As lockdown eases, many employers will continue to conduct job interviews online or by telephone.
This short guide looks at some simple ways of ensuring that your video or phone-based interviews are as accessible as possible for candidates with sight loss.
If you are sending out invites by letter, check with the applicant what size of print they can read. Inviting applicants to attend an interview by telephone or email may be a more accessible method for someone with sight loss. In the invite, explain how the interview will work, including any video platform that you will be using. Some platforms are more accessible than others for people who use assistive technology, so discuss this with the applicant.
Remember that some candidates may be inexperienced using online platforms, so think about offering a "trial run" to all applicants. This will ensure that they can follow the instructions and connect easily, avoiding problems on the day of the interview. People have varying levels of computer experience so, unless computer skills are essential for the job, you don’t want to disadvantage an applicant at the interview stage.
You may want to consider conducting a phone-based interview as a reasonable adjustment for applicants who have difficulty using video platforms.
Ask applicants in advance if there is anything they will need during the interview. You may need to make adjustments, such as providing extra time if there is a written component to the interview. If there is test material provided on the day, make sure this is in an accessible format, for example, large print. You can only be expected to make reasonable adjustments to the interview process if the applicant tells you about their disability prior to the interview.
Focus on the candidate's abilities and experience rather than on their sight loss. Be aware of visual cues that the applicant may not see, such as pointing to a screen. Always ensure the applicant knows who is speaking when there is more than person on the interview panel.
Make sure your interview room is set up prior to interview. Check that there is there good lighting. Think about your background and, if possible, make sure that there is good colour contrast between you and the background. Remember that someone with sight loss may find it difficult to see your face on a small screen.
Make sure that all staff involved in the interview and selection process understand equality and diversity and are confident about doing the interviews. This is to make sure that they deal with all applicants in a fair way and promote equality of opportunity.
Contact RNIB on 0303 123 9999 (and select Option 3) or email [email protected] if you want our advice before conducting an interview with a blind or partially sighted candidate.