Guidelines for Interviewing Job Applicants with Brain Injuries

Do Ask:

  • Ask job related questions: How would you perform this particular task?
  • Always offer to shake hands. Do not avoid eye contact, but do not stare either.
  • Treat the applicant as you would any other adult-do not be patronizing. If you do not usually address applicants by their first names, do not make an exception for applicants with disabilities.
  • Offer assistance when you feel that it would be appropriate. Do not assume assistance will necessarily be accepted. Do not automatically give assistance, without asking first.
  • Direct questions and comments directly to the applicant and not to the job coach
  • Use simple, concrete language, but do no use baby talk.
  • Proceed slowly when giving instructions or directions.
  • Be patient, and repeat directions if necessary.
  • Ask the applicant to summarize the information you have given to make sure it was understood.
  • Give positive feedback whenever possible and appropriate.

Do Not Ask:

  • What happened to you? Or how will you get to work?
  • Questions in terms of brain injury, such as: Do you have a brain injury that would preclude you from qualifying for his position?
  • How often will you require leave for treatment of you condition? However, you may state the organization’s ttendance
    requirement and ask if the applicant can meet them.
  • About the applicant’s needs for accommodations at the start of the interview. The interview should focus on whether the candidate is qualified for the job in question. Focus on the applicant‘s abilities. If there is a need for a discussion
    concerning accommodations, this should come later.
  • Will you need accommodations? Or What kind of accommodations will you need? It is the applicant’s responsibility to request accommodations. However, if you have concerns over an applicant’s ability to perform an essential function of a job, given the applicant’s obvious or disclosed disability, you can ask the applicant how they would go about
    performing that task.

Click here to view these guidelines as a PDF document