How to make your interviews accessible

It’s important that disabled candidates have the same opportunities to shine in the recruitment process as everyone else. Most won’t need any particular adjustments, but they should have the opportunity to ask, without feeling it will disadvantage them in any way. It’s about removing barriers that may prevent them from performing at their best. Most candidates will know what’s helpful. Here are some actions you could consider:

Alternatives to interviews:

Sometimes it’s better to test someone’s skills rather than interview them. If so, be clear on what the test involves and ensure they have access to any adjustments they might need (e.g. accessible information, extra time, assistive technology).

Before an interview

Let the candidate know in advance:

  • How many people will be on the panel, their names and job titles
  • How long the interview will last
  • If they can take notes in with them
  • If they can take someone with them
  • The questions you will ask (in some circumstances)
  •  Clear directions to the venue, available parking etc

Ask if they need anything (e.g. more time to process the questions, a British Sign Language interpreter) and provide it (Access to Work will help with the latter).

Five candidates sitting waiting for an interview

Location

If possible, find a room that is:

  • Accessible for wheelchairs
  • Quiet and free from distractions
  • Well-lit, but with no flickering lights
  • Not intimidating

Lay the room out so the interviewers don’t have their backs to a bright window (makes it difficult for lip-readers).

The interview

  • Only ask questions which are relevant to the role
  • Give the candidate time to answer
  • Ignore irrelevant aspects (what the candidate was wearing, whether they maintained eye contact, whether you ‘liked’ them). Evaluate the candidate only on their ability to do the job in question

For more detailed information, register on Evenbreak’s best practice portal (if you don’t currently have a subscription, contact us to learn more)

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