Embracing Neurodiversity: Guidance for Jobseekers

6 min

In today's diverse workforce, embracing neurodiversity isn't just about inclusion - it's about recognising the unique strengths and perspectives that neurodivergent individuals bring to the table. However, navigating the job market can pose unique challenges for neurodivergent job seekers. From understanding your strengths to advocating for accommodations, here's a comprehensive guide to support your employment search journey, brought to you by Nicole Donne for the Inclusivity Workplace Consultancy.


Understanding Your Strengths

The first step in navigating the job market as a neurodivergent individual is understanding your strengths. Take the time to reflect on your unique abilities, interests, and preferences. Bill Barnett, in his Harvard Business Review article "Five Steps to Assess Your Strengths," outlines a helpful process:

  1. List your strengths: Make a comprehensive list of your strengths, skills, and talents.
  2. Ask others for input: Seek feedback from friends, family, mentors, or colleagues to gain different perspectives.
  3. Revisit past feedback: Reflect on past feedback you've received in academic, professional, or personal settings.
  4. "Hire" yourself: Imagine you're hiring someone with your skillset—what qualities would you look for?
  5. Reflect and modify: Continuously assess and adjust your strengths profile as you gain new experiences and insights.

Consider questions like "What skills come naturally to me?" and "What projects have I excelled at?" Highlighting your strengths throughout the job search process, from crafting your CV to interviews, can set you apart from other candidates. Seek support from trusted advocates such as Careers Advisors or Life Coaches to further develop your strengths profile.


Companies That Have You In Mind

When exploring job opportunities, look for companies that prioritise diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives. Research their policies, employee resource groups, and diversity training programmes. Consider focusing on employers who are certified Disability Confident Employers, listed on the Even Break job board for disabled candidates, or members of organisations like the British Association for Supported Employment.

Several companies have established initiatives specifically aimed at neurodiversity, including:

Researching and targeting companies with such initiatives can increase your chances of finding a supportive and inclusive work environment.


Navigating The Interview Process

Reasonable Accommodations

The interview process can be daunting for anyone, but it's essential to understand and advocate for the accommodations you may need to perform at your best. Under the Equality Act 2010, all employers are required to provide reasonable adjustments. Access to Work is a government programme that offers support, including communication support at interviews.

Here is a list of reasonable adjustments that have been offered in the interview process as described by the Civil Service Careers Website.
Some examples of adjustments that have been offered to candidates include:

  • Changing the time, location or format of interviews
  • Providing interview questions in written format
  • Providing interview questions in advance of the interview
  • A sign language interpreter
  • A supported test session 
  • Additional time in timed tests, interviews or other assessment activities
  • Advice about assistive technology



While disclosure is a personal decision, being open about your unique perspective could help potential employers understand your needs and strengths.  Many employers now include requests for reasonable adjustments at the application stage. Decide whether or not to disclose your disability - and at what stage in the process. If you choose to disclose, decide ahead of time which information you are comfortable sharing.

Understand the Role and the Company

Begin by thoroughly researching the company and the role. Go beyond the job description and explore the company values, culture, mission and recent projects or achievements.  This provides context to relate your skills and experiences to the role.


Preparation enables candidates to be in the headspace to present their best selves. Prepare for interviews by reviewing the job description, practising responses to common interview questions, and conducting mock interviews with trusted individuals. Remember to ask questions about the company culture, expectations, and growth opportunities during the interview.

Top Tips
  • Arrive early
  • Check transportation
  • Practice breathing, meditation or use other calming methods
  • Listen actively, stay present
  • Ask the interviewer to clarify if you are not certain of how to answer
  • Let the interviewer know if you need a minute to think about your reply
  • Take your time

Support Resources

Various organisations offer support resources for neurodivergent job seekers, including:

Embracing neurodiversity as a job seeker is about recognising your uniqueness, advocating for your needs, and pursuing your career goals with confidence. Your neurodiversity is a unique experience, not a limitation. By understanding your strengths, targeting supportive employers, and navigating the interview process effectively, you can find fulfilling employment opportunities that celebrate your neurodiversity.