Generally speaking you can always ask but i doubt anyone would come out and say that's the reason. Do you think that your height is a problem to properly perform the jobs you are applying for?Caue I have to say that it isn't necessarily something that would affect *my* decision in hiring someone. So if you are qualified for the job and not getting hired, perhaps there is another reason (maybe you are lacking confidence ?)
Have you tried working through an agency?
I would have said my limitations would mostly be needing to reach to high places, such as top shelves. And thinking most people would need a stool or ladder for that. Although as I was in the pharmacy recently, and as I waited, I saw the pharmacists there take documents from the top of a tall machine (copier? fax?), and seeing how average-sized folks there could reach that machine easily, made me think there can be more hinderances for me than first thought.
The majority of my interviews have been through agencies, but I've not had much success there. I admit I do have a tendency to get quite nervous, so I'd imagine that factors in as well. But I've not given up on going to them.
Would you work with customers?
I ask because they could be judging your size because they would be afraid their customers wouldn't like it (that would be wrong and I think illegal at least here).
If you don't work with the public they might be 'uncomfortable' if they've never interacted with a X person (X being of a different race, gender identity, random disability..).
In that case you could proactively reassure them that you are quite capable of any task your job entails.
"As you can see on my resume I had X and Y position/job at firmW and never had any problem performing my duties or quickly learning new things. I've never let anything slow me down."
And this really depends on you/your job/ the company/the recruiter and all that, but sometimes a joke/laugh is the best icebreaker.
Something like "and I come with my own step-stool!"* would likely tell the recruiter that you don't think your height matters and that there is always a way to work around it.
*I do not, by any mean, want to be callous or insensitive, self-deprecation humor is not for everyone and I apologize if I'm way out of lines and don't realize it.
Some of the job interviews, I have had, such as retail, with some of those would have been dealing with customers. I've had my appearance in mind of how it could be off-putting to some, but hoped I deal with it all right if I got the job, and I could learn to put customers more at ease. Though if I ask folks who've worked with the general public, especially for any length of time, I believe I'd hear how wacky the public can be, and they'd rather complain over the least little things than anything else
. I like the step-stool icebreaker. And no, I don't find your comments insensitive or anything else similar. I'd rather hear what needs to be said.
What advice did the instructor give you to help counterbalance what she saw as a deficit? I mean, she did give you some advice about how to handle the issue, didn't she? or did she just drop that bombshell and say nothing more to you?
I think it depends on what type of job you are looking for. If it is something that is basically office or desk work, I don't see why your height would make a difference, if you are otherwise qualified for the position. If it's a job that requires heavy lifting or a lot of physical work, then I could see why an employer might not make you their first choice.
What sorts of questions do you get during interviews? Do you get the feeling that once they see you, they ask just enough questions to be polite and then usher you out the door, or do you get the sense that they are really interviewing you and asking questions to determine your skills and how you would handle problems in the job you are interviewing for?
Another thought--if you are in the US, your employer will be required to make accommodations for you, if you need them. They probably have a completely misguided idea about how much those accommodations would cost. I think the average cost is about $75 for an employee with physical disabilities (I'm not saying you are disabled, but that's the figure I have seen). While the average employer assumes that the accommodations will cost upwards of $500. These are figures I've seen in researching employment for the disabled. What you might be running into is people thinking that hiring you will cost their company money, if they have to alter the office environment so that you can work comfortably.
If you do need any accommodations, like a special chair or something, I do think it might help to bring that up during an interview. Make it a straightforward statement of fact, "As you can see, I do require a special chair/step stool/whatever, but that is the only accommodation I need in an office setting." Don't bring up your appearance per se, but do make a factual statement about what you need to do the job. If you don't need any accommodations, do state that. "As you can see, I'm a 'little person.' However, that in no way affects my ability to solve quadratic equations/balance the books/type at 150 words a minute/always be cheerful and polite on the phone."
I was told that I'd be hard to hire because my instructor had worked with another little person a few years prior in finding a job, and apparently proved quite the difficulty in job-getting, but did eventually have success. She did though over the course of the semester, did put me on to a job, too, alas it was temporary.
Most of interviews have been for clerical, some for retail. I do feel like I'm just going through the motions for the majority of them. Such as typing tests, and the interviewer saying something as they'll be evaluating things and letting you know that they've got others to see, and afterward, I don't hear anything from them. With retail, I've gotten the questions as 'If I could change anything about the store, what would it be?' I want so much to answer with brilliance, but that doesn't happen often.
It may be also chalked up to me getting nervous, not knowing what to ask, etc. I'm pretty much an introverted, shy person, so that doesn't really work best in trying to 'sell yourself.' I have rarely done a check back after the interview, which I do want to show interest, though I'm always unsure of when and how to do so appropriately without looking a pest.
Tall equipment can be a problem, and perhaps also chairs. If it has a fairly high seat and on rollers, then it's not too easy to get into. But doable if I can find something to brace it against.
I want to say thanks much! It helps sharing and getting this feedback.