Article Details

Research Database: Article Details

Citation:  Lindsay, S. and DePape, A. (2015). Exploring differences in the content of job interviews between youth with and without a physical disability. PLOS ONE, 1-16.
Title:  Exploring differences in the content of job interviews between youth with and without a physical disability
Authors:  Lindsay, S. and DePape, A.
Year:  2015
Journal/Publication:  PLOS ONE
Publisher:  PLOS ONE
Full text:   
Peer-reviewed?  No
NIDILRR-funded?  No

Structured abstract:

Background:  Youth with disabilities face barriers to employment and have higher unemployment rate than typically developing peers. Enhancing job interview skills may assist these youth with obtaining employment.
Purpose:  The aim of this study was to compare the similarities and differences in the content of answers given by youth with and without disabilities during a mock job interview. This paper is part of a bigger multi-method, cross sectional observational study on work readiness for youth with disabilities.
Setting:  The study took place in variety of settings like a meeting room in a rehabilitation hospital or community center.
Study sample:  A total of 31 youth participated in the study. About half or 15 had a physical disability (9 males and 6 females) the remainder or 16 (6 males and 10 females) did not.
Intervention:  There was no intervention.
Control or comparison condition:  The comparison group was 16 typically developing youth.
Data collection and analysis:  Nineteen employers and vocational counselors were interviewed. The information gathered was use to develop a mock job interview that reflected desirable skills employers are looking for when hiring youth. A professional actor interviewed each participant using the same questions. Mock interviews were video-taped, transcribed, and entered into NVIVO version 10. Based on principles from Elo and Kyngas, the content was analyzed using systematic coding and categorizing to identify trends, patterns, frequency and relationships. As needed, steps were taken to ensure consensus among researchers. Once the coding framework was established the codes were applied to the transcripts using line by line coding. Afterwards, the research team selected quotes representative of each theme, by question. This provided a better understanding of whether youth with or without disabilities differed in their responses to the mock interview questions.
Findings:  Similarities were between the two groups in giving examples of soft skills and relevant experience for the job. While both groups provided similar examples in reply to the question, what is something you are proud of, youth with disabilities gave fewer. Differences in the content of the interview between the two groups were: disclosing disability, few examples related to customer service and team work skills, more difficulties on how problem solving scenarios, and drawing on examples from past experiences (i.e. extracurricular activities, volunteer work, work experiences).
Conclusions:  There are both similarities and differences between the two groups. Findings can help employer understand challenges associated with job interviews and provide information on areas to focus on in job readiness programs.

Disabilities served:  Cerebral palsy
Multiple sclerosis
Spinal cord injury (SCI)
Populations served:  Gender: Female and Male
Transition-age youth (14 - 24)