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Interviews

Prepare for interviews by knowing how to handle questions related to your disability.

Image of a man for interviews image.Are there questions an interviewer should not ask?

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, an interviewer cannot ask about a disability or the nature or severity of a disability. An employer may ask questions about your ability to perform specific job functions and may ask you to describe or demonstrate how you would perform a specific function. They may also ask whether you can meet their attendance requirements.

How do I explain recent gaps in my work history because of my disability?

While there is not a perfect answer, this is an opportunity to talk about what you have been doing, and how it may relate to the position. Have you volunteered, overcome a hardship, provided care for children or a parent, gone to school? If you disclose your disability to answer this question, focus on how you have dealt with challenges in a positive manner, are ready to move forward and are able to do the job.

Can an employer require a medical examination?

An employer cannot require you to take a medical examination before you are offered a job. Once an offer is made, they can require that you pass a medical examination, if all entering employees for the job category have to take it.

What if the interviewer asks an illegal question?

You do not have to answer it. However, how you handle it may affect the impression you make. Rather than confronting the interviewer directly, you can explain that you are not comfortable answering the question, or ask for the underlying reason for the question and address that. For example, “I understand you may be concerned about my low vision, but I am able to read screens using a device, and am able to participate fully in all activities of the job.” Recognize that an interviewer may make mistakes, but this does not necessarily have anything to do with your being hired.

For more details on interviewing, visit CareerOneStop’s Interview and Negotiate.