Reasonable adjustments for interviews and assessments

Reasonable adjustments are available to those with autism and other conditions to help overcome any challenges that the recruitment process might cause you.

If you are concerned that your autism in some way makes it difficult for you to perform at your best in any part of the recruitment process, you should ask for a reasonable adjustment

Good employment practice is for employers to ask you if you need any reasonable adjustments for any part of the application process, but this does not always happen. This is often because employers don’t know they should offer to make adjustments, rather than any attempt to avoid making them. If it helps, you can refer the company to employer information about reasonable adjustments in our section for employers.

You can ask for reasonable adjustments even if they are not offered to you, but you may have to declare that you have a disability. There is more about telling an employer that you are autistic in our section on applying for work. Your objective is to make the process accessible for you and your personal needs.

The adjustment should be tailored around you, so you need to be ready to talk about what you need

Things you could ask for include:

  • Extended deadlines for receipt of the application form
  • Proposed dates for interviews or assessments
  • Directions to the venue
  • Names and photos of the interviewers or assessors, with details of their role in the company and what role each will play in the interview
  • Reducing the number of interviewers
  • Using other communication methods
  • A photo of the room in which the interview or assessment is to be held
  • A visit to the site of the interview or assessment
  • Specific time (avoiding rush hour travel)
  • An agenda detailing any exercises that are included in the interview process
  • Asking not to shake hands and explaining if eye contact is painful for you, that you may not be able to do that in interview
  • Using direct questions, prompts and follow up questions to help you demonstrate what you know
  • Questions based on your actual experience, not hypothetical situations, sometimes referred to as competency-based questions
  • Letting you know if you have said enough in an answer so you can move onto the next question
  • Asking for a supporter to join you in the interview as someone to support communication between you and the employer
  • Allowing time for you to write questions down
  • Allowing you to bring notes into the interview with you
  • Consideration given to the room layout – e.g. not with back to a door, or with a desk or table in front of or beside you to allow you to make or refer to notes
  • The date by which all candidates will be notified of the outcome of the interview or assessment
  • Written confirmation by email of any arrangements made over the phone or not in writing
  • A copy of the interview questions in advance (if you are worried this may be perceived to offer you an unfair advantage, you can suggest that these can be given to all candidates)
  • Sending in written responses to questions
  • If the process includes multiple interviews or assessments on the same day, for these to be scheduled closer together to minimise waiting time and avoid unnecessary stress
  • Ask for a video or phone interview rather than face to face – this avoids travel, and only shows head and shoulders so you could still stim with your hands out of shot if it helps.
  • Asking for an alternative to the interview, such as a job trial or work experience