Tricky Interview Questions
Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), employers must accommodate those who are disabled but qualified for a position. So, when interviewers ask “Are you able to perform this job’s duties with or without reasonable accommodations?” they are assessing a potential employee’s needs.
Some practical accommodations include:
- Job restructuring
- Modifying work schedules
- Altering testing or employment training
- Providing readers or interpreters
Common Work Accommodations
The concept of job restructuring includes exchanging marginal tasks among employees. For instance, managers can assign a task, such as answering phones, to a person with vision impairment. A worker without impairments then gets the jobs requiring strong vision, like typing.
Another type of medical accommodation is a flexible work schedule. As an example, someone with diabetes might have to eat more frequently and be excused to do insulin injections. Or, a worker with cancer may need to leave at a regularly scheduled time for treatment.
In order to train a new hire who has a disability, an employer might have to offer alternate materials, such as braille. The training could also be modified in a different way, like having a reader available.
How to Answer “Are You Able to Perform This Job’s Duties with or without Reasonable Accommodations?”
Individuals should always reply honestly in the interview process. If a specific accommodation is necessary, don’t hesitate to mention it. However, it is good for candidates to look over the job description beforehand to make sure it is within their capabilities.
The following are some possible ways to respond to this question in a job interview. The samples touch on a few accommodations workers often need. Do not memorize or repeat these. Make any response unique to your situation.
Sample Answer 1 – Walmart Cashier Job for an Applicant with No Restrictions
“I am able to handle the workload. I do not require any special considerations beyond standard breaks.”
Sample Answer 2 – Applebee’s Host Job for a Worker that is Hearing Impaired
“I may have trouble hearing the phone at times. A loud ringer or visual cue to alert me will help. This is all I require to be able to satisfy the duties of the job.”
Sample Answer 3 – AT&T Call Center Job for a Candidate that is Visually Impaired
“While I believe I can perform the job effectively, I will need braille reading materials. This applies to completing any paperwork or tests.”
Americans with Disabilities Act
The ADA ensures all job seekers get a fair shot in the hiring process. In summary, the law states that employers must:
- Modify a job application so qualified, disabled applicants are eligible for consideration.
- Enable the employee to perform job duties with physical modifications to the workspace that do not cause undue hardships on the business.
- Provide equal employment benefits to those with disabilities.
Review the law to understand your rights as an applicant. Then, check the requirements of any position to be sure it is within your ability. Finally, always be truthful, yet reasonable, when discussing accommodations in job interviews.