Asking for adjustments at interview

You have the right to ask for changes to job interviews and tests.

A good interview and test should assess the skills for the job. It should not put you at a disadvantage because of your impairment. If it can be changed so that being disabled does not put you at a disadvantage, then this is a reasonable adjustment. Employers must provide reasonable adjustments under the Equality Act 2010.

Many companies will ask if you need adjustments in the application form or when you are invited to interview. You do not have to ‘disclose’ your condition when you are applying for job. But, if you are going to ask for reasonable adjustments, then you will need to say that you are disabled.

Examples of reasonable adjustments in job interviews and tests

What counts as a reasonable adjustment depends on the type of job and the tests needed to see if you can do it. Common examples include:

  • a British Sign Language interpreter
  • assistance if the test is on a computer (a larger screen, software, a person to read for you)
  • a verbal test rather than a written one
  • more time to complete assessments

Asking for adjustments

You are the expert on your specific requirements. Contact the person who offered you the interview. Find out what's going to happen at your interview, and ask for the changes that you feel you need to the interview or any tests.

Start by asking:

  • what will be needed from me on the day?
  • what will the format of the interview be?
  • how will you be testing me?

If you need to, ask more specific questions, like:

  • is there level access to the interview room?
  • will I be using a computer? Should I bring mine? Explain why.
  • will there be a handwritten test?
  • how many people will be interviewing me?
  • how long will the interview last?
  • how to ask for adjustments

As early as possible, say what you need, and why you need it. The earlier you ask, the more likely you are to get what you need.

Do not assume that the person you’re asking knows anything about disability.

Say:

  • that you’re disabled and in what way, for example 'an eye condition'
  • which parts of the test are inaccessible because you’re disabled
  • what you need on the day and why

For example:

“I have an eye condition that means that I need a lower light for me to work effectively. Can you adjust the lighting in the room? Or can we change the venue?”

Send an email

Summarise what you need in an email so that there is a written record of what you asked for.

A written record makes it easier for your request to be sent to other people in the company. You could also use it as evidence of discrimination at a tribunal if the employer:

  • changes their mind and decide that they do not want to interview you
  • does not make the adjustments that you need

If they refuse your request for a reasonable adjustment

Ask if they can think of any ways that they could make the test accessible, while still testing for the skills that they need.

If you cannot agree on adjustments, this could be discrimination. You may wish to contact the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) for advice.

Getting free legal help

Last reviewed by Scope on: 14/05/2018

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Preparing for a job interview

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