As studies reported, the insecurity and joblessness of qualified employees with autism is an undeniable problem.
Companies increasingly realize the importance of having autistic individuals in their workforces, and knowledge about coping methods becomes more widely available.
The interviewing process can be overwhelming for everyone, but it can be challenging for someone on the autism spectrum.
Companies don't pay attention to the social and performance differences between any employees and those with autism.
So Unintentionally, recruitment and screening processes will harm applicants with autism. This article will go through some modifications that help you to conduct a more autism-friendly interview.
Changing the interviewing process does not have any unique benefits for candidates with autism over others; instead, it allows them to show their unique talents and skills better.
Below are easy steps that would ensure an interview with fewer obstacles while hiring a candidate with autism.
The Interview Type
Sensory perception disorders and difficulty interpreting body language, facial gestures, voice tone, and social standards are typical in adults with autism.
Conducting a panel interview and talking to many persons simultaneously raises this issue as the Autism candidate focuses on all their verbal and nonverbal communications. This leads to incompetency.
Although employers prefer panel interviews to ensure a bias-free hiring process, sequential interviews can better lessen the stress and help the candidate be more focused.
Sequential interviews are a win-win option. The candidate will meet more than one interviewer but not simultaneously, so the employer will ensure a fair interview process, and candidates will be more comfortable.
The Interview Questions
Asking the most frequently asked interview questions will negatively affect the autistic candidate as they understand things literally. Avoid also psychological questions that have nothing to do with the job description or the role requirements.
Instead, use fair, objectively based questions to assess applicable career skills specifically.
Don't ask questions related to other people's impression (For example, If I called your previous boss, what would he say about you?). More straightforward questions are best for people with autism, and they answer well the questions about experiences they have already encountered.
Ask situational questions like, "Tell me about a time when you had work stress and how did you overcome it." It can be challenging to answer imaginative questions. Any question that begins with the word "imagine" should be replaced with the phrase "describe a moment.
Other Basic Guidelines for interviewing a candidate with an autism
There're also other points that you've to consider while interviewing a candidate with autism
- Here are few general guidelines to keep in mind when questioning someone with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
- Likely, you won't be able to get all of the details you need in one interview. You may need multiple sessions to get to know the candidate.
- Please seek advice from the person's family or experts who are acquainted with them on the right way to interview them.
- Seek the guidance of a psychologist who works in the area of ASD.
- Guarantee there are no distracting noises/bright lighting or too many things that might disturb the candidate during the interview by interviewing them in a familiar environment with a friendly person.
- To reduce distractions, have the candidate sitting with their back to the window.
- People with ASD rarely maintain eye contact while talking.
- People with autism also develop attachments to specific items. During the interview, the person may choose to carry an object or fold it. According to studies, this may also improve focus. Removing the thing can result in undue stress.
- Hypersensitivity is a feature of people with ASD. Keep your hands off the candidate.
- Speak calmly. If practicable, avoid using arm motions and avoid exaggerating the facial expression or voice tone, as both can be misinterpreted.
- Begin each question with the person's name, so they know they're being answered.
- Give the person a heads-up on the vocabulary you're going to use, so they're prepared for any instructions or questions that might come. E.g., 'I'm going to ask you a question, Mark.'
- Use the most straightforward and most precise language possible. Using very complicated terms is entirely unnecessary.
- People with autism interpret words in a very literal sense. Avoid exaggeration and sarcastic terms.
- Give the individual extra time to think about each question. People with autism tend to absorb information more slowly. If you get no answer, try rephrasing your question. When a person with an ASD doesn't understand what you're asking, they'll not ask for an explanation.
- Visual supports should be used to back up queries. People with ASD understand visual communication much better than verbal information.
- The descriptive language skills of people with ASD can be superior to receptive language skills. Keep in mind that they cannot comprehend anything you think.
- Any individuals with autism have echolalia, which means they can reliably mimic and replicate someone's words without knowing what they say.
- Consider requesting that the individual sketch or note down what occurred.
- Some autism candidates will be interested in seeing how long the interview will last and what will happen after that.
- Attempt to keep the interview as brief as possible. An individual with autism may be unable to focus for more than ten to fifteen minutes at a time.
Businesses will benefit while applying these steps as they'll manage to hire exceptional talents while interviewing candidates with autism.