The ADA has revolutionized the job interview. Although interviews have historically been an unreliable way to determine, employers continue to use them out of a sense of tradition. The ADA has brought some structure to the job interview, and by making employers focus on the applicant’s ability to perform the job’s essential functions may even enable employers to hire better employees.
Remember: You may not ask any question whose answer might reveal a disability. To be safe, only ask questions about the person’s ability to perform the job’s essential functions. Of course, in order to do this, employers must have accurate and up-to-date job descriptions outlining essential and nonessential job functions. Job descriptions should be updated regularly by taking input from both employees and supervisors. Courts frown upon out-of-date job descriptions.
Make interview site accessible
The place you conduct interviews says a great deal about your organization’s willingness to accommodate disabled workers. The interview site should be easily accessible for wheelchair-bound applicants and have disabled-accessible restrooms. Additionally, check the site for other accessibility issues: handicapped parking spaces, properly sized aisles and doors, and alarm systems that emit both audible and visual signals in the event of an emergency.
Note: Building accessibility guidelines are available from the United States Access Board at www.access-board.gov.