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Contact Information

Disability Support Services
PO Box 1510
Pembroke, NC 28372

Phone/Voice: 910.521.6695
TTY: 910.521.6490

Location: D.F. Lowry Building, Room 107
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job interviewing strategies for college students with disabilities


Beginning the Interviewing Process

Preparation Before the Interview

  • Know your skills
  • Do a self-assessment
  • Find out about the company
  • Anticipate questions/review possible answers

Research the Company or Organization

  • Contact and request a brochure or catalog to learn about policies, products, and programs
  • Contact people at the company
  • Look up the duties of the position
  • Check out the building

Possible Questions Employers May Ask

  • What are your strengths?
  • Are you a team player?
  • Tell me about yourself.
  • Tell me how you would define this job.
  • Why should I hire you?
  • Does your disability interfere with your attendance?
  • What happens if you are injured on the job?

Consider Informational Interviewing

  • Best source of information is someone who is actually in that job and can answer questions.
  • These types of interviews are usually arranged through networking contacts.
  • Important to make it clear up front that you are only hoping to come away with information.
  • Never ask: "Will you hire me?"
  • Ask, "What duties are essential to this position?"
  • Ask, "What skills are employers looking for?"

Job Interviewing Tips

Things to Do

  • Rehearse before the interview day
  • Check your appearance. Dress the part
  • Arrive alone and early, so you're relaxed
  • Smile warmly, give a firm hand shake, and maintain eye contact
  • Bring an extra original copy of your resume
  • Provide factual information related to your ability to do the job that does not use complicated medical terminology.
  • Have a list of references ready
  • Take control of the disability issue
  • Keep interview focused on your qualifications
  • Know the type of job accommodations you need
  • Know what questions to ask
  • Demonstrate how your disability has not limited your work performance

Things Not to Do

  • Don't apologize for your disability
  • Don't chew gum or smoke
  • Don't wear strong perfumes or colognes
  • Don't experiment with a new hairstyle
  • Don't address an interviewer by first name
  • Don't crack your knuckles or play with your pen, hair, or eyeglasses
  • Don't try to control the interview
  • Don't focus on your health during the interview

After the Interview

Follow-Up Strategies

  • Write a follow-up letter
  • Call and thank the interviewer for the interview
  • Contact references before the interviewer does

    Job Interviewing Considerations

Should I Disclose My Disability

When to disclose your disability is a personal decision that has to be made.
  • Resume: Often, your disability is reflected in your work history, education, and life experience. Stress your adaptability.
  • Cover Letter: Don't start the letter with details about a disability. Follow a format mentioning strengths and limitations.
  • Call for an Interview: The best time to disclose a visible disability is during the employer telephone call for an interview.
  • Application Form: You aren't required to discuss your disability. You may not have enough room to describe accommodations.
  • During the Interview: Experts suggest disclosing a visible disability before the interview to avoid surprising the employer.
  • After a Job Offer: Many people prefer to disclose their disability after they have received a job offer based on their skills.
  • After Starting a Job: If the disability does not affect initial work, then you may want to disclose your disability after being hired because you have proven your skills.

Legal Considerations

  • Be aware of your rights under Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
  • ADA requires that an employer provide reasonable accommodations that will allow a qualified applicant with a disability to perform essential functions of the position.
  • Employers are not required to make an accommodation if it causes undue hardship.
  • Inquiries about a disability may not be made prior to a job offer.


General Information

Career Information

For information or individual counseling contact:

Career Services
Chavis University Center
Career Services Center, Room 210
P 0 Box 1510
Pembroke, NC 28372-1510
Phone/Voice: (910) 521-6270
Fax: (910) 521-6166

Disability Support Services
PO Box 1510
Pembroke, NC 28372-1510
Phone/Voice: (910) 521-6695
Fax: (910) 521- 6891
TTY: (910) 521-6490

Appointments for career counseling may be scheduled during regular office hours Monday through Thursday. No appointments on Friday.


Office Hours:
Monday through Friday
8:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m.


Updated: Thursday, August 11, 2011

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PO Box 1510 Pembroke, NC 28372-1510 • 910.521.6000