You’ve done it!! You scored a job interview for your next dream position. There’s only one thing; as a blind or visually impaired woman, how are you going to make a great first impression? Let’s begin with these five tips:
Understand your goals – know the difference between a job or stepping stone to a career
Focus on your qualifications – keep the focus on your skills and abilities
Know your worth – you are more than your disability, you are competent and valuable
Carry yourself with confidence – your posture and how you walk, talk, and sit speaks volumes
Dress the part – the way you dress tells a story so think about how you want to present yourself
Generally speaking, today’s workplace environment is more relaxed than in years past. Likewise, depending on the position, interview apparel has followed a similar trend.
Before planning your interview outfit you need to take into consideration the company culture and how to dress for the specific role you are seeking. If you’ve followed a job search plan you’ve already researched the firm and/or spoke with the hiring manager to get an idea of what to wear.
Think of the word balance when it comes to dressing for an interview. You don’t want to be over the top like you’re going to a nightclub or so casual to qualify as raggedy. The same could be said for colors, fragrance, makeup, and accessories – balance.
Beginning with the basics a pair of black dress pants, black shoes and a tote bag can be paired with a tailored top, sweater or blazer. In the sample photos, I used the same tote bag with a pair of black and a pair of tan dress pants each with matching shoes.
Whatever you choose to wear make sure you’re comfortable and your mobility isn’t negatively affected by your clothing. For example, if you have problems walking comfortably in heels don’t wear them for the interview go with something lower yet polished.
If you have a guide dog or other household pets be mindful of any pet hair on your clothing. Keeping a small lint brush in your bag can be a lifesaver.
When you walk into the interview keep your head up, shoulders back and remember your reason be being there: you are competent and valuable. The only discussion about your disability should revolve around necessary accommodations to enable you to perform your duties. Now go out there and knock ’em dead! ~Abby
Title 1 essentially prohibits employers from discriminating against qualified people with disabilities throughout the hiring process. “The ADA covers employers with 15 or more employees, including State and local governments. It also applies to employment agencies and to labor organizations.” For more information see A Guide for People with Disabilities Seeking Employment
Check with your local Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR). OVR counselors have a number of services to offer job seekers.
Research mentors/mentoring programs for PWDs. A quick internet search will yield a number of results. Here are just a few: