Most people feel nervous when attending interviews and this anxiety level is even more for people with disabilities.
So it is important for interview organisers to ensure necessary arrangements are made for all types of people.
Given below is some guidance on making these arrangements considering people with disabilities.
Before the interview a parking space close to the building should be reserved for the candidate. After the reservation, candidate should be notified along with the security personnel. The interview hall should be accessible for wheel-chaired candidates with ample room for them to manoeuvre inside. The room should also allow applicants to position comfortably before the interview panel.
Some people with mobility problems depends on mobility aids rather than wheel chairs. So the flooring should be non-slip. They also need some support with posture and while standing up. A straight-backed chair with arms will help with good posture and provide support when rising from the chair.
Job description and selection process should be the main focus points of the interview panel. They should aim at examining skills, experience and the capabilities of the applicant rather than concentrating on his/her disabilities. It should be made clear to the candidate that the selection decisions are made mainly on the applicant’s abilities and skills, but not on organisational issues with the disabilities.
Selection process is normally based on continuous information and feedback between interviewer and applicant. The continuity may often break if the applicant has hearing problems. Some hearing impaired people are fully deaf, while others has some hearing and are supported by hearing aids. As hearing aids amplify all the sounds, background noise in the interview room should be kept minimal by taking the measures like closing window to avoid outside noises. An interpreter should be made available for hearing-impaired candidate and all questions during the interview should be pointed to the candidate rather than interpreter.
People with learning difficulties are slower at learning new things and some specific skills. The difficulties range from slight to serious impairment to their intellectual abilities.
Providing a layout of the interview area may help people with learning difficulties. These people should be allowed to be accompanied by an advocate or a friend during the interview to ease their nervousness. It should be reminded that all the questions should be directed at the applicant rather than the accompanying person. Conducting the interview in an informal way may be helpful to the candidate and extra measures should be taken to keep him calm and stress-free.
Different people have different levels of visual impairment ranging from partial vision and colour blindness to complete blindness. Most of the visual impaired people can see to some extent. Some visually impaired people may require some assistance reaching the interview room from reception. So appropriate arrangements should be made in the reception for this assistance and should only be offered if required for the visually impaired person.
Visually impaired people feel it helpful if each member of the interview panel introduces themselves with their physical location in the room relative to the candidate. To avoid confusion, the interviewer should identify him self before starting questions and should wait for the previous interviewer to finish. The lighting in the interview room should be set to show the faces of the interviewers clearly to help partially impaired candidates identify facial expressions and gestures.