Management: Tips for Your Interview Process

Management: Tips for Your Interview Process

What questions can you ask to a candidate with a disability?

There are many obstacles that you may face when going through your next interview process.  What interview questions can you ask someone with a disability and when should you call a candidate’s references?

interview disability

The questions that you ask during an interview must comply with the American’s with Disabilities Act (ADA).  Of course, when dealing with a complex law, such as the ADA, you should speak with a lawyer who specializes in employment law to ensure you are following the law.  There are some simple tips that you can follow when interviewing a candidate with a disability. Many interviewers would like to know if the candidate would be able to perform the task they are hiring for, before they hire them.  It makes sense that you would want to ask a question such as:

“ What kind of accommodations will you need to fulfill the type of work this position requires?”

A question like the one posed above should not be asked since it does not abide by the ADA.  According to the ADA, a potential employer cannot ask a question related to a person’s disability before hiring them. You want to re-word your question so it is not asking about the disability but rather about their skill.  You can ask:

“Would you be able to do this type of keyboard work?”

Employers can’t ask about disabilities at all pre-offer but you can ask about the candidate’s ability to perform specific requirements of the job.  All discussion about what accommodations would need to be made must happen post-offer.

Tips for Calling References

  • You should hold off on calling anyone’s references until you have finished interviewing all potential candidates so you aren’t wasting their time or your own time.
  • You should not ask a reference what accommodations they had to make for the candidate.
  • Also, before calling references, make sure it isn’t their current employer, unless the candidate has approved it, since it could jeopardize their current job.
  •  If an applicant has listed a company in their references and you personally know someone that works there is it okay for you to call them and ask their impression?
  •  You can call people who they have worked with who aren’t on their official reference list.  You should do your research on an applicant before you hire them.


When going through the hiring process make sure you avoid opening up your organization to possible liabilities and check with a professional if you are unsure.  At River City Staffing we connect fully screened, interviewed, qualified, skill assessed and reference-checked employees with your company’s job specifications and corporate culture expectations.  Let us do the hiring for you!


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