Creatives with ADHD: job hunting and interviews?

Hi all,

I'd love to connect and talk to fellow creatives with ADHD who work in teams, and get some advice on how you deal with symptoms, whether and how you disclose your ADHD during an interview (I'm thinking of starting to), and generally hearing about your experiences.

Would also love to learn of any creative+ADHD networks if anyone knows of any, because I feel like generic job/industry advice doesn't always apply.

So for some more context, I had a really great job interview and though it definitely wasn't the only or main reason I didn't land the role, it became obvious throuh feedback that at least some of the marks against me were actually just a mixture of the less helpful aspects of ADHD or me trying to manage it - which basically somewhat misrepresented me and who/how I am as a person, as well as how I work.

Interviews are tricky because you have such a short time to leave an impression. Me, I pretty much get top marks on both spectrums, so it's not something I can avoid mishaps with under the time limit and close scrutiny of an interview.

Once people have a chance to get to know me, it's not an issue, so a slow and painful lesson I've been learning is leaning into authenticity - but though I'm cool with my ADHD personally, I think fear still plays a part when you're not sure of what people know, heard, or understand, or what misconceptions they might have but be too polite to ask about.

Any thoughts would be super appreciated, thanks!


  • @Luke Freeman @Ronna Sakowska I can relate to Luke's and Ronna's experience I have to ADD myself. I don't have any issues designing but I struggle with attention and details and that affects also my work performance. I love to disclose in society, like a normal part of but I'm afraid of people's misconceptions.
  • @Tom Pearce appreciate your input as well – you're definitely right about practice, and I intend to.

    You're right about the fact that it doesn't really cause issues in a design job itself. I also don't really view ADHD as a disorder or disability, but just a part of me and the tracks my brain runs on. It, to me, is only a 'disability' in the sense of the differences being 'negative' or 'undesirable' under the frameworks we establish societally.

    However, an interview is a bit of a different beast, and the issues for me come mostly from the hyperactive/impulsive 'strand'.

    For example, people who know me personally know me to be a thoughtful and considerate person.

    But in a brief meeting, as is common, the way my ADHD manifests can make me appear rude or difficult instead.

    This includes interrupting others (something I'm very aware of, and work hard to curb, but haven't found a reliable way to eradicate). On the innocent side, it just seems rude, impatient, or like I don't care to hear what someone has to say (think about this in feedback context). On the worse end, it can in certain contexts make me seem argumentative or defensive.

    None of which is reflective of me or how I feel about feedback – but as I said, first impressions count, and this kind of stuff can be disastrousely misleading when you only have an hour with someone. (If anyone has tips or strategies relating to this, I'd appreciate it)

    On the preparation front - in one interview, I had an hour to walk through my process on a fairly big project. I didn't know how structured this would be and knew that without any, my tangential thoughts would cause me to go off point or miss talking about important things, so I prepared a presentation to give myself some structure just in case (almost no words - just visual triggers).

    Though I was using this as an aid to counteract some ADHD tendencies, this need to stick to the structure made me appear rigid and inflexible, or like I needed to remain in control of the interview.

    A lot of this I'm sure will just come with practice and learning to manage these things better. But I'm sharing to give more of a specific idea about what I mean and what I'm talking about in case anyone had similar challenges with presenting yourself.

    Thanks all!
  • Thanks @Luke Freeman , you echo a lot of the instincts and feelings I've had around this, helpful to read your take.

    Thanks also @Neil Pho for the advice :-)
  • I think in terms of interviews with ADHD it's probably good to spend more time thinking of answers to questions and practising than some people might. Maybe try with a friend before hand. I don't see why ADHD would be that much of an issue in a design job (I'm inattentive ADHD).

    I think they don't don't know for sure what 'causes' ADHD, but these days I tend to feel "I'm an ADHD kind of personality", not "I have ADHD". It's part of who I am, not an illness. But just my take. Creativity and design is one area ADHD tendencies don't seem to be a problem.

    There are some good books on strategies for ADHD out there, so worth looking them up too.
  • I'm not sure labels are helpful. In an interview I would want to hear about your shortcomings, as well as your strengths, explained by example.

    You have to be true to yourself. Be the best you can be, and improve, but always be authentic. I fear that if I were to change to become like everyone else then I might lose my strengths as well as my "weaknesses".
  • Having ADHD myself, as a designer worked in teams. Purely down to the fact designers are those who get attention from producers, creatives and directors etc.

    Sometimes the attention might seem over baring, leading to a burn out very quickly, even when you have a heavy work load or tight deadlines. Spaces or places wish to work in might not be suited for the mind set of that person at that moment of time.

    If you do plan to work in a team, your gonna have to learn to control the ADHD as it can lead to being seen as an ego or hindrance to co workers.

    Examples a previous role as a Designer:
    I had one woman from HR sending me in my emails 24/7 “how am I doing” or “can we have a catch up”, got the point I had to block her email.


    I tend to be hands on as a designer taking pictures in the studio or playing with the photocopier or scanner --- Once everyone in the studio saw what I was doing and the outcome, they understood the context of my actions, how it relates to my practice.

You must sign up or log in before you 
add a comment.

Post reply