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Disclosure of aspergers in an interview

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Old 29th January 2018, 7:04 PM   #1
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Disclosure of aspergers in an interview

My job search (specifically the interview portion) is being completely destroyed by the fact that I have aspergers. I'm able to get multiple interviews for full-time positions most months, but am unable to overcome the challenges I face (unable to 'decode' a lot of questions, poor at picking up on subtle hints, etc.). I've had multiple people (both professionally and personally) say that my body language seems 'off' (they all make a point to say there's nothing 'wrong' with it, but its 'off' but they are unable to describe how). I haven't disclosed in the past due to not needing any accommodations for the positions I've applied for, but my lack of success is making me think I should change my approach.
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Old 29th January 2018, 7:09 PM   #2
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Not telling hasn't worked so on the next interview try telling the interviewer. See if that helps but if even you sense that makes things worse, never do it again.

I'd do the following: walk in & shake hands. Sit down. Then look the person in the eye & say, "Before we begin, there's something I'd like you to know. I have been diagnosed with Asperger's. It does not affect my ability to do this job but it does make things like interviewing a bit more complicated. If I seem "off" to you, please take my diagnosis into account when you are analyzing my qualifications. That is the only accommodation I will need."

For all I know it could make things worse. Then again, if that is the only factor why you did not get the job, in the US you may have a great discrimination law suit.
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Old 29th January 2018, 8:33 PM   #3
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You could also work it into an answer to a question like, "Describe a problem you had in a job and how you solved it/overcame it." You could talk specifically about Asperger's.
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Old 29th January 2018, 8:37 PM   #4
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once an interview is scheduled you should call the company's HR dept and tell them that you have aspergers and that they should tell the interviewing manager. You can also ask the HR dept for other advice on this issue.

Make sure you clearly explain what Asperger's is...
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Old 31st January 2018, 6:51 PM   #5
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Thanks to all three who responded. Should know how it worked out soon.
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Old 31st January 2018, 7:23 PM   #6
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I have Aspergers, diagnosed a few years ago (I'm a woman in my 40's, getting a diagnosis is not exactly easy - that only happened for me when my boy got diagnosed). I was already in my job when I was diagnosed but I told my line manager as soon as possible. I work in academia so obviously there are a few of us there, plus it's as good a place as any to try and get mentalities to change re ASD in general.

There was a thread recently when a single mother poster was asking for advice re discussing her situation at work and unsurprisingly, the overwhelming majority (wrongly, in my view) advised her to say nothing unless she was looking for pity or a different treatment - it sort of works in the same way for ASD people; the more you tell people about your ASD at work, the more risk you will take that some of your colleagues will (mostly wrongly) assume you're not up to the job.

I have ASD and I am a single mum so I've had to work twice as hard for people not to treat me differently, which is extremely unfair and very frustrating. You can't stop people being prejudiced and ignorant, but one way you help change that is not to fear telling who or what you are, and not let anyone define you by a diagnosis or family situation.

The interview process is already nerve wracking for NTs but it's multiplied by a million for some us (I'm like you on that score!). Get a ton of interview practice beforehand, rehearse in front the mirror, do as much prep as you can on each of the companies / positions you are applying for until you feel reasonably confident and coherent.

If thee's anything I can do to help, PM me.
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Old 6th February 2018, 3:47 AM   #7
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You could have a look at the following links:



Special employment services - York University
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Old 6th February 2018, 12:34 PM   #8
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I have bipolar disorder myself and would never tell anyone I was interviewing with about that. It isn't their business and likely to hurt your chances. Even though there is a disability law, I doubt I would get hired anywhere if I told them about my disability.

If they think you are "off" then maybe it isn't the best place for you to work. Brush up on learning some social cues since any behavior can be taught.

Remember that you are a productive member of society so deserve a chance to work as anyone considered "normal" would. Give yourself some confidence!
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