Should you mention your ADHD in an interview? This is a really common question which keeps coming up. It is not a simple yes or no answer.
On the one hand, it’s a great opportunity to educate your employer. If you give a good account of yourself, it may impress them and demonstrate confidence in your ability to advocate for yourself.
Besides, if you’re good enough for the job, surely, there’s nothing to be afraid of?
There are also many useful ways of incorporating your ADHD into your answers. On previous occasions, I’ve defined my own ADHD as one of my key strengths, especially when it comes to creativity and thinking fast in times of crisis. You can also draw upon key areas of your executive function and explain how you’ve developed strategies to overcome difficulties in the past. As long as you can demonstrate that you’re both willing and capable of fulfilling the requirements, then that extra bit of creativity in your answers can make a considerable difference.
Despite these opportunities, bringing your ADHD to an interview is still worth approaching with some caution. Let’s take a look at what could go wrong:
The argument against revealing your ADHD is that you risk giving your employer an excuse not to hire you. Not because you have deemed yourself incapable of the role, but because of the natural human instinct to err on the side of caution. An interview is too short a time to persuade a sceptical interviewer to a change of heart. Remember, by offering you a job, the employer has a lot at stake here. If they sense for a moment that you may need ‘reasonable adjustments’, they may question to what end this will apply? It’s a trigger warning to the interviewer that you may ask for further requests down the line. Given this reasoning, in the eyes of the naive, I can understand why one might prefer to go with a so-called ‘safer’ candidate.
Another variable to factor into your decision is the culture of the company or organisation you are applying to. As we move forward with the times, a growing number of employers are starting to recognise the value that people with hidden disabilities can offer.
The Disability Confident scheme in the UK is one such example of how companies can show their commitment to this cause. With this in mind, it would be much safer to disclose your ADHD when being interviewed by an organisation that champions these values, such as those in the non-profit and public sector.
Ultimately, it’s about making a calculated risk. Even if you are confident, it might be worthwhile weighing up the essentials of the job description to assess how well your ADHD will come across to the employer. It’s a delicate path to tread and it will depend on how much is at stake for you.