Preparing for success with disability employment interviews

Once you’ve had a person with disability apply for a job, what comes next? Just like with anyone else, it’s time for an interview.

Sometimes, people with disability will need adjustments during the interview process. Gary Butcher, Manager of Business Solutions at Dexar Group, knows this well.

“When we decided to hire a person with Down syndrome, making sure the interview process was as accessible as possible was extremely important,” says Gary.

Dexar Group put out an application through the ACT Down Syndrome Association, and had 12 people apply. The questions were framed specifically for the interview, and were provided to all interviewees before they came in.

Through Dexar Group’s partnership with ACT Down Syndrome Association, they knew how to do this. But other employers aren’t in it alone either - they can visit the Interview and selection process topic on the Employer Toolkit on the JobAccess website for everything they need to know.

Why is planning the interview ahead of time important?

“Giving the questions out ahead of time meant that everyone came along prepared. We also encouraged each interviewee to bring along a support person, which they all did - whether it was a parent or a professional in the disability sector,” says Gary.

After the interviews, Dexar Group hired Tim Cologon, who has now been working there for more than six months.

“The interview was awesome, it went really well,” says Tim.

“I’ve made new friends and get to do new tasks all the time. Everyone is awesome.”

Before Tim started at Dexar Group, the ACT Down Syndrome Association gave a presentation to staff about working with people with Down syndrome.

“Out of about 175 staff in the building, 140 showed up to the training session which was really great to see,” says Gary.

Since Tim has started, Gary - and the business as a whole - hasn’t looked back.

“It’s been so rewarding to have him here. He brings us a realisation that every day is a great day. Ask him ‘how are you Tim’ and he’ll say ‘I’m awesome’ - it’s infectious,” says Gary.

And from all accounts, working has been extremely rewarding for Tim, too.

“His parents have told me that his self-esteem has gone through the roof, and that he feels like he belongs here. Tim genuinely loves what he does.” says Gary.

So, what are you waiting for? Hiring people with disability is easier than you think - and, with the newly launched Employer Toolkit, everything you need to know is in one place.

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