Top ten job interview tips for the hearing impaired (Hearing Direct)

Each and every job candidate faces a set of challenges at a job interview that vary from being able to deliver the right impression to demonstrating how suitable they are for the position. For a large part of the UK population, a job interview poses additional challenges. In 2005 the RNID (The Royal National Institute for Deaf People) conducted a survey that revealed more accurately than ever before the total number of hard of hearing in the UK. Close to 9 million hard of hearing is the figure quoted, which represents a significant segment of the population.

In today’s job search landscape a typical job candidate may attend two types of job interview. The first is a telephone based interview, be it with the recruitment agency (almost always) or with the employer (on occasion), and the second is the face to face job interview. Each type of interview introduces different hurdles for the hearing impaired.

Telephone Based Job Interview Tips:

1. Request a written interview - The initial interview is meant to assess only preliminary suitability of the candidate. If you suffer from severe or profound hearing loss, a telephone interview is not feasible. Employers are encouraged to accommodate candidates with any number of impairments. 

2. Conduct a mock interview by phone - In cases of mild hearing loss, adjusting the volume of the handset is all that is required. Ask a friend or family member to conduct a simple exercise to establish how well you are able to hear over the phone by answering a set of questions that haven’t been disclosed to you.

3. Set the scene - Hearing loss is classified according to the level of hearing loss. The four levels are profound, severe, moderate and mild. In the case of the last two, you might be able to hear over the phone perfectly well provided there is minimal background noise. Therefore choose a time for the interview when you are situated in a quiet room or environment.

4. Pick the right device - Nowadays we all carry a mobile phone or some smart device with phone capabilities. As much as it might seem tempting to schedule the interview while you are on the move via your mobile device, poor signal reception might make hearing the interviewer harder. Therefore, consider using a normal BT line.

5. Use a telephone amplifier - Modern technology offer gadgets such as a telephone amplifier that can affix to your existing telephone and amplify the sound of the speaker. At around £10 to £20 these are useful gadgets for anyone who suffers from hearing loss.

6. Use an amplified phone - There are certain phone manufacturers such as Geemarc and Amplicom who produce dedicated telephones for the hard of hearing. Available in a cordless or corded configuration, they include an extra loud speaker, extra loud ringer and other visual clues such as flashing lights. 

Face To Face Based Job Interview Tips:

7. Increase your confidence levels - You might have concerns before the interview that may lead to question your abilities to shine during the interview. A useful tip is to prepare as much as you can so your confidence levels are high when entering the interview. Learn about the employer, study the job description in detail, write down a set of possible questions you have for the recruiter and prepare answers to common questions.

8. Position yourself accordingly – those that are Hard of hearing will often use lip reading to aid in overcoming their hearing loss. When you are asked to sit down by the interviewer, choose the seat right in front of the interviewer.

9. Wear a hearing aid - Out of the UK’s 9 million hard of hearing, the RNID estimates that 1.4 million wear hearing aids on a daily basis. These are a group of devices which differ in how they fit the wearer’s ear, but perform the same role. They are able to amplify external sound thereby supporting the part of the hearing process that is diminished.

10. Hearing loss is a common condition and you should disclose your condition to the interviewer to avoid unexpected concerns and misconceptions.

Good luck!

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Article by Hearing Direct, an online based vendor of hearing aids for the deaf and hard of hearing including accessories such as hearing aid batteries.


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