Interviewing people with disability

Some people with disability may need special arrangements to participate in an interview. For example, a person with vision impairment may need detailed instructions and extra time to find your building. A person who is deaf may require an Auslan (sign language) interpreter to be present at the interview.

If you are working with a provider of Disability Employment Services, the provider will advise what special arrangements need to be made. If an applicant has directly disclosed a disability to you in applying for a job, ask what adjustments they may need for the interview.

Your organisation may be eligible for financial assistance to help cover special arrangements needed to interview people with disability. To find out more, contact a JobAccess Adviser on 1800 464 800 and ask about the Employment Assistance Fund.

Interview questions

You can only ask questions about how an applicant’s disability might relate to doing the job. You can ask how the workplace could be changed to help the applicant do the job. You can ask about how work hours or rosters could be changed to help the applicant be more productive. You can ask questions about keeping the workplace safe for the applicant and everyone else.

You cannot ask personal questions about the lifestyle of a person with disability. You cannot ask general questions about the applicant’s health or disability, such as how they acquired the disability.

Basically, ask the same questions that you would of a person without disability.

Types of questions you can ask

  • “Will you need any special work arrangements so you can do your job?”
  • “Will you need any changes to be made here in the workplace?”
  • “Have you got ideas about good ways to do your job?”
  • “Do you have ideas for making your workplace safe?”
  • “Do you take any medication that might make it unsafe for you to do any of the job’s tasks?”
  • “How will you let us know about medical appointments so we can change your work roster?”

Types of questions you cannot ask

  • “Do you take a lot of medication?”
  • “Are you sick a lot?”
  • “How many times a year do you go to the doctor?”
  • “Are you going to be able to cope?”
  • “Does your disability make you get angry with other people?”
  • “Have you ever lost a job because of your disability?”

Other assessments

Ensure any other assessments are in an accessible format for a person with disability. All assessments must relate only to the fundamental requirements of the job.

Pre-employment medicals must be job-related and should only test the fitness or health of the applicant against the fundamental requirements of the job.

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