When job interviews are accessible, businesses can widen their talent pool. It can also increase their chance of finding the perfect hire. But with so many options available, what are the best online interview formats? And how do you make sure your interviewing processes are more accessible to disabled candidates?

Inclusive recruitment processes

Organisations want to create a culture of inclusivity. But to do this you need to start with recruitment.

Whether it’s writing job descriptions using inclusive language. Or offering accessible interview formats. These all help to create the foundations for a diverse workforce.

Many businesses speak about their commitment to diversity and inclusion. But discrimination in your interviewing process can easily happen. Especially if you don’t put the right processes in place from the start.

One of the best ways to do this is to offer remote interviews.

Remote interviews

In the last few years, remote working in the UK has massively increased. Partly because of the improvements in workplace technology and lockdown restrictions.

According to research, 30% of the UK workforce is now working remotely at least once a week. So many businesses have had to change their working practices.

In the recruitment stage, this includes the interview formats offered. Many organisations offer a phone call or a video call instead of an in-person interview.

You might invite a candidate to a remote interview because:

  • it’s the first of many interview stages
  • the candidate lives far from your office
  • it’s more accessible option for candidates who might be disabled

How accessible are remote interviews?

One of the benefits of remote interviews is that people can interview from spaces they are familiar with. Remote interviews can also be more accessible for candidates who cannot to travel.

But it’s important to remember that remote interviews may not work for everyone. For example, a candidate that’s nonverbal and unable to travel. You’ll need to find an alternative interview format that meets their needs.

Under the Equality Act 2010 (GOV.UK), employers must make reasonable adjustments for disabled applicants. This means every potential candidate has the right to ask for changes.

If a candidate asks for reasonable adjustments, you’ll need to make these changes. Adjustments might be:

  • having access to questions before the interview or posted in the chat
  • keeping cameras off during the interview
  • having more time to process a question before answering
  • captions using a live transcription service

These can help give disabled candidates equal access to the interview. Some will already have the assistive technology they need at home.

Video interviews

Video can be helpful for candidates that need to lip-read or need a sign language interpreter to join.

You can use different platforms for video interviews, like

  • Microsoft Teams
  • Zoom
  • Google Meets
  • Skype

Candidates may ask to use a specific platform as a reasonable adjustment. But there are still accessibility-related related challenges with video interviews. And not all candidates will have the assistive technology to join a video interview. So, you might want to offer alternative interview methods.

Online interviews do not work for everyone. But that doesn’t mean they can’t do the job. We need recruitment practices that rely less on traditional communication.

Instead, we need to focus on how to use different interview formats to assess a candidate’s ability to do the job. When we do this, we can remove barriers and create a fairer recruitment process.

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