Your self-directed employment assistant
The hiring process can be a stressful time for anyone. There’s a lot to think about and consider: fine tuning your resume, gathering references, creating a convincing cover letter, and submitting your application. Next in line comes the offer for the interview—the applicant’s time to really showcase to their potential employer why they’re a great fit. As you get ready for the interview, there’s a few things that you should consider and be aware of.
It’s good to be knowledgeable of the type of questions that will be asked during an interview so that you can be aware if you come across any questions that are considered illegal. This is especially pertinent for those that have disabilities because you’re protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) which will prohibit a company from asking you questions that are related to your disability before a job offer has been made. By law, an employer cannot ask you any questions to do with your disability, whether or not you have a visible or invisible disability. This could include asking you what happened to you (referring to your particular physicality), if you are able to complete certain tasks, or if you will be disabled for a certain amount of time. It’s entirely up to you when you mention your disability and when you want to disclose it. Once you receive a job offer it is at that point that an employer can legally ask if you’re able to complete certain tasks—as they would any other applicant—and if so, it’s up to you to request a reasonable accommodation if there’s a need for one. The employer’s main focus during the initial interview is to focus on the applicant’s skill, abilities, experiences, etc. Anything deviating from those types of questions and instead focusing on the individual’s disability is considered illegal and should not be tolerated.
The interview is essential to the hiring process as that is when the potential employer gets to see you—the applicant— shine. If the employer starts to ask questions of the applicant that feel inappropriate and unrelated to the position in question, it is entirely within that individual’s jurisdiction to refrain from answering and shift away from the question. As was mentioned above, the ADA is there to protect you! If you’d like to learn more about the employer side of interviewing applicants with disabilities, check out this interesting article I came across. As always, be sure to check out our informative Digital Tip on this topic, too. Until next time, I hope you all enjoy the last days of Winter as we transition into Spring. See you in April!