If a career opportunity is knocking, check out these helpful techniques for navigating job interviews.
Whether you’re preparing for an in-person job interview or one scheduled via phone or video chat, it’s common to have a case of pre-interview jitters. If you have hearing loss, you might be concerned about disclosing that information or missing part of a question. These job interview tips for hearing loss can help you navigate the experience more smoothly:
- Wear assistive devices (if comfortable)
- Brush up on your rights for accommodations
- Request a quiet interview space
- Ask for clarification when needed
- Use a captioned telephone for phone interviews
- Take notes and ask follow-up questions
- Be confident
Keep reading to learn more about these job interview tips for hearing loss in more detail.
Wear assistive devices (if comfortable)
If you use an assistive device like a hearing aid, plan to wear it on interview day to help you hear more clearly and feel more confident. Your comfort level with your own assistive technology demonstrates to a potential employer that you’ve got this. If you have Bluetooth® hearing aids or another listening device you can sync them during a phone or video interview to help deliver the sound right to your ears.
Brush up on your rights for accommodations
In order to be your own best advocate, it’s helpful to know about the workplace guidelines and rights for employees with hearing loss. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has a detailed overview of laws surrounding hearing loss and accommodations in the workplace. Part of the interview process may include a discussion about any accommodations you may need to be able to perform the job requirements. Having an informed conversation with your potential employer will help set you both up for the most success in your new job.
Request a quiet interview space
Whether you’re interviewing in-person or remotely, there may be background noise that interferes with your conversation. Before an in-person interview, request a quiet meeting place that makes it easier to hear. When it comes to this job interview tip for hearing loss, consider that even open layout offices often have quiet rooms for meetings. If your interview is via phone or video, use our tips for virtual meetings with hearing loss to make them easier.
Ask for clarification when needed
If you’re not sure whether you heard something right, just ask. There’s nothing wrong with a simple clarification request like, “Would you mind repeating that question?” Everyone needs to double-check what they heard from time to time, so don’t be afraid to speak up.
Use a captioned telephone for phone interviews
Phone interviews are ideal for job interviews with hearing loss if you have a captioned telephone. These phones for people with hearing loss allow you to read along with what your interviewer is saying. It’s like having a backup that you can check if you didn’t catch something. If you’re interviewing with a video chatting program like Skype, another job interview tip for hearing loss is to check to see if live subtitling is available.
Take notes and ask follow-up questions
Jotting quick notes can show that you’re engaged and serious about the job opportunity. It also lets you circle back to a topic later if you want to clarify any details at the end of the conversation. If you use this job interview tip, you could say something like, “Can you clarify the job duties you referenced earlier?” Hearing loss or not, asking questions during the interview can help it feel more like a back-and-forth than a one-way interrogation. It often makes the interviewer feel more comfortable too.
No matter what kind of interview you’re in, the interviewer is a human too! While, of course, you want to keep things professional, it’s a nice balance to show that human side with little moments of humor and connecting over experiences or interests. If a hearing misunderstanding happens, it could be an opportunity to show how you can handle it with grace and confidence, turning the situation into a positive one.
Even if you’re nervous about a job interview, remind yourself to treat it like you’re the best person for the job. Focus on what would make you a great fit at the company and how you can use your skills to their advantage!
If you enjoyed these job interview tips for people with hearing loss, keep browsing our hearing loss blog for more content on living with hearing loss.