Job interviews

glickchick

Member
Hi All,

So as I get ready to graduate college and head into the working world (ahhh!) I am starting to think about job interviews and such. As many of you know, I only recently lost my hearing about 2 years ago. I know that employers can't discriminate based on disability or anything like that, but do I need to/should I disclose the fact that I am completely deaf when (a) trying to set the interview, and (b) applying for the job? I am quite good at lip reading, so I am able to get by in terms of communication. While I am generally voice off in my daily life, I know that I am going to have to speak in the working world (which I am grappling with, since i hate to speak not knowing how i sound!), so i am not as concerned about that aspect.

What's the best way to handle?

Thanks,
-Lauren
 

A Nihilist

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
While it might turn off some potential employers upfront I've found it's best to disclose it right away because the last thing you want is for an employer to be disappointed not to mention it would be a huge waste of time going through a series of interviews only to find out it's just not going to work out.

One piece of advice though is to emphasize any past work experience and state that you can handle communication through IMs, emails, face to face meetings and online meetings. Obviously you wouldn't work out for a telemarketer position but at least say the phone would not be an option but there are other means of communication.

For those employers who won't work with you, well that is a mixed blessing because if they won't even accommodate a disability that means they treat employees like garbage and are to be avoided.

Side note, you might want to check out glassdoor.com to get some scoop on the truth of what it's like to work there. You'd be surprised at how much of a difference there is between what the company claims to be and the reality.

Good luck!
 

Jiro

If You Know What I Mean
Premium Member
it's entirely up to you to disclose it or not. I don't disclose it (because it's not pertinent) until an interview date is set. many employers don't have a problem with it.... and only a few employers didn't bother replying back.

one thing about work... you should not ever have to struggle hard to communicate with people. you should not have to accommodate them... it's other way around.

while you may not always receive an accommodation such as captioning service for all meetings... it's very important to work it out with boss on communication issue first. nowadays - many workers communicate via emails so it wasn't much of any issue for me for past several years.

what kind of job are you applying for?
 

ohmylight

New Member
Good luck!! I was in a similar position to you. What I did was make a cover letter with clear instructions on how to contact me if they wanted an interview and I did mention my hearing problems but made the cover letter super optimistic and leaning more towards "I want to be reliable as a hire and part of that is clear communication"... It worked for some, it didn't work for others. Depending on what kind of work you're looking for you'll want to maybe also say why your hearing loss makes you more passionate or better at what you do... Give it positive spin. As someone who does hiring I like bringing on assistance who are self assured and creative... So say although you are deaf you CAN do the work.
 

radioman

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
how to handle it all depends on the position you are applying for. Do you realize that MOST post college graduate jobs involves the phone in some way. Do you have an answer to handle that issue? will employer mind?
 

A Nihilist

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
Give it positive spin. As someone who does hiring I like bringing on assistance who are self assured and creative... So say although you are deaf you CAN do the work.

Good tip, depending on what the job position is, you can even say being deaf would be an advantage. For example, I'm a software programmer so that means I don't get distracted with noises and can concentrate easily in my cube despite others around me.

And if you had any past experience at all in some sort function even as a dishwasher it would give your potential employer reassurance that you are capable of showing up and doing your work. Although there's the disabilities discrimination act the reality is that sometimes its hard for others to make the leap into hiring a disabled person and wonder if they're up to the task.
 

Jiro

If You Know What I Mean
Premium Member
how to handle it all depends on the position you are applying for. Do you realize that MOST post college graduate jobs involves the phone in some way. Do you have an answer to handle that issue? will employer mind?

when it comes to that - I say something like... "I'm deaf but can communicate in person."

and from most of my job interviews - they say it's fine and I can come in person.
 

JMH

Active Member
...but do I need to/should I disclose the fact that I am completely deaf when (a) trying to set the interview, and (b) applying for the job? I am quite good at lip reading, so I am able to get by in terms of communication.

It's best to not mention that you can't hear before interview. I've tried mention that I'm deaf and I never able to get interview for almost 2 years. Then my EDD suggested not to mention that you're deaf till interview and I managed to get more interviews than I had in almost 2 years. But be prepare to explain why you didn't mention that you're deaf.
 

ohmylight

New Member
It's best to not mention that you can't hear before interview. I've tried mention that I'm deaf and I never able to get interview for almost 2 years. Then my EDD suggested not to mention that you're deaf till interview and I managed to get more interviews than I had in almost 2 years. But be prepare to explain why you didn't mention that you're deaf.

But then there's the issue of them calling you to schedule an interview... And if that's how they find out they might not keep trying to schedule a meeting.
 

Phoenix23

New Member
It's best to not mention that you can't hear before interview. I've tried mention that I'm deaf and I never able to get interview for almost 2 years. Then my EDD suggested not to mention that you're deaf till interview and I managed to get more interviews than I had in almost 2 years. But be prepare to explain why you didn't mention that you're deaf.

If they asked me why I didn't disclose why I was deaf, I'd simply say because I do not view being deaf as a disability. I can do anything and everything work wise that any hearing person can do, so personally I see being deaf as an irrelevant part of scheduling an interview. ( Got me where I'm at right now ) Of course I said it a bit nicer than I just worded it here, but seriously... it's irrelevant to the job if I'm applying to a job I'm obviously not applying for a call center position where I need to hear to be on the phone. =P

Disclosing it is 110% up to you. You have a catch 22 here. If you disclose it up front, you won't get some interviews. If you don't, you will get interviews but may still not get jobs. I personally don't disclose it, so when I get there I can show them what I'm all about, my professional demeanor, and my ability to communicate and do the job they need 100%. :D Good Luck and congratz on your soon to be graduation! :wave:
 

JMH

Active Member
But then there's the issue of them calling you to schedule an interview... And if that's how they find out they might not keep trying to schedule a meeting.

