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Communication During the Interview

8 minutes

Before an employer contacts you for an interview, you should take the time to think about what accommodation you may need during the interview. People need different accommodations depending upon their hearing loss as well as their communication preference. It is important, though, that you know what accommodation will work best for you. Some examples of accommodations may be an on-site interpreter, an FM system, speech to text real-time captioning, a video remote interpreter, or remote captioning services. There are a number of other accommodations available as well. What's important is for you to know what works best for you. There are two different ways for you to ensure that you have the accommodations you need for the interview. First, if you're receiving support from a government agency, be it Vocational Rehabilitation, or Voc Rehab, or perhaps support from a One-Stop Career Center, these agencies can provide assistance in coordinating as well as paying for accommodations that you may need for your interview. If, however, you are not working with Voc Rehab, a One-Stop Center, or another government agency, that means that when you are contacted for the interview, you must inform them of your need for the accommodation, and that is the time to make your need known. You don't want to do this at a later point or to show up for the interview unable to communicate effectively. Keep in mind that the Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA, is there to protect you and to guarantee you access, good access, in this case, for an interview. Now, it is your responsibility to communicate your need for the accommodation and to do so in a reasonable timeframe. If you ask a week or two in advance, that's plenty of time, but waiting until the last minute is not reasonable. If you're unfamiliar with the protections provided to you under the Americans with Disabilities Act, we have a video that outlines the ADA that you can view on the PEPNet website. You should recognize that the minute that you enter the room, interviewers begin to make determinations about you based on your demeanor, your behavior, and your body language. Your body language consists of communication that you convey through your composure, your posture, as well as your attitude. Body language consists of your movement, as well as your eye gaze, whether you have consistent eye contact with the interviewers or not. Here some suggestions for how you can communicate during the interview to make sure that you make a good first impression on those interviewing you. First, be on time, or better yet, be a little bit early. Secondly, provide a handshake and a smile. When you greet the interviewer, offer a firm hand shake accompanied with a smile to show the interviewers that you feel confident and that you're friendly. Third, keep eye contact with the interviewers. During the interview, you'll be asked many questions, and you should maintain eye contact. I know that that may be hard, considering that you may be using an accommodation like a captioning service or an interpreter, but if possible, I'd encourage you to maintain as much eye contact as you can. Fourth, consider how you will answer difficult questions. If you're unsure of how to answer a question, it's all right for you to seek clarification or ask that the question be rephrased, and take time to consider your response before providing it. Fifth, you want to ask questions that you may have. You want more information about the company or the position itself. This is the time to ask the questions that you have. Sixth, take the next steps. Before you leave the interview, find out how you can follow up, because you want to thank them and find out when you can expect to hear of their hiring decision. Finally, and very importantly, when the interview is complete, you want to thank the person for the interview, and let them know you're interested in the job-- that you look forward to hearing from them and that you want to be selected for the position.

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What accommodations are typically available during an interview? How does one decide which accommodations are best? This segment focuses on how to prearrange accommodations for communication and what to expect during an interview. Part of the "Getting a Job" series.

Media Details

Runtime: 8 minutes

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