How to interview a Deaf person

This article will give you some tips on how to interview a Deaf person; and ensure that the appointment goes as smoothly as possible. There is further information at the end so you can read about Access to Work. This is funding available from the government to help pay for communication support, flashing fire alarms and other types of equipment to ensure there are no health and safety issues and the Deaf person can fully participate in work.

Things to consider before the interview:

    • Find out if the Deaf person needs an interpreter for the interview. They may prefer a different method of communication support, such as a lip speaker.

    • Contact terptree or another agency to book the support preferred. You may be able to get funding for an interpreter. Contact Jobcentre Plus and ask them about Access to Work funding (see below).

    • Provide information to the interpreter about the job and the interview, such as the job description, person specification, the format of the interview, information about any tests that will be carried out and the interview questions if possible. 

    • Ask the interpreter to arrive 15 minutes early so that you can talk to each other beforehand about the room set up, such as seating and lighting. 

    • Let the receptionist know that a Deaf person is coming in to see you.

Things to consider during the interview: 

      • If you are using an interpreter or lip speaker, they will sit alongside you, opposite the Deaf person, so they can see you both. You will then be able to communicate more effectively.

      • Don’t be concerned about eye contact and try to look at the Deaf person. They may look at the interpreter to see what is being said, and they will look at you when possible. This may feel odd at first, but they are not being rude.

      • If the Deaf person does not use an interpreter or other method of communication support, speak clearly and clarify any information they may have missed.

      • If communication is difficult, do not be afraid to use a pen and paper or a computer screen to type on. The Deaf person, in this instance, may be speaking for themselves, so this is only a last resort if they find you difficult to lip-read. This can happen with people with strong accents!

      • It is useful to check that everything is set up well for the candidate


Further information

Access to Work –