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Tips to Keep Your Interviews Legal

INTERVIEW EDGE JULY 1991

The ADA provides workplace protection to roughly 43 million Americans with disabilities, opening the gates to a flood of potential litigation.

Here are a few tips for keeping your interviews legal:

- You may not make a pre-employment inquiry in an interview or application form as to whether or to what extent an individual is disabled.

- You may ask a job applicant whether he or she can perform particular job functions, including those tasks you consider difficult or impossible to perform because of an obvious disability.

- The focus of the interview should be on what the job involves, not on the disability of the applicant. All questions should be job-related. If you react more to the handicap than to the person, you are in violation of the ADA.

- If you interview a candidate with an obvious disability for over a half hour and the disability never comes up, the applicant will assume you are just going through the motions of conducting an interview.

- Discuss with the applicant what kind of accommodation would be needed only after you have established that the person is qualified for the job and you are seriously considering them for employment.