How to Prepare for a Job Interview If You’re Hard of Hearing

Whether you are 22 or 50, job interviews are stressful. If you have hearing loss, knowing how and when (or whether) to reveal you have difficulty hearing typically increases nervousness. Imagine you are sitting in a job interview, and didn’t understand the question just asked. You ask the manager to repeat it, but again can’t make out exactly what the employer is saying. You know that you have hearing loss, but they don’t — and this interview is going downhill fast. Here’s how to make the most of the interview process from start to finish:

Research before the interview

Finding out what tasks the job requires can help you prepare questions about duties for which you might require accommodations. While asking those questions will likely reveal you have a special need, you are not required to state that you have hearing loss during an interview nor can the potential employer ask you if you are hard of hearing.

Take control of your phone interview

You should feel encouraged, not panicked, by a telephone interview request. It means a company is interested in your qualifications to fill their position. While you can say that you prefer a face-to-face interview there’s no guarantee the company will agree. If you proceed with the phone interview, consider these tips:

Maximize your face-to-face interview

Assuming you do well on the phone interview, the next challenge is meeting in person.These tips can help boost your confidence:

When is the right time to reveal a hearing loss?

There is no “right” time to state that you have hearing loss, because the answer will be different for everybody. If you have mild hearing loss, chances are you may not need to mention it at all. If your hearing loss is more serious, and you are not a master of reading lips or struggle on phone calls, you should consider letting your potential employer know so that they can make appropriate accommodations.

Remember, if you project confidence during the interview process that you are the best person for the position and hearing loss won’t impede your ability to do the job (with or without reasonable, legally-required accommodations) chances are your potential employer will feel the same way.