Making adjustments for job interviews
When hiring disabled candidates, legally you must remove any barriers they may have. Organisations can do this by making their application and interview process accessible.
One way to do this is to offer adjustments throughout the process. This includes interviews and interview tests. It’s essential for attracting disabled talent.
What are reasonable adjustments?
Adjustments are changes that make a workplace accessible for disabled people. These changes can be physical, for example adding ramps for wheelchair users. They can also be about the situation, for example having an interview panel with fewer people.
Adjustments are sometimes called ‘reasonable adjustments’ or ‘workplace adjustments’. Workplace adjustments is usually a broader term to include any adjustment an employee or colleague might need.
Reasonable adjustments is the wording used in the UK Equality Act (2010). Legally, you must make reasonable adjustments. The law has set criteria about who you must make adjustments for.
We recommend going beyond the legal minimum. This creates a more inclusive and accessible workplace.
Candidates you interview will need different workplace adjustments. So the changes you may need to make will vary.
Candidates with the same impairment can also need different adjustments. It’s better to focus on the adjustments rather than the impairment or condition. The job role can also impact the types of changes needed.
Make sure it’s easy for candidates to ask for adjustments specific to their need. As an example, here are some common adjustments that people ask for:
- questions and tasks sent in an email or document before the interview
- a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter
- different document formats, like a Word document instead of a PDF. Or braille and audio versions.
- wheelchair accessible interview venues
- remote interviews
- accessibility software for tests
When interviewing a candidate, you can also:
- rephrase a question to make it easier to understand
- let them know when they have given enough information and that you’ll be moving on to the next question
- let them know they can ask for adjustments during the interview if they need them
Simple changes like these can make a big difference for disabled jobseekers.
Planning for reasonable adjustments
You should make it easy for disabled candidates to ask for adjustments when they first apply. Do this by including a reasonable adjustments section on your application form.
It’s also common for disabled candidates to ask for adjustments after they’re invited to a job interview. When you send out the interview invite, ask candidates again if they need adjustments.
Candidates may also ask for adjustments on the day of the interview. If these are reasonable and possible, you need to do your best to meet them.
Make a plan as soon as you are asked for adjustments. It can be helpful to have a plan ready for common adjustments.
Other steps you can take include:
- reviewing accessibility barriers in your workplace and processes
- writing an Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) strategy and reviewing it regularly
- having a process to arrange for sign language interpreters
- finding interview venues that are accessible
If you want your online interviews to be more inclusive, there are steps you can take to make them more accessible: