Cassandra Chiu is a counsellor, psychotherapist, lecturer, a motivational and inspirational speaker, as well as an advocate for people with disabilities. But this didn’t happen overnight. Born with Stargardt disease, Cassandra lost her sight when she was 8 years old. Today, she relies on Esme, her adorable guide dog, to commute. In fact, she is the first Singaporean woman to use a guide dog!
Read on to find out her experiences with job interviewers, how she overcame challenges and difficult situations, and how employers can help unleash the full potential of PWDs.
Note: Responses below have been edited for brevity.
You faced a lot of challenges during your job interviews. Some companies discounted your work just because you had a disability. What advice would you give to PWDs who are looking for jobs and/or going for their first interview, particularly in terms of preparation, negotiating and managing the entire interview session?
Here are some simple tips that I find helpful to calm my interview nerves
Do your homework before the interview! Triple check your resume and make sure your accomplishments and experiences stand out.
Find someone else and practise answering common interview questions. Also take the opportunity to build your confidence
Be yourself during the interview
Show the prospective employer that you can value add to the company
Come prepared, especially when you are asked about your disability. Tell them about how your disability will not affect your ability to perform your job scope. You can propose an alternative to measuring your KPI or work performance