Interviewing those with disabilities
Guide: Employment and disability
The Jersey Employment Trust has published " Employment and disability: A good practice guide for employers in Jersey" which employers will find useful.
- Schedule interviews in accessible locations.
- Be familiar with the essential and marginal functions described in the job description.
- Ask all interviewees the same questions.
- Be willing to consider alternative ways essential functions may be performed or marginal functions can be reassigned.
- Be willing to ask how to be of assistance to the interviewee.
- Be willing to provide reasonable accommodations during the interview if requested by the individual being interviewed, as well as at any other point during the service relationship.
During The Interview
- Maintain any information volunteered by the individual about their disability as confidential.
- Keep this documented information in a separate locked file.
- Focus on questions about the ability of the individual to perform the essential functions of the position with or without reasonable accommodations. Do not make assumptions about reasonable accommodations or ability.
- Withhold judgment about what an individual can or cannot do and how a task may be accomplished. Be open to the many ways that a task can performed.
- Maintain the same expectations and standards you would for any applicant, but be willing to offer reasonable accommodations so they can be met.
- Create a comfortable and open interview environment enabling the interviewee to request reasonable accommodations.
The questions asked during any interview must be related to the position in which the applicant is applying. Below are samples of appropriate versus inappropriate interview questions.
- This position typically requires lifting and carrying 15-pound boxes. Can you do that?
- If not, how would you move these boxes from point A to point B with or without reasonable accommodation?
- This position requires seasonal tasks and requires that volunteers devote 15 hours each week. Can you do that?
- This position involves working varied hours. Can you do varied hours?
- This position involves taking information over the telephone and entering it into the computer. Can you do that?
- Can you file documents?
- Do you have a disability or illness that I should know about?
- Have you ever filed a employees' compensation claim?
- What diseases have you had?
- Are you taking any prescribed drugs?
- Do you have any physical or mental impairments that may affect your performance in this position?
- How many days were you sick last year?
- Have you ever been hospitalized?
- To do this service, you will obviously need reasonable accommodations. Which ones will you need?
Copyright restrictions are waived on this document and it may be copied providing that the content is not altered in any way. JACS acknowledges, with thanks, those employers that have permitted their policies to be used in drawing up these recommendations.