Anyone who has ever held a job knows an interview is critical in the hiring process. It allows both parties to exchange information, ask questions and determine whether the two are a “good fit.” The process can be intimidating for the applicant, and time-consuming for the prospective employer. Can you imagine what happens when you add a disability into the mix?
Interviewees with disabilities face unique challenges specific to them, while employers with little practice interviewing someone with a disability may feel some trepidation prior to the interview.
Truthfully, interviewing someone with a disability should be no different than any other interview. However, there are several ways employers and hiring managers can prepare to make the job candidate feel welcomed and included.
Take the person’s disability into account. For example, does your office building have accessible parking spaces? Is there a ramp or step-free entrance? If the answer is no, schedule the interview at another, more accessible location. Can you provide specific directions for someone with a visual impairment? Someone with a visual disability will need more detailed directions than “left at the elevators.” Do you have accessible writing surfaces at your security desk, and reception area?
The iDisability™, “Best Practices in the Employment of People with Disabilities” module is also a great resource in preparing for interviews with people with disabilities. The iDisability™ e-learning solution was specifically designed to educate and ease concerns about disability-related matters in the workplace. We currently offer a catalog of approximately 9 hours of critical disability employment topics, providing the foundation to engage, accommodate, and communicate with people with disabilities in the workforce. To schedule a demonstration, complete the contact form.
Lastly, and most importantly, remember to relax. If you’re concerned about offending the person with your verbiage or actions, be honest about your feelings, and allow the person with the disability to help put you at ease.