Let them call you and leave message. Then you call back with VP - be sure the operator is same sex as you and notify operator not to mention the relay service. That's how I did that. It's not that hard.

The major reason most companies "avoid" contact you because they don't know if they had to bring in interpreter or something like that. One time, they caught me off guard on phone and they already knew I'm deaf. They felt intimidated and hold back on person to person interview. I assured them there's no problem with communication during interview. We made schedule and I showed up with an interpreter that EDD provided.

Funny, one time, I was 100% communicated with Oakley's interviewer via text message. And then they asked me why and I told them I'm not at home and too busy to talk on phone. And then I showed up interview, the interviewer chuckled and said "that explained." lol They had no problem with that and had great interview.

Some companies already had experience with deaf people and if you knew what company that they already experienced with deaf people (such as Target, Walmart, Disney, etc... - then you can 100% disclose. But it's better off not reveal as Phoenix23 explained above.

If they asked me why I didn't disclose why I was deaf, I'd simply say because I do not view being deaf as a disability. I can do anything and everything work wise that any hearing person can do, so personally I see being deaf as an irrelevant part of scheduling an interview. ( Got me where I'm at right now ) Of course I said it a bit nicer than I just worded it here, but seriously... it's irrelevant to the job if I'm applying to a job I'm obviously not applying for a call center position where I need to hear to be on the phone. =P

Disclosing it is 110% up to you. You have a catch 22 here. If you disclose it up front, you won't get some interviews. If you don't, you will get interviews but may still not get jobs. I personally don't disclose it, so when I get there I can show them what I'm all about, my professional demeanor, and my ability to communicate and do the job they need 100%. :D Good Luck and congratz on your soon to be graduation! :wave:

That's good one. :yesway:
 

shel90

Audist are not welcome
Premium Member
But then there's the issue of them calling you to schedule an interview... And if that's how they find out they might not keep trying to schedule a meeting.

One can leave a VP number and get calls through VP. No biggie.

Like the others, I don't disclose it as I don't view deafness as a disability. I can talk on the phone but just in a different way. Hearing people are the ones who have a hard time grasping that fact.
 

ohmylight

New Member
One can leave a VP number and get calls through VP. No biggie.

Like the others, I don't disclose it as I don't view deafness as a disability. I can talk on the phone but just in a different way. Hearing people are the ones who have a hard time grasping that fact.

I get lots of hang ups with my VP because if I miss it they don't reach my name/voice announcing my sign mail... I always feel the need to clarify that it's a VP so they know its truly me.
 

glickchick

Member
Thanks for the great tips everyone! Sounds like there's really no right or wrong answer - I'm just going to have to give it a try a few ways and see what works. I'm applying for marketing jobs in the NYC area, so there are plenty of opportunities. My biggest fear is how i sound - since my voice has changed quite a bit since i went deaf (I'm told) and I generally go voice-off, but I'm going to have to get used to that.

I will keep you posted!
 

glickchick

Member
Thanks! I am looking for anything related to branding or advertising, or online marketing.

I went on my first interview the other day. It went OK, but I definitely think the guy interviewing me was surprised about my deafness (which in all honesty is very apparent the minute you meet more and/or I start speaking). I think i answered the questions well, and they said they'll get back to me, but nothing yet. I got the sense that i would have been better off disclosing during the application/contact process that I'm deaf, but who knows. Continuing to look as I wait to hear back!

-Lauren
 

A Nihilist

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
One other item to take into consideration is that the interviewer also has to decide if you are a trustworthy person. Because of this if you pull a "bait and switch" about the deafness issue they might wonder what else you might hide or lie about.

But it's not the end of the world if you don't get a call back, every successful person has had a lot of challenges and really the only difference is they stuck with it instead of giving up. You will eventually find something!
 

Frisky Feline

Well-Known Member
Thanks! I am looking for anything related to branding or advertising, or online marketing.

I went on my first interview the other day. It went OK, but I definitely think the guy interviewing me was surprised about my deafness (which in all honesty is very apparent the minute you meet more and/or I start speaking). I think i answered the questions well, and they said they'll get back to me, but nothing yet. I got the sense that i would have been better off disclosing during the application/contact process that I'm deaf, but who knows. Continuing to look as I wait to hear back!

-Lauren

what baout the clothes such as textile and fabrics?
 

shel90

Audist are not welcome
Premium Member
One other item to take into consideration is that the interviewer also has to decide if you are a trustworthy person. Because of this if you pull a "bait and switch" about the deafness issue they might wonder what else you might hide or lie about.

But it's not the end of the world if you don't get a call back, every successful person has had a lot of challenges and really the only difference is they stuck with it instead of giving up. You will eventually find something!

True..never thought of that.
 

BananaFana

Member
Today I had my first interview since being in a wheelchair and I went into it all nervous about THAT! I was SO scared. But they didn't even bat an eyelash!

I have a second interview next Tuesday. During my interview I told them that I was HOH and picking up my hearing aids next week? Turns out the Shift Manager is deaf and uses SEE and reads lips.

It was an AMAZING thing for me. I am so excited to start working there (they say if you get a 2nd interview you are in)
 
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