Job candidates who are neurodiverse, for example individuals affected by autism spectrum disorder or ADHD, can make great employees. However, because of how most interviews and hiring processes are set up, these job candidates often cannot perform to their best. This leads to many neurodiverse individuals not being able to get hired even though they may be well suited for the job. Here are a few things you can do to make sure that all job candidates can perform to their best in interviews:
Use Sequential Interviews
Most employers like using panel interviews to remove bias. For some job candidates, panel interviews can be disorienting and cause them to underperform. Using sequential interviews still gives you the benefit of removing unconscious bias from the interview process, but also gives neurodiverse candidates the chance to perform to their best.
Choose an Unstimulating Location
Having too much stimuli can make it hard for neurodiverse candidates to focus. Places with bright lights, a lot of noise, or strong scents can all make it hard to pay attention to the interview. Choose a quiet, muted location for interviews to take place.
Ask Specific Questions
Asking vague, or misleading questions will confuse some neurodiverse candidates. Avoid asking questions that don’t appear to connect to job responsibilities. Keep your language clear to understand when asking questions and avoid asking about hypothetical scenarios.
Avoid Making Decisions Based on Social Norms
Neurodiverse people generally don’t follow social norms. Judging a candidate’s capabilities based off of their social awareness won’t help you to hire a diverse group of employees. Try not to use language that could be taken literally. Don’t let small social missteps affect a candidate’s interview score unless social understanding is needed for the job they’re interviewing for.
Take a Nontraditional Route
This applies to both the interviewing processes, and training if you hire a neurodiverse candidate. Following a traditional route will not help you to understand or utilize the full capabilities of neurodiverse individuals. Try to spread out the interview process over a longer amount of time to get a better feel for neurodiverse individual’s skills. Additionally, giving neurodiverse candidates an idea of what your work environment is like before they start work can help them to adjust better if you choose to hire them.
Making these small changes in your interviewing process can help you to hire highly capable neurodiverse employees.