Job Hunting and Interview Tips for People With SEND

It can be challenging for people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) to navigate the job market, but there are useful resources available to help you succeed.

The following provides helpful advice on identifying strengths and interests, exploring different career paths, utilising support services, networking, being open about needs and accommodations, staying positive, and preparing for interviews.

In the context of employment accommodations for people with SEND can include:

  • Alternative formats for materials (e.g., large print, audio)
  • Assistive technology devices or software
  • Flexible work hours or remote work options
  • Modified workstations or equipment
  • Communication aids (e.g., sign language interpreters)
  • Accessible formats for written materials
  • Counselling or therapy services
  • Social skills training
  • Sensory-friendly environments

These accommodations aim to support individuals in education, work, communication, and social settings, enabling them to fully participate and succeed.

Job Hunting Tips

Here are useful job seeking tips for finding career success with SEND:

    1. Identify your strengths and interests: Take the time to reflect on your strengths and interests and consider how they can help you find a career that you will enjoy.
    2. Explore different career paths: Research different career options that match your skills and interests. Consider the job responsibilities, salary and growth potential for each option.
    3. Use support services: Many schools and colleges offer support services for students with SEND, such as career counselling, employment agencies and access to assistive technology. Take advantage of these resources to help you find the right career path.
    4. Network with professionals: Reach out to people in your desired field and ask them about their experiences. Building a network of professional contacts can provide valuable information and opportunities for growth.
    5. Be open about your needs: When looking for a job, it’s important to be upfront about your needs and accommodations. Many employers are willing to make reasonable accommodations to support employees with disabilities, but they can’t do so unless they know about them.
    6. Apply for jobs that value diversity: Look for employers that prioritise diversity and inclusiveness, as these organisations are more likely to be supportive of employees with SEND.
    7. Stay positive: The job search process can be challenging, but it’s important to stay positive and focused on your goals. Surround yourself with people who support and encourage you and seek out resources to help you stay motivated.

Interview Tips

Remember, with the right support and resources, people with SEND can find fulfilling and successful careers. By focusing on your strengths and interests, you can find the career path that is right for you.

Interview preparation:

  1. Be prepared: Research the company or organisation you are interviewing with and the specific role for which you are applying. Make sure you understand the responsibilities of the job and how your skills and experiences align with the position.


  1. Practice your responses: Prepare for common interview questions and practice answering them aloud. This will help you feel more confident and reduce anxiety on the day of the interview.


  1. Highlight your strengths: Focus on the skills, experiences and personal qualities that make you an ideal candidate for the role. Emphasise your strengths and be confident in what you have to offer.


  1. Ask for accommodations: If you have a specific need, such as extra time to answer questions or a quiet space for the interview, make sure to let the interviewer know in advance. Employers are required to make reasonable adjustments for individuals with disabilities.


  1. Be yourself: Remember to be authentic and let your personality shine through. An interview is also an opportunity for you to determine if the role and the organisation are a good fit for you.


Overall, it’s important to approach the interview with confidence and a cheerful outlook. Show your enthusiasm for the role and your commitment to making a positive impact.


There are a variety of jobs available for people with SEND. Here are some examples:

  • Retailing: jobs can offer flexible hours, a supportive work environment and the opportunity to gain customer service and sales skills.


  • Hospitality: In hospitality jobs, such as working in a restaurant or hotel, can provide first-hand experience in customer service, food preparation and management.


  • Administration: Administrative roles can offer a structured work environment, the opportunity to develop organisational and administrative skills and the chance to work in a variety of settings, such as schools, offices and healthcare facilities.


  • Volunteer work: Unpaid work, known as volunteering, can provide valuable work experience, help build skills and confidence and give people with SEND the opportunity to contribute to their communities.


  • Supported internships: Supported internships are designed specifically for people with SEND and provide on-the-job training and support in a variety of industries, such as retailing, hospitality and administration.


It’s important to consider individual strengths, interests and needs when exploring job options. A career adviser can be a valuable resource in helping people with SEND find the right job for them.


If you have physical limitations, it’s important to focus on your strengths and communicate them effectively during a job interview. Here are some tips that may help:


  1. Research the company and the job you’re applying for: Make sure you understand the company’s mission, culture and values, as well as the specific requirements of the job. This will help you highlight your relevant skills and experiences in the interview.


  1. Prepare for common interview questions: Anticipate questions that may come up in an interview and practice your responses. This will help you feel more confident and less nervous during the actual interview.


  1. Emphasise your transferable skills: If you have a physical limitation, focus on highlighting your transferable skills, such as your ability to work independently, problem-solve, or manage time effectively.


  1. Be upfront about your limitations: It’s important to be honest and transparent about any physical limitations. Explain how you have adapted to them and how they may impact your ability to perform certain tasks. This shows that you are proactive and willing to find solutions.


  1. Ask about accommodations: If you require accommodations to perform the job effectively, be sure to discuss this during the interview. This can include things like flexible hours, modified equipment, or assistive technology.


  1. Dress professionally: It’s important to dress professionally and make a good first impression. Choose attire that makes you feel confident and comfortable.


  1. Practice good body language: Pay attention to your posture, eye contact and facial expressions during the interview. Projecting confidence and a positive attitude can go a long way in making a good impression.


By following these tips and focusing on your strengths, you can effectively communicate your value as a candidate and demonstrate that you are a good fit for the job.