Potential employees should feel welcome at all stages of the selection process, and interviews should reflect an organization’s commitment to diversity, accessibility, and inclusion.
The employee selection process should focus on what individuals can contribute, as well as what the organization can contribute to the individual. Interviewers may sometimes worry about asking inappropriate questions, including those that may even be illegal in the context of a job interview. In general, it’s best to avoid questions specifically related to disability, even if reasons for asking are well intentioned. Yes or no questions about specific job duties are generally acceptable.
In general, face-to-face interviewing in an accessible location should be the norm. The list of questions asked of all applicants should be consistent, and based upon the job description. While accommodations should be made for those who need them for the interview itself, accommodations that may be required to perform the job should not be discussed during the interview.
Every candidate should feel that it is his or her skills and potential contributions are the focus of the interview, and that they are being assessed only on relevant factors. Making certain that the interview process is inclusive of candidates with disabilities gives companies an edge, ensuring that they hire the best possible employees. Check out the National Service Inclusion Project’s information about inclusive interviewing and candidate selection here.