When interviewing someone with Autism, What are the key interview techniques officers should learn to be successful in situations which may arise when questioning these individuals?
The key interview techniques on interviewing Autistic individual is to consider that people with autism or Asperger syndrome thrive in a structured and well-organised environment and have many strengths that are advantageous to an employer, [ such as accuracy, good eye for detail, reliability and meticulous application of routine tasks.
During an interview, you could make the following
reasonable adjustments for candidates with autism and Asperger syndrome.
Ask closed questions and avoid open questions. For example, asking, 'Tell me about yourself' is very vague and the candidate may not be able to judge exactly what you want to know. A better question would be, 'Tell me about any jobs/voluntary work you have done in the last five years.'
Ask questions based on the candidates real/past experiences, for example, 'In your last job, did you do any filing or data input?'; 'What processes/procedures did you use to do this effectively?'
Avoid hypothetical or abstract questions, for example, 'How do you think you'll cope with working if there are lots of interruptions?' A better question would be, 'Think back to your last job. Can you tell us how you coped with your work when people interrupted you?'
If the candidate is talking too much, let them know – they may find it hard to judge how much information you need. You can do this tactfully by simply saying, 'Thank you, you’ve told us enough about that now, and I’d like to ask you another question.'
Be prepared to prompt the candidate in order to extract all the relevant information and gather sufficient information.
Be aware that the candidate may interpret language literally. Asking, 'How did you find your last job?' may result in an answer of 'I looked in the map book' or 'I looked in the paper, sent for the application form and completed it.'
Be aware that eye contact may be fleeting or prolonged, depending on the individual.
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