How to Interview
1. General Tips for Interviewing People with Disabilities
Conduct interview in a manner that emphasizes abilities, achievements
and individual qualities.
Conduct your interview as you would with anyone. Be considerate without
it appears that a person’s disability inhibits performance of a job,
focus on HOW the person can perform the job.
Inappropriate: “I notice you are in a wheelchair and I wonder how you
will be able to do this job.”
Appropriate: “As you can see from the job description, this position
requires some lifting and moving. Do you foresee any difficulty in
performing the required tasks? If so, do you have any suggestions how
these tasks can be performed?”
2. Specific interviewing tips for working with people with Mobility
When scheduling interviews, be aware that applicants may need to make
transportation arrangements. In giving directions, consider accessible
traveling routes, accessible parking spaces, and physical obstacles such
as stairs, curbs or steep hills that may hinder or delay a person using
a wheel chair, cane or crutches.
the interview is inaccessible, be prepared to find an alternate
aware that some wheelchair users may choose to transfer themselves out
of their wheelchairs (into an office chair, for example) for the
duration of the interview.
Enable people who use crutches, canes or wheelchairs to keep them within
reach during the interview.
3. Specific interviewing tips for working with people who are Deaf or
Hard of Hearing
the interviewee can lip-read, look directly at him or her and speak
clearly at a normal pace. Do not exaggerate your lip movements or shout.
Speak expressively because the person will rely on your facial
expressions, gestures and eye contact.
an interpreter is present at the interview, it is commonplace for the
interpreter to be seated beside the interviewer, across from the
interviewee. Interpreters only facilitate communication. They should not
be consulted or regarded as a reference for the interview. Also, keep in
mind that just because someone uses a sign language interpreter during
the interview does not mean that he or she will require an interpreter at
all times to do their work.
4. Specific interviewing tips for working with people with Blind or
When greeting a person with vision impairment always identify yourself
and introduce anyone else who might be present at the interview.
Describe the interview setting (for example, say, “There is a table in
front of you and a seat to your right.”)
When offering seating, place the person’s hand on the back or arm of the
seat. A verbal cue is helpful as well. Use specifics such as “left ten
feet” or “right two yards” when directing a person with a visual
Provide a well-lit area for the interview. Avoid sharp contrasts of
light and darkness. A person’s visual acuity may change under different
Offer assistance in filling out forms. Most persons with visual
impairments can fill out forms and sign their names if the appropriate
spaces are indicated to them.
5. Specific interviewing tips for working with people who have Cognitive
or Psychiatric Disabilities
6. Specific interviewing tips for working with people with Speech and
Listen attentively when you’re talking to a person who has speech
Exercise patience rather than attempting to speak for a person with
speech difficulty. When necessary, ask short questions that require
short answers, a nod or a shake of the head.
Never pretend to understand if you are having difficulty doing so.
Repeat what you understand and the person’s reactions will clue you in
and guide you to understanding.
Speak with a normal tone of voice. Most speech-impaired persons can hear
and understand without difficulty.
Test Your Knowledge
- View two examples of interviews.