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How to make it easier for people to get job interviews

Image Credits: UnsplashImage Credits: Unsplash
  • Understanding and accommodating different needs is crucial for accessible job interviews.
  • Using accessible platforms and providing accessible content ensures that all candidates can participate fully.
  • Structuring interviews and avoiding abstract questions help minimize bias and create a fairer comparison of candidates.

Ensuring that job interviews are accessible to all candidates is not just a legal requirement but a moral imperative. By making small yet significant changes to the interview process, employers can create an inclusive environment that allows every candidate to perform at their best. Here are some practical tips and best practices to make job interviews more accessible.

1. Understand and Accommodate Different Needs

The first step to making job interviews more accessible is to ask candidates about their accessibility needs and preferences. This can be done during the initial scheduling of the interview. For instance, some candidates may require a sign language interpreter, while others might need additional time to respond to questions. By understanding these needs upfront, employers can make the necessary accommodations to ensure a smooth interview process.

2. Choose Accessible Platforms

When conducting virtual interviews, it is essential to select platforms that are designed with built-in accessibility features. Platforms like Zoom, Skype, and Google Meet offer features such as keyboard controls, high color contrast, closed captioning support, and screen reader optimization. Avoid requiring proprietary apps that may not be accessible to all users.

3. Provide Accessible Content

Ensure that all interview materials, including job descriptions, interview questions, and company information, are available in accessible formats. Plain text HTML or Word documents are preferable over PDFs or images, as they are easier for screen readers to process. Additionally, include descriptive alt text for any images used in the materials.

4. Use Closed Captioning

For live video interviews, offer Communication Access Real-time Translation (CART) or automatic captioning services. This ensures that candidates who are deaf or hard of hearing can follow the conversation. Providing transcripts of the interview can also be beneficial for later reference.

5. Create a Welcoming Environment

Whether the interview is in-person or virtual, creating a welcoming environment is crucial. For in-person interviews, ensure that the physical space is accessible, with features such as ramps, push buttons for doors, and spacious rooms for wheelchair users. For virtual interviews, make sure to introduce yourself properly and ask if the candidate has any specific needs.

6. Structure Your Interviews

A structured interview process leads to consistency and fairness. Create a job brief that outlines the traits, skills, and experience required for the role. Develop a set of standardized questions based on this brief and use them for all candidates. This approach minimizes bias and allows for a more objective comparison of candidates.

7. Avoid Open and Hypothetical Questions

People with disabilities, particularly those with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), may find it challenging to answer abstract questions. Instead, focus on concrete questions that relate directly to the job requirements. This helps candidates provide more relevant and accurate responses.

8. Allow Extra Time and Breaks

Be flexible with the interview schedule. Allow extra response times and breaks as needed. This is particularly important for candidates who may need more time to process information or who may experience fatigue more quickly.

9. Collect Feedback

After the interview, seek feedback from candidates about their experience. This can provide valuable insights into how the process can be improved. Continuous improvement is key to creating a truly inclusive interview process.

10. Legal Compliance

Ensure that your interview process complies with legal standards and anti-discrimination laws. Familiarize yourself with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other relevant legislation to ensure that your practices are in line with legal requirements.

Quotes from Experts

David Gevorkian, CEO and Founder of BeAccessible Inc, emphasizes the importance of accessibility in digital interviews: "Remote interviews might seem more accessible for your candidates, but they do come with their own set of barriers. Ensuring equal access is not just legally required but morally imperative for inclusive hiring practices."

By taking proactive steps to make job interviews more accessible, employers can create an inclusive hiring process that attracts top, diverse talent. Implementing these best practices not only ensures compliance with legal standards but also demonstrates a commitment to diversity and inclusion. Prioritizing accessibility in job interviews is a win-win for both employers and candidates.

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