Job Interview Questions You Can’t Ask Someone With Disability
Currently 1 in 5 Australians are living with disability.
Often employers can be unsure about employing someone with disability if they have not done so before.
So, here are some useful etiquette suggestions and tips to take into consideration when conducting a job interview with someone with disability.
The main reason for any job interview is to assess an individuals’ suitability for a given position and questions should be asked which address the job criteria.
Irrespective of who is being interviewed, the interviewer should always display a level of courtesy, professionalism and respect.
If an applicant openly mentions their disability then you should ask if they need any assistance in getting to the interview, completing paperwork, during the interview with services such as a AUSLAN interpreter or even just allowing extra time for the interview.
Currently in Australia, there is no law that states a person with disability must disclose that information when applying for work.
Applicants who apply for work through a Disability Service Provider (or DES) may be able to easily source any necessary resources, but if not you can find plenty of services available through programs such as the Employment Assistance Fund or the Supported Wage System.
There can be certain benefits for companies who employ persons with disability.
Some questions you should not ask
- “Do you need a lot of time off work because of your disability?”
- “Are you taking medication?”
- “How did you get your disability?”
- “Do you get annoyed if people treat you differently?”
- “What does your disability stop you from doing in the workplace?”
- “Are you able to contribute to the cost of accessibility equipment for the workplace?”
- “Are you going to be able to do this job with your disability?”
You will be asking the same questions you ask of any interviewee.
Be sure to ask questions that are relevant to how a potential employee’s disability may or may not affect them doing the job – not about their disability in general.
Questions you can ask
- “Are you able to let us know if you have medical appointments which require shift changes?”
- “Are you taking any medication which may affect your ability to work safely?”
- “Do you need to take regular breaks to rest?”
- “Will you require any additional workplace support?”
- “Do you have any ideas about how we could improve our workplace accessibility?”
- “Do you have any recommendations for suppliers of accessibility equipment?”
Other general tips that can help you interact with a person with a disability include:
- If you offer assistance to a person with a disability, make sure they accept your help before engaging, but be prepared for them to refuse your offer
- If a disability support worker, companion or interpreter is present, be sure to communicate with the interviewee not the support person
- Do not be patronising, treat a person who has a disability as you would treat anyone
- Do not touch or pat a service animal without permission
- Do not lean on a person’s wheelchair
- Be courteous, professional and respectful
There are information resources and multiple services available for existing employees to help a workplace in the training and education of hiring a person with a disability.
This can help to create a harmonious work environment for all people in the business. Australian based disABILITY AWAREness is a great option for short online courses.
By knowing what you can ask and knowing what you can’t ask you are helping to provide jobs for people with disabilities as well as accessible and friendly work environments.
Understanding and asking questions is the best way to avoid misconceptions, plus it can help you have more confidence heading into the interview, ultimately leading to a more successful interview.
If you know someone with a disability who is looking for work, check out this article on How To Prepare For A Job Interview.
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