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April 4, 2024, by pcylr7

Interviews with dyslexia

Lucy Rayner-Thomas, Chemistry student © via Unsplash by Christina @

Interviews can be very daunting, especially when you have dyslexia. In my experience, it has made it harder for me to convey my thoughts clearly and fluently. However, I have learned a few things to make the experience a little bit more pleasant and wanted to share them. 

Challenges you might encounter as someone with dyslexia at an interview

My dyslexia affects my ability to process speech, therefore understanding and remembering questions, as well as formulating answers. In my experience, it has meant that I have forgotten questions, not fully understood them or felt unsure on to answer them. This has been especially apparent for questions that have had multiple parts to them. Along with this, I have found it hard to organise my ideas so that they come across clearly and succinctly, with me frequently forgetting to give examples or to mention all of my key ideas and have felt frustrated that I haven’t been able to get my points across.

Informing an employer that you have dyslexia

Everyone approaches speaking about disabilities differently, in my case before answering the first question I politely say that I have dyslexia and how it affects my interview. For example, I tend to say ‘Before I answer this question, I wanted to let you know that I have dyslexia and that it affects my speech and how I process information. So, it may mean that my speech sounds a bit disjointed and that I may need more time to process questions’. I have found that a good opportunity to mention it is when they ask the common ‘Tell us a bit about yourself’, but obviously don’t make it your whole answer. I have found that this makes people more understanding and patient, it also makes me more comfortable to take my time and to ask for questions to be repeated. However, if you don’t want to disclose this to the interviewer, that is ok.

Make sure you’re prepared

This is your interview, so make sure you ask them to repeat questions and that you take your time to think about your answer. I found that making a list of real-life examples that cover a range of skills has been helpful. For example, you could prepare examples of when you demonstrated teamwork, this could be through an extracurricular activity.

I find it useful to create a list of bullet points as key talking points for different types of interview questions. For example, they might ask for reasons that you have applied for that role, to describe a time when you have faced a challenge and overcame it, to tell them what you know about their company, to provide an example of when you have successfully managed your time. It can help to speak to a careers adviser to prepare questions in advance.

It is essential that you do your homework. In order to properly excel, analyse the job description/person specification with a fine toothcomb, identifying the key attributes that they require and try and think of real-life examples where you have demonstrated those, as these may be questions that you are asked. This also helps to understand the role you are applying for and may help you to think of some questions that you might want to ask the interviewer regarding the role. Furthermore, do a bit of research about the company/organisation, what do they do, what are their values and what about them interests you? By putting in this effort, you will be able to give better quality answers because you will have a better understanding of what they want to hear. This will give you an edge over other candidates who have not done this, because your attention to detail will shine through.

I have found it helpful to prepare some questions about the role so that you can fully understand what you will be doing. One of your questions could be around how they support people with dyslexia in the workplace (if you feel that your dyslexia will impact your work significantly).

Practice makes perfect

Practice answering a range of interview questions with family, friends or a careers adviser and/or  record yourself. I found that this helped me to practice elaborating on my bullet points and helped me to think of other good points to add. It also helped me to speak more fluently during the interviews.


Have a look at the resources offered by the careers service, including practice questions, attend skills workshops or speak to a careers adviser. According to the British Dyslexia Association, if you let the organisation know about your dyslexia beforehand, you could request a list of the question areas in advance.

If you have been successful with the first stage of the application process and have been offered an interview, make an appointment with a careers adviser and they will be able to guide and support you. You can also visit the ‘Applying with a disability’ webpage for further guidance.

Posted in DisabilityEquality and inclusivityInterviews