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How to talk about your disability at a job interview?

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The topic of disability can be difficult to discuss. Should we talk about it? Is it better to say nothing? Where to start? What are the limits?

Today, in France, any company with more than 20 employees must employ people with disabilities. These people must make up 6% of the total workforce or risk paying a "fine". 

However, according to Pôle emploi, holders of an RQTH (Recognition of the quality of disabled worker) are much more often inactive than the rest of the population (57% against 28%). Those who are active are more frequently unemployed: 35% of RQTH beneficiaries are employed, compared to 65% of the entire working-age population.

Despite the assistance provided to guarantee job retention or job search, some candidates hesitate to talk about their disability for fear of being discriminated against. And rightly so. But keeping quiet is just as restrictive. 

Is talking about your disability an obligation? 

Talking about your disability is not an obligation. It is a personal choice that you, the candidate, must make. It is perfectly normal to have some concerns about disclosing your disability, especially if you have had experiences where it was not well received. 

However, if it is not mandatory, it is strongly recommended that you talk about it. This is important especially if you need specific accommodations at the job (hours and time of work, workspace, environment, responsibilities or work tools, etc).

Reminder:

If the recruiter pouts at the mention of your disability, it's up to you to gently nail it down! How can you do this? By reminding them that structures such as Agefiph, Cap emploi or Ladapt can cover the cost of accommodation. 

Take the lead

  • Be the first to raise the issue of your disability, whether visible or invisible. Most often, the subject comes up at the end of the interview. 
  • Simply explain the impact your disability can have on your work.
  • Explain the solutions and accommodations that need to be put in place.
  • Ask questions about the current work environment.

Warning 

  • The recruiter does not need to know your entire medical file, nor what treatments you are undergoing. So don't go into detail. 
  • As you will have understood, the recruiter does not have the right to ask you indiscreet questions either. Tell them that you prefer to keep it to yourself and that you don't want to talk about it.
  • Use simple, positive phrases. After all, this is still an interview. You need to be able to show the recruiter that you are the ideal candidate with enthusiasm. 

Don't forget!

The disability is not the main topic. The most important thing in the interview is your skills and your personality. 

If the recruiter can't see beyond that, you should just walk away without regrets. This company was not made for you.

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