the many questions.. this is probably the most support I’ve had in a very long time. 

    Thanks again 
  • MarkinsuttonMarkinsutton Member Posts: 83 Pioneering
    edited April 2018
    @debrasibs88 . It is nice to be able to talk to someone who has been through similar issues. I have left side weakness due to my CP and the reasonable adjustments was always hard for me as I felt the same as you, I didn't want to feel that people had to be adjusting for me. I still feel the same sometimes but there was one change that made me think OMG and that was when I was referred to an OT assessment. I had OT occupation health assessments before and hated them all. That was until I got one who not only understood me but suggested ways I could manage situations better. I wasn't then set back to my employer with a massive list of reasonable adjustments but a list of things I can now do and all the equipment I needed was brought for me via access to work. There is a whole list of requirements for Access to Work (AtW) but there are plenty of resources for that. I actually found many I can use at home. For example I can not read very well and need a quiet environment so have been given a screen reader and access to my emails at home. I do most of my work at work but sometimes when I need to write or read reports I will do this at home. 

    As the going out for a meal I use a spork I can use one hand and have a steering ball in my car allowing me to drive to work.  There where assessments I had like my dyspraxia I paid for myself but once i got the report my company where more than happy to refund me any cost. ... the OT need to make they are doing their job correctly so it is in their best interest to get it right for. there is so many things that can be done and software put on the computer. One of my most used adjustments is a pen with a special grib and I rub it out when I make a mistake.


    take  each task as it comes and look on . how others are reading it. It has been that ability to understand this that has made me very good at my job.... 
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