Employers’ Guide to Interviewing Disabled Applicants

Employers’ Guide to Interviewing Disabled Applicants

Sensitivity is an issue that employers must always take into account. Employers who are seeking prospective employees for their respective companies must make it a point to steer away from sensitive issues, especially during the interview process.


Employers can say and ask a lot in the interview process. They may maintain professionalism inside the interview room, but there are times when certain situations may result to something that may leave a bad impression. Interviewing disabled applicants is one example of this.


It can be hard for employers to stay within the rules of proper decorum in the interview process, especially in dealing with applicants with disability. At times, employers may ask something out of the blue that is deemed inappropriate and in bad taste. When this happens, employers, at some point, may violate the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).


When done incorrectly, the interview process may be a breeding ground for employment discrimination. Applicants who feel they may have been invaded of their rights in the interview proper may rise into action and file charges of discrimination against erring employers. To avoid getting sued for disability discrimination in the hiring process, employers can refer to what the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) laid down for them.

Here are some job interview questions that they must avoid asking disabled applicants:


  • Have you ever been hospitalized? If so, for what condition?
    • Have you ever been treated for any mental condition?
    • Have you been treated for any conditions or diseases in the past three years? If so, what are they?
    • Do you suffer from any health-related conditions that might prevent you from performing this job?


For the EEOC, it is a big no-no for employers to ask such questions. These may create an impression for the applicants that they may not be hired or accepted for the job because they are disabled. Instead of asking questions such as these, employers can ask the following questions that basically pertain to what the applicants can do in relation to the job:


  • Can you execute all the functions of the job? How well can you do them?
  • Can you meet all the attendance requirements?
  • Do you have any professional licenses and certificates?