Job Interview Question & Answer: Can You Perform The Job’s Required Duties With or Without Accommodations?
Why Employers Want to Know
Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), employers must accommodate disabled workers who qualify for a position. When an interviewer asks, “Can you perform the job’s duties with or without reasonable accommodations?” they want to assess the potential employee’s needs. In doing so, the employer can make necessary accommodations for new hires right from the start.
How To Answer
If a hiring manager asks whether you can perform the job’s duties with or without accommodations, be truthful. You should be comfortable where you work, and the employer wants that as well. Tell them whether you can or cannot perform certain duties and be clear and reasonable about what accommodations you require.
How Not To Respond
You do not need to go into detail about your disability unless certain aspects are necessary and related to the accommodation the employer should make. If you had a boss in the past that was rude or not friendly, do not complain about the experience. If your disability makes it hard to perform those job duties, don’t lie and reconsider if this job would be too trying in the end.
Tips for Answering “Are You Able to Perform This Job’s Duties With or Without Reasonable Accommodations?”
Several accommodations exist that employers make to ensure workers with disabilities are comfortable and can perform their duties. If you have a doctor who helps you with your disability, it might help to speak with them about how to work a certain job with your impairment or injury. Some considerations you might talk about with the employer are:
- Modifying a work schedule to be more flexible with a medical treatment plan.
- Restructuring certain job tasks that are easier for those with disabilities compared to those without.
- Altering the materials for test-taking, presentations, or employee training.
- Providing greater accessibility in a work area or parking lot.
- Allowing service animals on the property or in the building.
Sample Responses to “Can You Perform The Job’s Required Duties With or Without Accommodations?”
The following are some possible ways to respond to this question in a job interview. The samples touch on a few accommodations workers might need. Do not memorize or repeat these. Make your response unique to the situation or position.
Sample Answer 1 – Cashier at a Department Store with Physical Disability
“I can handle the workload all right. I did have surgery on my knee a few years back that makes it difficult to kneel or stand for a long time, so I appreciate standard break times. If it does start to bother me, or if I am in pain, I will ask for a chair by my register or request that someone relieve me for a few moments so I may take a seat if it is not a problem.”
Sample Answer 2 – Hostess at a Restaurant with Hearing Impairment
“I may have trouble hearing the phone at times. If a customer at a table calls for me, I might miss it if I don’t have my hearing aid in. I always wear it, though. If the ringer is loud on the phone or if the patron signals that they need my help, then I’m usually right on cue. That’s about all I need to satisfy the duties of the job.”
Sample Answer 3 – Call Center Representative with a Visual Impairment
“While I believe I can perform the job effectively, I will need braille reading materials, including any paperwork or tests. If there are computer programs, I need to have software that reads the material aloud. I have used similar software at my previous job, and it was helpful.”
More Info on the Americans with Disabilities Act
The ADA ensures all job seekers have a fair shot in the hiring process. In summary, the law states 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.
When questioned about your ability to perform the duties of a job with or without reasonable accommodations, it helps to review this law and understand your rights as an applicant. Also, check the requirements of any position to be sure it falls within your abilities. Be truthful yet reasonable when discussing accommodations in job interviews.