Interview tips for individuals with Pathological Demand Avoidance

Job interviews are quite often stressful, knowing what to say, how much to say, how to act and trying to remember to smile at the same time is a lot of multitasking.

Our resource should give you some hints and tips on how you can navigate job interviews with pathological demand avoidance

Consider whether you will disclose your diagnosis and some information about your diagnosis such as adjustments you would like to have at the interview. This might include:

  • More time on any tests you might be expected to complete
  • Asking for questions ahead of the interview,
  • Asking the interviewer to rephrase questions that are hypothetical or abstract
  • Consider asking for the opportunity to visit before the interview to help you adjust on the day
  • Ask for information about the format of the interview so you know what to expect
Selling yourself

This is challenging for many adults with pathological demand avoidance. Questions can sometimes seem irrelevant or off point, however an employer usually knows what kind of response they are looking for. Avoiding questions you find irrelevant could result in being scored down. Ask the interviewer to reword the question or ask for clarification on the question will help make this question relevant to you.

Try to think of successful projects or actions that you took that were positive to the task, even if the project itself was not successful. For example, you may have participated in a group task, and while your contribution was successful, other team members may have struggled to participate.

Preparing Notes in Advance

Many people also bring a portfolio and notes to interviews. This could contain examples of your accomplishments, information about the company you are applying to, questions you might want to ask, or other information that might help you answer typical interview questions. Try to keep the notes short as a reminder – not for you to read word for word during the interview.

Avoid being too honest

If you did have a negative experience in your previous jobs, the interview is not the time to discuss this. Try to avoid discussing any negative points in the interview or making comments about previous employers as this could put employers off. Instead talk about what does work for you as opposed to what you want to avoid.


To lower any anxiety for the interview, make sure you are fully prepared in advance. This might mean planning the route to the interview location or visiting the outside, so you are more familiar. Make sure you have clean, smart clothes. This might include wearing a suit or other formal clothing. Make sure you have showered/bathed, trimmed fingernails, brushed your hair, trimmed, or shaved facial hair and taken care of any other personal grooming needs.

If something in the interview annoyed you or you felt it was not right, avoid raising this at this point. Wait to hear if you have got the job and then have a conversation with your new employer after you have settled into work and offer ways in which the situation can be improved in the future.

To find out more about our workplace coaching and mentoring take a look at our access to work programme.

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