Helping a Visually Impaired Teen Practice Job Interviewing
Your teenager will benefit from understanding the purpose and process of a job interview as well as gaining interviewing experience. The more comfortable he is with job interviews while he is still in high school, the more prepared he will be to confidently interview for an essential, adult career.
- Let your teen know why companies interview potential employees: to choose the candidate who will most benefit the organization. Therefore, your child’s goal at an interview is to discuss how his training, experiences, and skills are an ideal fit for the job.
- Teach your child the general arrangement of an interview: introductions with handshakes; casual talking about something the interviewer and interviewee (candidate) have in common to create a connection; the interviewer asks questions to get to know the interviewee; the candidate is given time to ask questions of the interviewers; the candidate thanks the interviewer for the interview and leaves the office; the candidate follows-up with a thank-you letter and waits to receive a call about the organization’s decision.
- Coach your child in recognizing how to make a first-rate first-impression at a job interview, including punctuality and an appropriate appearance.
- Communicate the pros and cons of discussing his visual impairment with potential employers before the interview verses at the interview in order to help him decide when to disclose his visual impairment. If your child chooses to discuss his visual impairment at the job interview, he will need to provide the interviewers with a brief description of his vision as well as discuss how he will perform job tasks differently than sighted individuals yet equally successful. Assist him in writing a disability statement.
- Prepare your teen to answer the interviewer’s potential disability-related questions and prepare him to address the unspoken concerns of hiring a person with a visual impairment, including liability, accessibility, and transportation concerns.
- Assist your teen in generating honest responses that showcase his ability to succeed in the potential position when answering “What is your greatest weakness,” and other common interview questions.
- Help your child think through the best questions to ask on a job interview.
- Explain the importance of researching the company before the interview. The knowledge of the company’s goals and structure will increase the interviewer’s confidence in adding your teen to the team. Additionally, he can demonstrate his goals are the same as the company’s goals.
How to help your child gain interviewing experience:
- Your child should write out his responses to interview questions as well as the questions he would ask the interviewer. Encourage him to be completely familiar with the material.
- Role-play interviewing for a variety of interested positions with your teen.
- Ask a familiar adult to role-play an interview.
- Ask an unfamiliar adult to role-play an interview.
- Record one of his mock interviews and have your son watch and/or listen to the piece. Ask him what he did well and what he thinks he needs to practice.
- Provide your teen with honest, realistic feedback, and ask the other “interviewers” to do the same.
- Give your child the opportunity to interview you.
- Provide your teen with opportunities to witness others’ interviews. The simplest route is watching online interviews.
- Show your child the second episode of Aaron’s Adventures in Employment, “Dress and Impress,” a mock interview and related information presented humorously.
- Encourage your child to interview for a volunteer position or part-time summer job.
For more information on preparing your child for future job interviews, read APH CareerConnect’s Interviewing Tips and listen to the audio file, Interviewing: Top 10 Tips, alongside your teenager.