Interviews, alternatives and adjustments

For the interviewer to bear in mind:

  • Make sure that you are treating all interviewees equally. Come up with consistent questions and an agreed scoring scheme for the responses.
  • If you are weighting questions such that certain questions count more than others, make sure that the questions that assess the primary skills you need are weighted heaviest, and more secondary or peripheral skills are weighted less.
  • Avoid allowing subconscious bias to interfere with a fair interview process. Make sure that your assessment only considers relevant information, and not body language, accent, dress, height, race, age, sex, or nation of origin.
  • Bear in mind someone’s ability to describe relevant past experiences as an indicator of how they actually performed in the past or will perform in the future.
  • Focus on the skills and experiences of the interviewee, and not how eloquently they speak.
  • Remember, there is little evidence that untrained managers can assess how well an individual candidate ‘fits’ organisational culture in an interview.

Very often, the people who are best placed to do the job fall at the hurdle of an interview that’s set up to fit only a tiny percentage of the people who applied.

Dean – Autistic freelance speaker

Not all autistic candidates choose to disclose, (tell you about) their condition, as they may be worried that it will affect their chance of receiving a job offer. Autism is a hidden disability, and some will mask their anxiety so effectively that it will not occur to you that they need reasonable adjustments. It is always good practice to offer reasonable adjustments to all candidates in appointment processes. You should focus on reasonable adjustments that minimise the impact of interviewing on autistic candidates (and by extension, on everyone else ).