Our alternative interview process for people with autism
Everyone knows how job interviews can cause us to get anxious. Imagine if you were autistic, when extreme anxiety is often present. It is overwhelming on a whole different scale.
Getting to a new location, meeting new people and having to answer unexpected questions all add to the effect.
At Xceptional we have done away with the job interview. We are totally rethinking the job assessment process.
You can see some of our process in action on ABCTV’s Employable Me show. The show tracks autistic people and people with other conditions in their job hunt.
In the lead up to the show we’ve had a lot of people contacting us to find out more about our alternative interview process. So, here are a few of the innovations we have have applied to help reduce anxiety and get the best out of autistic people.
One of the games uses building blocks. Participants have to build a tower and then are told at the end which blocks are problems. These have to be removed as if they were software bugs. Then the exercise is repeated twice, with slight changes to increase the complexity.
We use the game as a way of copying some of the actual steps of software testing. Through the activity, we can see some aspects of how well the participant would do as a software tester.
Another test we do is an algorithm-based dice game. We find that our participants who struggle with face-to-face questions instead really thrive with this sort of activity.
When asking participants questions, we sit alongside them and ask them about their thought process during the activity. This is less anxiety-causing as compared to asking direct questions about themselves.
Google recruitment specialists have said that unstructured interviews are bad for assessing candidates. The best method, where it is possible, is getting candidates to actually do the job activity. Based on our experience we would agree.
Watch Employable Me Episode 1 on ABC iview to find out more about Tim’s story.
And if you are touched by Tim’s story, get in touch today: firstname.lastname@example.org
Which tech problem will Tim and Xceptional tackle next for your company?