Perceptions of Barriers and Facilitators for Individuals with Autism in Job Interviews

Thursday, January 27th, 2022 at 12:00 PM PT | 3:00 PM ET  

Employers and service providers should: (1) provide candidates with more knowledge of what to expect prior to the interview, and (2) modify or remove open-ended and hypothetical questions in the job interview process in favor of questions or skill demonstrations that more-directly evidence job skills, and (3) ask that interviewers provide more guidance and feedback during the interview process to enable interviewees to improve for the future.

Approximately 58% of young adults with autism have ever worked between high school and their early 20s (Roux, Shattuck, Rast, Rava, & Anderson, 2015). In addition, this group is disproportionately under-employed compared to their peers without such a diagnosis, and with those with other kinds of diagnoses, including individuals with other neurodiversity characteristics. This research is based on feedback from employers, Autistic job seekers, and service providers of Autistic individuals, where we gathered qualitative data in interviews on the barriers and facilitators of job acquisition and retention for Autistic individuals (Bruyere, Chang, Saleh & Vogus, 2020). There was a specific focus on improving Autistic individuals’ performance in the interview process and within the work environment (as well as gaining insights on how employers may alter their interview practices).

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Learning outcomes:
  • Become aware of the barriers in the job interview process that impeded successful hiring outcomes for individuals with autism
  • Be able to identify ways that community service providers can better support Autistic individuals in the job interview process
  • Learn how employers can reshape their interview process to heighten the likelihood of successfully hiring neurodiverse individuals, especially those with autism

Hosted by:

SusanneBruyere 20210422

Susanne Bruyère, PhD

The Yang-Tan Institute is a research, training, and technical assistance center focusing on disability inclusion in employment, education, and community. Dr. Bruyère serves as Institute administrative and strategic leadership, and also as the PI/Co-PI of numerous research, dissemination, and technical assistance efforts focused on employment and disability policy and effective workplace practices for people with disabilities. She is currently the PI and Project Director of the National Policy, Research, and Technical Assistance Center on Employment of People with Disabilities funded by the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Disability Employment Policy. She is the author/co-author of three books and over 120 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters on workplace disability inclusion and related topics. Susanne is a Fellow in the American Psychological Association. Dr. Bruyère is a past president of the Division of Rehabilitation Psychology (22) of the American Psychological Association, the American Rehabilitation Counseling Association (ARCA), the National Council on Rehabilitation Education (NCRE), and past Board Chair of the Executive Board of the Global Applied Disability Research and Information Network on Employment and Training (GLADNET), and the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF). Susanne earned her masters’ degrees in Rehabilitation Counseling (University of Southern California), Public Administration (Seattle University), and Adult Education (Seattle University), and her PhD in Rehabilitation Counseling Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In her spare time, Susanne enjoys being outdoors in nature, hiking, and skiing. She is a certified rehabilitation counselor (CRC).

Additional Resources:

Bruyère, S.M., Chang, H-Y, Saleh, M.C., & Vogus, T. (2020). Preliminary Report Summarizing the Results of Interviews and Focus Groups with Employers, Autistic Individuals, Service Providers, and Higher Education Career Counselors on Perceptions of Barriers and Facilitators for Neurodiverse Individuals in the Job Interview and Customer Interface Processes. A report from the work of the Track B-1 (AI and Future Jobs) Empowering Neurodiverse Populations for Employment through a National Science Foundation (NSF) Inclusion AI and Innovation Science (B-6970), RAISE C-Accel Phase I Grant funded to Vanderbilt University, Frist Center for Autism and Innovation, Nashville, TN; PTE Federal Award No.: 1936970, Subaward No.; UNIV61108. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University, ILR School, K. Lisa Yang and Hock E. Tan Institute on Employment and Disability.

Roux, Anne M., Shattuck, Paul T., Rast, Jessica E., Rava, Julianna A., and Anderson, Kristy A. National Autism Indicators Report: Transition into Young Adulthood. Philadelphia, PA: Life Course Outcomes Research Program, A.J. Drexel Autism Institute, Drexel University, 2015.

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