A job interview has two main purposes: to find out whether a candidate is suitable for a particular job, and to give the candidate information about the job. Every candidate should be given the same opportunities to present themselves and their experience and suitability for the job, and to ask questions about the job on offer.
When advertising a job role it is important not to discriminate against disabled people. It is vital to ensure job adverts are in an accessible format for everyone that is suitable for the job, whether they are disabled or not.
Things to consider when writing job adverts:
- use a font that is large and easy to understand
- make sure that they don’t exclude any section of the community
- state clearly that you welcome applications from all sections of the community and that you have an equal opportunities policy
- only include skills and experiences which are vital to the job in the person specification
- do not set criteria which automatically exclude certain groups, for example stating that applicants must have a driving licence when there is no requirement for travel within the role
- provide the contact details of someone in your organisation who can provide further information and discuss any reasonable adjustments that the applicant may need
- offer alternative application formats, eg paper copy
Places where jobs can be advertised include:
- Jobcentre Plus.
- Careers services and local schools, colleges and universities.
- Local newspapers.
- Online jobs boards.
- Social networks such as LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook.
Under the Equality Act 2010 you must not ask about a job applicant’s health until you have offered them a job, except to:
- find out whether they need any reasonable adjustments during the recruitment process
- find out if they can carry out an essential function of the job
- monitor whether applicants are disabled (this must be anonymous)
Ask applicants if they need an adjustment to the interview process to allow them to be considered for the job. Make any adjustments if they are reasonable, for example:
- use premises that are fully accessible
- change lighting or room layout
- show a visually impaired applicant to their seat
- offer an alternative to a standard interview, for example a working interview or allow extra time
- allow applicants to complete a written test using a computer
When interviewing a disabled applicant, help them to perform to the best of their ability by:
- speaking directly to them rather than any support worker
- telling them about any flexible working patterns that you may be able to offer them
- making sure that you ask each applicant the same questions, whether or not they are disabled
It is important that interviews follow a structure. The candidate will expect the interviewer to take control and to guide the proceedings. A structure ensures that the time available is used in the best possible way and all relevant areas can be covered. It also makes it easier to compare candidates.
Interviews should be broken into stages, for example:
- Welcome – the candidate should be put at ease and have the structure of the interview explained to them.
- Overview of the business and the job on offer – the interviewer should provide background information on the business, including its products and services, objectives, organisation and culture. They should clearly state the tasks involved in the job.
- Interview the candidate – it is important that interviewers use open-ended, specific questions about the candidate’s background in order to probe further into his/her experience and qualifications. They should not use closed questions or leading questions.
- Offer time for questions – the interviewer should give the candidate the opportunity to ask their own questions, if they have any.
- Close – the interviewer should finish the interview by asking the candidate if they have anything to add, and then explain the next steps in the selection process if this has not already been covered.