Hearing Loss and Your Job Search

Looking for a job can be stressful. But throw hearing loss into the equation and you’ve got even more to consider. When should you reveal your hearing loss? Should you address it during an interview? How do you make sure you have the accommodations you need? Here are some answers from the Hearing Loss Association of America.

When should you reveal your hearing loss?

It’s generally not a good idea to reveal your hearing loss on your resume or cover letter. It could reduce your chances of getting an interview in the first place.

But if you have a phone interview, you may want to fill your interviewer in beforehand so he knows what to expect. If you’re using captioned phone services, for instance, he’ll need to know that any delays are caused by the technology and don’t mean you’re struggling to answer a question.

You may need to mention your hearing loss during a face-to-face interview as well. If you’re being interviewed by more than one person, you may need to ask participants to repeat themselves or move seats so you can hear them better. It’s best to let them know why you’re asking these things.

The interview is also the best time to ask about accommodations you may need on the job. Assure the interviewer that you can perform the responsibilities of the job; you just may need hearing aids, caption phone service, or another form of technology to do so. If you're offered the job, research where to find any devices you may need and how much they cost so your company doesn’t have to.

What else should you keep in mind?

During the interview, do not apologize for your hearing loss It’s not a weakness, just a difference.

Do not spend a lot time discussing your hearing loss. The employer wants to hear about you, your skills, and your qualifications.

Be prepared to change as needed. You might have to ask someone to switch seats, or close blinds to reduce glare so you can better read lips.

Sell your skills, experience, and personality. You want those positive qualities to outweigh any worries the interviewer may have about hiring a person with hearing loss.

Relax. Every interview is a chance to improve your skills, even if it doesn’t lead to the job you want. Don’t let worries about your hearing loss stop you from going after great opportunities!

Want more tips about managing hearing loss at work? Go to http://www.hearingloss.org/sites/default/files/docs/HLAA_Employment_Toolkit.pdf