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Featured What would you think of a company whom rejected you because you did not make enough eye contact?

Discussion in 'Education and Employment' started by Frostee, Jul 6, 2019.

  1. Frostee

    Frostee Well-Known Member

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    I applied to a company a few months ago.. I spent £600 going to the Assessment Day which had a test and a lot of group activities.

    So I put a substantial amount of effort into the process.

    Note; On the application form, I ticked the Disability box.

    I was rejected for the job, primarily because of the test results but also because of my lack of eye contact in the group tasks.

    I’m not sure what to think about this? I am somewhat shocked that they would factor this into a decision, given that they knew that I had a disability?

    I will be sending a letter on this.

    But I don’t know what to think moving forward? Should I be more upfront about my disability in applying for jobs? Given the poor awareness with this company, there are understandably some worries around doing this.
     
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  2. Rectify

    Rectify Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Hi @Frostee I don't have much experience in this area so I hope someone knowledgeable can reply for you.

    I wonder if they don't know about ASD and eye contact? Just a thought.

    I can understand you wanting to learn from and understand this, especially as you put in so much.
     
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  3. Frostee

    Frostee Well-Known Member

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    Thank you Rectify!
     
  4. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    It's something to think about, given that such an expectation is at the heart of Neurotypical values.

    The kind that my father sternly warned me about as a child. That you risk appearing dishonest or evasive when one cannot look someone in the eye in a conversation. It was a behavior I had to force myself to learn, though even today I admit that it still isn't the most comfortable thing to do.

    I know there are a number of threads in this forum about this subject that you might find helpful. Ways of making eye contact, but not necessarily holding an eye-to-eye stare for very long. Or focusing slightly away from the eyes of the person you must make eye contact with. Things like that. Whatever it takes to make the process doable given social expectations, particularly connected with a job interview.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2019
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  5. Fino

    Fino Alex V.I.P Member

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    That's exactly what I would expect from a company. Can you just make eye contact? Can you pretend to be someone else for part of a day? Take anxiety medication if you have to, take a shot of vodka, have an edible--do whatever it takes to pretend you're normal.

    Then after you're hired, be yourself.

    That's what I always did when I worked for companies.
    Now I don't, and my current jobs embrace my eccentricities so I don't have to and didn't have to in order to get hired so that's nice.
     
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  6. inkfingers

    inkfingers 19 year old Aspie artist and Jesus follower

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    I hope they understand your situation. Hopefully the letter will clarify things. Next time around, try looking at the person's mouth. It passes as eye contact without actually having to look at their eyes.
     
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  7. Streetwise

    Streetwise very cautious contributor V.I.P Member

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    you have got to go to the citizens advice bureau ,it's discrimination , if not cab a solicitor Specialising in disability law the company will be perfectly aware of disability law and you have also told them you're disabled.
     
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  8. SusanLR

    SusanLR Well-Known Member

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    I have very poor eye contact and trying to force it can cause other problems such as not understanding
    instructions or creating a precise answer in verbal interaction. Too busy thinking about the eyes!
    I never really tried to force eye contact and still got the position I wanted.
    But, I never put anything about disability on the apps either.
    That might be an automatic disqualifier with a lot of companies. Is that something they really
    need to know?
     
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  9. Suzanne

    Suzanne Well-Known Member

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    My therapist told me, that no employer would entertain me, even though I am classified as disabled and entitled to get work under that, because I have too many battles.

    I have somewhat a business head and realise that eye contact is very important and especially in group tasks and in fact, if I knew there were groups, I would not even bother applying!
     
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  10. Progster

    Progster Gone sideways to the sun V.I.P Member

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    Personally I would not declare any disability, because even though companies may claim that they respect equal rights for people with disabilities, the reality is that they don't - declaring a disability is a negative in their eyes and they will nearly always prefer a candidate with no disability over one with a disability, even though they may be equally suited to the job. Working in a company is all about: fitting in, team work, getting on with others, understanding, respecting and adhering to company culture and hierarchy, and if they think you won't fit in socially, they won't hire you. It's not fair, but that's how it is. It's one of the reasons why I work for myself and not for anyone else.
    I would work on the eye contact issue, try to improve it and find ways around this - one thing that I do is defocus, so I'm looking at the person's face but my eyes aren't focused on it so I don't see the eyes but give the impression of making eye contact. It works for me, might work for you also.
     
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  11. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    It's true. Even in Britain we have any number of members who can attest to being discriminated despite some rather advanced employment laws and protections. When something is in the realm of civil rather than criminal law, for some employers simple discrimination is an option at the outset if they are confident that they can get away with it. It isn't right, but it is what it is.

    So yes, I agree that the first option to consider is whether or not you can learn to look one in the eye, even if for a brief time. Whatever it takes to get through that arduous interview rather than expect a prospective employer to be so understanding of a neurological condition that is baffling to most people.

    Truly understanding and compassionate employers are out there, but I suspect in very small numbers in comparison. Finding them remains the real challenge for many of us who have so much difficulty in the mainstream job market. Something to consider before making your disability a transparent issue up front with a prospective employer.
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2019
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  12. Vindicator Phoenix

    Vindicator Phoenix Female or neutral pronouns V.I.P Member

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    I would tell them that results aren't achieved through staring at people.
     
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  13. Peter Morrison

    Peter Morrison Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I was in a "re-employment" group session to discuss issues facing experienced people trying to find employment, either in their field or in a new direction. During the discussion on the importance of eye contact, I confessed that I don't look people in the eyes, but I tend to focus on their nose to see all their facial expression movements. The others at the session all laughed. I felt very embarrassed, but felt that my honesty had more value than the embarrassment. This was 25 years ago and I still don't look people in the eyes unless the consciousness to do so hits me. Even then, it's a quick look only. My ears are functioning and my brain is switched on, but it's the eye contact that seems to command a prominent place during the interview process. It can be learned and practiced for the sake of interviews. Interviews are stressful. You have to manage every detail to the best of your ability. Ask a friend to do mock interviews with you. It will give you more confidence.
     
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  14. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I can confidently say that job interviews were the bane of my existence. Truly. :oops:

    With or without eye contact...so much stress. Where my self-confidence tends to evaporate in real-time. :(
     
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  15. Fino

    Fino Alex V.I.P Member

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    It depends on the type of company. If it's something that involves working with clients on a personal level or anything of that sort, then is it discrimination to not hire someone without people skills, no matter the reason they don't have them?
     
  16. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I would think not if that were the case of the job. Though it's ultimately academic. If an employer really wants to discriminate against hiring someone, they can be creative about it and likely evade any kind of prosecution.

    It was interesting on "The Employables" to see a guy struggle with Tourettes in an interview, only to get the job as a docent of sorts, and successfully lead a tour of schoolkids in a museum. The guy felt so at ease at actually doing the job that his symptoms seemed temporarily non-existent.
     
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  17. tducey

    tducey Well-Known Member

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    I've never had problem with eye contact. To me unless it was a specific job that required eye contact you shouldn't have been rejected on that point alone.
     
  18. Kevin1968

    Kevin1968 Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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  19. china autie

    china autie friend to dogs and frogs and cats

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    I have photophobia [sensitivity to light] and I have a collection of darker lens sunglasses which I wear to job interviews with a "I have to wear these because of the office lighting."

    I have a job now.

    Another way to work around it besides looking at noses,and hoping they do not pick up on this.
     
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