Interviewing a Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing Person

Preparing for the interview

  • When setting up the interview, ask the candidate how he or she will prefer to communicate during the interview.
  • Inform the receptionist that you are expecting a deaf or hard-of-hearing candidate.
  • Find a location with good lighting.
  • Have a written itinerary and company literature available.

Interviewing with an interpreter

  • Position the interpreter next to the interviewer so the candidate can easily see both individuals.
  • Clarify whether the candidate will speak for himself or herself, or whether the interpreter will voice what the candidate signs.
  • Make eye contact with the candidate.
  • Address your questions directly to the candidate, not the interpreter.

Interviewing without an interpreter

  • Provide a written copy of the interview questions.
  • Speak clearly and slowly.
  • Use gestures and facial expressions.
  • Maintain eye contact by looking directly at the person.
  • Encourage the deaf individual to let you know if your communication is unclear.
  • Rephrase things if necessary.
  • Ask open-ended questions.
  • Use paper and pencil if necessary.
  • Ask the candidate to demonstrate his or her skills during the interview by operating a piece of equipment or software application, etc.
  • Resist putting your hands on or near your mouth as you speak.