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6 Outstanding Interview Tips That Every Person With ADD Needs To Know
By Joseph McCarrie
Graphic Design by Elijah Tagaan
Having ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) in the modern world is hard. From phones to TV, the world has become Las Vegas with all the flashing lights everywhere. It’s just too easy to be distracted. For those that don’t have ADD, picture this: you are trying to do a simple task, such as brushing your teeth or taking out the trash. Now picture every few seconds a monkey in a sparkly unitard running through the room, setting off fireworks. So, you follow the monkey. But it turns into another monkey and another problem and eventually, you realize it is 4 PM and you still need to take out the trash. So with all these complications, how are you supposed to ace an interview? Every interview nowadays is the same room over and over, the same four walls where you are supposed to sit still even when all you can think of doing is running for the hills. How are you supposed to prepare? How do you overcome these hurdles? Well with these insider tips and tricks from our in-house ADD specialist (me), you’ll ace your interview and get that job!
Think Before You Speak
If you have ADD, you definitely know what this means. Every teacher you ever had knows what this means. When your brain is running a million miles an hour, you feel like you have to say the first thing that comes to your mind all the time. Well, hold on, because controlling what you say is even more important, especially in an interview. Don’t blurt out the first answer that comes into your brain. Listen, pause, and digest each question. Ensure that you understand what exactly they are asking you. Ask follow-up questions like “You mean like-” to show them that you are really thinking about it. This will show an interviewer that you are serious about the job and you care about getting it.
How to Fix Fidgeting
Now we're not suggesting fidgeting can be permanently fixed. It's such a normal part of your life with ADD that you don’t notice it. You don’t notice your foot bouncing or fingers moving while you’re just sitting idly. So how can you stop? Don’t worry, there are ways to combat this! One trick is to get a fidget ring , which is both fashionable and functional. They usually cost $5 to $10 and are a good investment for a person with ADD who needs it. Another low cost option is using rubber bands to stretch. You could even use a plastic bottle cap to fiddle! There are many options for fidget toys you can get that will use your idle energy for the better.
I’ll be honest, even I’m guilty of this one. When you're sitting in that stuffy interview room, the last thing you want to do is blank out. You may find yourself staring off at a clock or some keepsake that the person interviewing you has on their desk. Or maybe you are interviewing from home and all you can focus on is that impossibly large pile of laundry that seems to grow and grow. If you are interviewing from home, you can work to remove distractions from your environment. This will allow you to focus more on the interview. Another way to stay present is to focus on your breathing. There are a variety of breathing exercises you can employ to help you focus during an interview. One I would recommend is the 4-7-8 method. Breathing is a great way for you to keep focus not just in an interview, but in everyday life as well!
Research Possible Interview Questions
Now, not every interviewer will say this, but there are common interview questions you can prepare yourself for. Things like “strengths and weaknesses”, “tell me about yourself”, and “what are your salary expectations?”. An interview is like that algebra test in 9th grade. You know what will be asked, the teacher (or interviewer) has already given you the criteria. So how will you be ready? Prepare ahead of time, researching questions and your specific answers, writing them down beforehand and practicing them OUT LOUD with someone. This repetition will ensure you are prepared when you step into that interview.
An Interview, Not An Interrogation
One of the biggest misconceptions about interviews is the idea that they are an interrogation. You are not someone held captive. You are not there against your will, praying that the right answer will set you free. You are there because you want to be there, and your conversation should reflect that. For every two or three questions the interviewer asks, you should ask your own question. This will show the interviewer that you are listening and are interested. Some questions you could use: What are the values you look for in an employee? Is the work effort more independent or collaborative?
ADD Super Skills
Now hearing all these tips about getting through an interview with ADD you might be thinking, “well my ADD is just there to hold me back” and “is my ADD good for anything?” Well hold your horses! Because being ADD isn’t just a long list of setbacks; it’s a superpower! Some ways having ADD can benefit you in the interview process is:
- Hyperfocusing on the questions
- Out of the box thinking that will really help interviewers remember you
- Able to process large amounts of information (maybe reading over a large document they send you pre-interview?)
- Diversity (including a neurodiversity) greatly benefits the workplace
You’ve made it. You managed to focus on this article long enough to learn the tips and tricks to help you go into that interview room and excel. So go for it! Fight the modern world designed to distract you! Go out there and show the world what a super star with ADD can do! And the next time you see a monkey in a sparkly unitard running through the room setting off fireworks, you will know just how to handle it.
I’m a Comedy Content Writer at Super Purposes, looking to grow my writing experience. I enjoy writing, reading, and walking my golden retriever.