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How Interview Intelligence helps Neurodiverse Candidates

  • By Ankush Jhawar
  • February 10, 2023
  • 6 mins read
Can Interview Intelligence Help Neurodiverse Candidates?
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    When Joe McMiller applied for a job as a quality assurance tester at a private company, he experienced a lot of things that several of us face: apprehension about not having the same qualifications as the others and nervousness surrounding the social rules surrounding the experience. However, these feelings are valid and much higher in proportion for someone with autism, just like Joe does.

    What was once considered a disadvantage is now being looked at as a strength by companies all over the world. Organizations that support neurodiverse candidates are increasing, as they are beginning to see the potential in these individuals. It’s a well-known fact that a diverse workforce is made up of a wide range of perspectives, thought processes, and talents. This is because it provides the company with a competitive advantage as they embrace the role of diversity, equity, and inclusion in their process of recruitment. However, it is important to note that one form of diversity is generating a lot of attention: neurodiversity.

    Supporting Neurodiverse Candidates: Initiatives and the Role of Interview Intelligence

    What exactly does neurodiversity take into account? It is the different but valid ways in which human cognition works, which is apparent in the case of candidates with dyslexia, autism, ADD/ADHD, etc. Organizations such as Hewlett-Packard and Microsoft are on an active mission to reform their HR recruitment processes to hire more neurodiverse candidates. This results in the increase in productivity of the company, their quality of engagement, and innovation. Moreover, other companies have gone to establish neurodiversity recruitment programs to support them in all ways.

    However, the sad truth of the matter is that neurodiverse candidates continue to face obstacles to employment. Practices of conventional recruitment often negatively impact candidates with neurodivergent disabilities. For example, people with autism or Asperger’s Syndrome may face difficulty in the interpretation of social cues.

    Individuals with autism have often found it challenging to find work. But as companies begin to recognize the skills neurodiverse professionals can bring into the workplace, they are making greater efforts to hire them. In addition, the changing nature of work and the rise of technology adoption in the workplace requires diverse talent.

    Fortunately for McMiller, companies, and organizations are taking steps to help neurodivergent candidates by implementing different programs to harness talent and many initiatives to support them in every way possible. Interview Intelligence, in particular, helps these candidates in a variety of ways which are listed below:

    Structured Interviews

    The first step in a neurodiverse employee selection process using structured interviews. Interview Intelligence can help provide structured interview guides that aid in the standardization of questions asked of all the applicants. This helps minimize the bias to ensure that all the candidates are evaluated based on the same criteria. For neurodivergent candidates, the questions must be directly related to the job responsibilities- not hypothetical or abstract. For example, ask the candidate to define a specific challenge that might come up in the role and then have the candidate identify the steps they would take to address it. Thus, it is very important to train your interviewers on neurodiversity. Explore the fascinating approach of BarRaiser conducting structured interviews, and discover how to interview analytics can revolutionize your hiring process.

    Provide Accommodations

    Interview Intelligence can provide a wide range of accommodation and accessibility options to ensure that neuro-diverse candidates can participate in the interview process. For example, accommodations may include alternative formatting for the questions such as audio or visual, or may also use the option of assistive technology. Other ways that interviewers can ensure that neurodivergent candidates feel comfortable include:

    • Accepting that socializing may be a source of stress for them
    • Reducing lighting, as flickering lights can be a source of stress or distraction for them
    • Allow them to use a fidget device

    Skill Assessment

    Interview Intelligence can be used to provide skill assessments that can help in the evaluation of a candidate’s weaknesses and strengths objectively. This can ensure a level playing field and ensure that all the candidates are evaluated based on their abilities and not their neurodiversity. When hiring for neurodiversity, instead of using telephonic interviews or resumes, employers should assess their candidates based on work sample tests provided by interview intelligence. These involve asking the candidates to complete role-specific tasks which are designed to test their skill set for the job role in question.

    Ensuring Objectivity

    Interview Intelligence can use AI (artificial intelligence) and machine learning algorithms to analyze the responses and provide objective scoring based on predefined criteria. This helps to minimize bias and ensure that there is a fair evaluation of all the candidates. It is important to remember that neurodiverse conditions are inherently diverse. What this means is that one person’s experience will be completely different from somebody else. For example, autism represents a condition that is very different in different individuals.

    Thus, it is very important to be aware of the impact that unconscious biases may have on recruitment decisions. Ensure that all the psychometric assessments regarding the competency of a candidate are done. Steps involved to ensure that unconscious biases may be reduced can be as simple as ensuring that every neurodiverse candidate is observed by several different assessors, or by making sure that the team goes through unconscious bias training. Thus, it is very important to train your interviewers on neurodiversity.

    Recruiting and Hiring Considerations for Neurodiverse Candidates

    When it comes to diversity, equality, and inclusion initiatives, it is important to note that the disabled community is equally important and deserving of more representation. As more companies recognize the value of neurodiverse individuals in their organizations, competition for this talent will increase. Mentioned below are some considerations for recruiting and hiring teams to review neuro-diverse candidates:

    1. Learn to challenge your perspective/point of view when you come across someone who is neuro-divergent. Learn to listen to the candidate’s experience and be open to seeing the potential for the job in the candidate, and not be under the influence of bias.
    2. Do not be easily swayed by social norms. The candidate may not smile or make eye contact as easily as the others. 
    3. Prep the candidate beforehand by telling them exactly what to expect- the interview process, how many people will be present and who they will be, the duration of the interview, etc.
    4. Try reducing their anxiety, if they display signs of any. Allow them to relax and be comfortable in the interview setting.
    5. Moreover, avoid using vague/ambiguous language during the interview. Try to be as clear and transparent with them as possible.

    Do not ask: What is your greatest strength (too vague)


    Ask: What are your strengths? What can do very well that other people might not?

    Also read: Can Candidate Experience Be Improved By Interviewer Training?

    Thus, as DEI initiatives evolve continuously, organizations would be negligent if they did not prioritize their focus on disabilities and not make recruitment decisions due to those disabilities, especially for neurodivergent candidates. According to the Harvard Business Review, companies prioritizing neurodiversity have been witnessing “productivity gains, quality improvement, boosts in innovative capabilities and increased employee engagement as a result.”


    Using Interview Intelligence can greatly benefit neurodiverse candidates during the hiring process by providing support and empowering them. BarRaiser provides an efficient way for businesses to personalize interview procedures, adapting to each individual’s unique demands and talents. By fostering inclusivity and a feeling of belonging, BarRaiser enables companies to build a stronger and more diverse team. Interview Intelligence provides recruiting teams with the expertise and tools they need to comprehend and accommodate neurodiverse candidates’ problems and talents. The ending of an interview allows both parties to leave with a pleasant image and clear communication for the future. Organizations can create a more diverse and inclusive interview environment and overcome barriers and biases toward neurodiverse candidates by using Interview Intelligence.

    People Also Ask

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    What is a recruitment interview simulation?

    Job interview simulation is a method of evaluating an applicant’s qualifications for a particular job. It involves creating a scenario that mimics real work situations. The applicant is presented with challenges, questions, and tasks to evaluate their skills, decision-making, problem-solving, and communication abilities. This method allows recruiters to observe how an applicant performs under pressure and evaluate their competencies. They can make informed hiring decisions based on the skills and behaviors demonstrated in the simulation.

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    AI and Gamification Hiring are techniques that use technology and game elements to improve the hiring process. AI is used to automate hiring tasks, and gamification introduces game-like elements to motivate applicants and evaluate their skills. Together, these techniques form an innovative approach to attracting and selecting top talent.

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