interviewing with autism

Being on the Autism Spectrum and being told “You are not a good cultural fit” is really difficult to process. I didn’t know I was on the spectrum when the recruiter delivered that line, but it’s what kicked off my journey of self-introspection. I interviewed with a larger social media company and thought it would be a blank canvas, some place I could do my best work and learn. What I learned is that many companies screen for people who will fit into their cliques and toe the line.

I never had a clue that I was living with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) until I started my job search. I am well into my career and have worked for a lot of different companies but have recently started looking for new opportunities. I exhibit a number of ASD traits that make interviewing difficult, which is amusing to me because until this point I’ve had a nearly 100% success rate at interviewing to offer. Jumping into a different pool, interviewing at BIG corporations instead of small companies has been an adjustment.

Here are some of the challenges I’ve had and how I’ve learned to counter them. I’ve had a number of interviews since that first BIG interview and each has been part of an iterative process — I can say with some small confidence that it wasn’t my ASD that influenced the outcome of recent interviews.