November 27, 2012 Alicia Castro 9Comment

In this recession, I know that job searching can be stressful, annoying, and frustrating. Believe me! I’ve been searching for the right job since I started college in 2006. Everyday, a person gets hired, promoted and rewarded for their talents, skills, expertise and motivation. However, Every day may not be good for another person if they’re still searching for another job. We’re seeing in the news, magazines, and newspapers about people losing their jobs by no fault of their own. In this century, we are desperate for a job, but I’m not searching for any job. I’m searching for a career, and to do that, I need to be confident.

 

I used to not have confidence during job interviews because I have hearing loss. I know that everyone dislikes job interviews. Practicing, researching the company, and preparing can help a person gain the confidence they need to ace an interview. But for me, it’s very different. There’s a lot more pressure knowing that I may or may not hear the questions during the job interview. I may or may not read lips depending on whether it’s a one-on-one, group, or phone interview. I feel uneasy because my competitors who are applying for the same job hear well. People living with hearing loss and searching for jobs are feeling the same pressure I feel.

 

Hearing loss does not make us weaker but it does make us feel uneasy, uncomfortable, and incompetent. I lack confident during job interviews. It has nothing do with my experience or education. I notice that I rarely use the phone during school, home and work. Not using the phone has jeopardized my communication with people inside the work environment. Whenever I landed a job interview and mentioned I use hearing aids, I was asked how I well communicate using the phone. This question made me sad and uncomfortable to answer. I avoided the question and gave the wrong answer.  Doing this did not help me get a job.

 

For years, I’ve been preparing for job interviews by upgrading my resume, cover letter and watching videos on YouTube. In fact, I continue to go to Barnes & Nobles to read books about how to ace a job interview. Despite the many years I practiced, I still cannot get a job because I am not confident answering the questions related to using the phone. In this century, every job requires using the phone and it hasn’t made my confidence level grow.

 

Last month, I read Gael Hannan’s article, “Getting Hired: A HoH’s Perspective,” which touched my heart and gave me confidence. Ms. Hannan writes about Nancy, a candidate, who got a job interview. She tells her interviewers upfront about using her hearing aids and how her hearing loss has made her a great communicator. The article relates to me physically, mentally, and emotionally. I continue to reread Ms. Hannan’s article because she gives me confidence and makes me feel good during my interviews. Thanks to Ms. Hannan, I now feel confident enough to ace an interview. I hope my experience and Ms. Hannan’s article bring you peace and confidence. Whether you get the job or not, remember to praise yourself for giving your best performance because living with hearing loss and going to job interviews is a gift not a weakness. It’s a gift because God made you special and has a purpose for you. Believe in God and yourself. Be the best you can be and live happy by loving your inner beauty and embracing your hearing loss.

9 thoughts on “Job Interview with Hearing Loss

  1. I am also looking for work and wear hearing aids. They work just fine with the phone. I never bring up that I have a hearing loss or wear hearing aids in an interview. Do you feel it’s something you need to bring up? Most phones have a volume control and I always set mine to the loudest. I rarely have to use the phone anyway. Most communication is done by e mail. No one even knows I wear a hearing aid unless I tell them.

    1. You are brave to not wear hearing aids during an interview. I used to be upfront about my hearing aids. Most of my interviews were brief and I was asked illegal questions. I got discriminated and never got a follow-up. Some work environment have phones that are not loud enough for me to hear. I recently got new hearing aids and has improved my hearing level with phone communication. I need TO commit by usting the phone more often. I love email communication, but work requires using phone communication which can be difficult for me. I struggle the most when I am not upfront that I use hearing aids. Some people accept you and others mistreat you. That’s a harsh lesson I learned living with hearing challenges.

  2. Thank you for sharing. I am in your same position. I happened to land some interviews: by phones I asked a relative to stand by me and mimic what the speaker was asking, so that I could reply. Another time I asked my bf to type the questions on screen (he’s a fast typer!).

    Once I landed a face to face interview in English (I am not a native) and it went well. I mean, I didn’t get a job but I did not look like a complete moron. I was able to understand the questions (guessing a lot, but that’s part of my everyday “listening”).

    1. @Isadora: Thank you for reading my post. I hope the your job interviews are easier in the new year than 2012. Be bold and patience. One day you’ll get the dream job you want. You have a wonderful boyfriend, he truly cares about you and is willing to help in any way it makes your life easier. Have a wonderful new year celebration tonight.

  3. I have hearing impairment and English is my second language . I am currently looking for a job. Although I wear bilateral hearing aids , I still get distraction whenever talking on the phones and it hurts my job opportunities …. I have no problem at all when having a face to face interview; unfortunately, most companies prefer having a phone interview first nowadays …. sights ….. Good Luck to me ….

    1. Dear Peggy,

      I understand your frustrations, believe me when I say this to you. You feel pressure and wonder why bother trying with phone interviews. Think about when you were little, the people who gave up on you and didn’t give you an opportunity to show them what you’re capable of. It’s time for both of us to reflect on everything that we accomplished whenever people gave up on us. The next time you have a phone interview….don’t think about “omg, I feel like I’m going to say something dumb/unrelated to the question….or what if I can’t hear the person.” Instead, leave those negative thoughts outside. Do your best to the best ability you can. When you hung up after the phone interview, say this to yourself “today I answered the questions the best way I could, and I’m proud of myself even if I did or didn’t’ get hired.” This is a step and a sign that I can speak through the phone because I know that I can hear just like everyone else. So don’t believe in luck….believe in yourself.

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