5 tips to ace the job interview with hearing loss

Hearing loss is one of the more common signs of the aging process. According to Statistics Canada, more than one million adults across the country reported having a hearing-related disability, though other studies indicate that the true number may reach three million or more Canadian adults, as those with from hearing loss often underestimate their hearing loss or choose to ignore it.

If you suffer from some type of hearing loss, acing a job interview may seem more difficult. Like many other candidates, you have to demonstrate that you hold the right skills for the position — but unlike the rest, you also need to overcome your hearing impairment.

5 tips to ace a job interview when you suffer from hearing loss:

1. Take a test job interview. If you haven’t had an interview for some time, you will find it useful to first have a practice interview with a recruiter (if using an agency), a friend or a family member. It will help you practice your answers, and determine if your hearing levels are sufficient for you to hear the interviewer.

2. Try to set the perfect environment. Some job interviews, in particular the first interview may be telephone based. Therefore, you should schedule the telephone interview when you’re in a quiet room, on a type of telephone that you are more comfortable with (desk phone vs. cell phone) and at a time when you are more focused. In particular when mild or moderate hearing loss is concerned, a quiet environment might be all that it takes to hear the interviewer well. If you suffer from profound hearing loss, you may also consider asking for a written interview to replace the telephone interview. Often employers will make reasonable adjustments to meet your needs and taking a written interview is not unheard of.

3. Investigate options to improve your hearing. Additional amplification is available in a huge variety of ways — hearing aids or various assistive listening devices (ALDs). Assistive listening devices in the form of a simple telephone amplifier, for example, can make a substantial difference during a telephone-based interview.

4. Position yourself accordingly during the interview. People often miss words during a conversation and use a technique of filling in words based on the overall conversation topic. In fact, we all practice this technique on a daily basis without even becoming aware of it. To use this technique successfully, it will help greatly if the room is well lit and if you position yourself opposite the interviewer. Make sure you see the interviewer’s face clearly so you can pick up facial clues as to what was said.


5. Think about your body language. It will help you increase your chances if you appear confident. Studies indicate that verbal content provides a surprisingly small portion of the message the interviewer is receiving from you.

Good luck!

Photo ©iStockphoto.com/ Daniel Laflor

This article was written by Joan McKechnie, BSc Hons Audiology & Speech Pathology. Joan works for hearing aids company Hearing Direct. For more information on hearing loss, you can read her guide to hearing loss or take an online hearing check to start off the investigation into your hearing ability.