At some point in your job search, you will be invited to a job interview. Before you go into a job interview, it’s good to be ready.
First, know your skills and abilities. You likely have many skills that you don't even know about. Ask a friend what she thinks your good qualities are. Some of these qualities can translate into job skills. Write them down and learn them by heart.
Second, learn as much as you can about the business where you have your meeting. Employers are impressed when a person comes into the meeting and knows about their business.
Finally, practice. Pair up with a friend. Think about some questions that an employer might ask and write them down. Have your friend play the part of the company and practice the meeting.
Americans with Disabilities Act
Know your rights under The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and 2008 (ADA). It is a civil rights law that protects people with disabilities. It also applies to state and local government, public settings, public services, and transportation. Parts of this law also apply to the workplace. The ADA protects people with mental illness if they meet certain standards.
The ADA protects disabled people who are looking for work in the following ways:
- There are limits to the questions that can be asked when applying for a job. These limits apply during the meeting, before a job offer is made. An employer cannot ask questions that might reveal a disability. This includes questions about mental illness. For example, in an interview, an employer cannot ask, "Do you have a mental illness?" or "Have you ever been in counseling?" The same applies to questions on a written job form.
- You don’t have to tell the person that you have a disability. Hiring choices should be based on a person’s skills to do the job. You do not have to make your disability known at the time you apply for a job. This is true even if you may need a workplace change at a later time. In fact, you can wait until you need an accommodation. It may be months later before you tell about your disability.
- After an employer has offered you a job, he does have the right to ask you about your health or disabilities. This can only be done as long as the info is kept private. Also, all staff hired for the same type of job must be asked the same questions. An employer can only use this to cancel the job offer if his reasons are "job related and in keeping with business needs."
The ADA has steps to take for the interview and hiring process. You can learn more by reading about the ADA on the Internet.