Interview and selection process

Summary of topics

  • Obligations employers have in the interview process
  • How to assess suitability of candidates
  • Asking about adjustments
  • How and when to ask about disability

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The Disability Discrimination Act requires employers to make reasonable adjustments in employing people with disability, provided they do not impose unjustifiable hardship for employers. But, it's important to remember that recruiting people with disability is not about charity it's about giving everyone a fair go. With a few easy modifications you can provide opportunities for capable and skilled individuals to show you what they can do. Historically, people with disability have not had the same job opportunities as people without disability. Therefore, it's critical to be open to alternative ways of assessing the suitability of the candidates. Does the candidate have transferable skills for the required position? Will a modified interview or testing process help to find the best person for the job? Tell candidates in advance about any medical or physical requirements and ensure that they are job related only. If you do conduct a standard interview it's important to ask your candidates if they need any reasonable adjustments prior to the interview so they are treated fairly and equitably. This might include holding the interview at an accessible venue, providing an Auslan interpreter or having an employment support worker or carer to accompany the candidate to the interview if needed. When you are interviewing a person with disability there may be times where it's legitimate to ask about their ability, but it must be done in a non-discriminatory way. Avoid questions that are too personal or might carry negative assumptions or connotations. For example, rather than asking about the persons specific disability and how it will affect their job, phrase the question to ask them if they may need an adjustment in the workplace.

Interviewing people with disability for a job means understanding how to prepare the right questions, and knowing your role in the process.

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