Job Interview Interpreter Grant
If you are deaf or hard of hearing or have a speech impairment, you can apply for funding to pay for an interpreter to assist you at a job interview you attend. This is called the Job Interview Interpreter Grant (JIIG).
If you start a new job, you can also use a JIIG to pay for an interpreter to help you during your induction period.
The JIIG is only available to assist with jobs in the private sector. If you have a public sector job or interview, it is up to the organisation that will interview and/or employ you to provide an interpreter.
What does the interpreter do?
An interpreter can help you deal with questions and say what you want to say in an interview. Using sign language or other means, they can make sure both you and the interviewer understand clearly what is said.
Interpreters do not join in the conversation. They will not add anything to what you or the interviewers say, or leave anything out. They treat all information given during the interview as confidential.
Who can apply for a JIIG?
You can apply for the JIIG if:
- You are deaf or hard of hearing or have a speech impairment, and
- You are looking for work or have just started a new job, and
- You think you would find it helpful to have a sign-language interpreter or other interpreter there at your job interview or induction, and
- The interview or job is with a private-sector employer
You cannot apply for the JIIG if:
- Your interview or induction is with a public-sector employer (In this case, the employer pays for the interpreter)
- Your interview or induction is publicly funded, for example, under the Community Employment Scheme (In this case, interpretation costs are met by the public-sector body that is funding the employment)
Please note: a JIIG can be used only to pay for an interpreter in a job interview or an induction with a private-sector employer. You must not use it for any other purpose.
You can apply for a JIIG for as many interviews as you like.
Finding your interpreter
If you are going to an interview or induction with a private-sector employer, you are responsible for finding your own interpreter. This can be a:
- Member of your family
- Professionally qualified sign language interpreter or
- Other interpreter.
The Sign Language Interpreting Service can help you find a professional interpreter.
They may let you choose an interpreter who will either go in person to your interview or help with it remotely. Remote interpreting services use a live video link such as Skype. See ‘Where to apply’ below for contact details.
If you are going to an interview or induction with a public-sector employer, you should ask the employer to make sure an interpreter will be there in person or remotely. Public-sector organisations have a duty to arrange and pay for interpretation services on request.
Are you a sign language interpreter
If you are a sign language interpreter and looking for job opportunities you can contact SLIS for further information. They have a referral service for freelance interpreters and they also keep a national register of interpreters for those who are signed up.
How to use an interpreter during a job interview
Advice for interviewees
- Book your interpreter as far ahead as possible. This will give you and the interpreter time to discuss what to expect and to prepare things you will need (for example, a presentation).
- Send your interpreter a copy of your CV before the interview.
- Make sure you are both familiar with any special words and phrases that may be used during the interview.
- Contact the employer before the interview to tell them the name of your interpreter and check all the arrangements.
Advice for employers
- At the interview, you should look at and speak directly to the person who is deaf or hard of hearing (the interviewee), not the interpreter.
- Never ask the interpreter to ‘tell them…’ as this would be considered disrespectful and rude.
- Arrange for the interpreter to stand or sit near those speaking. The person who is deaf or hard of hearing should have a clear view of both you and the interpreter. If you will be moving around during the session, or if there will be more than one interviewer, you should sort out the seating arrangements beforehand with the interviewee and the interpreter.
- Remember that the interpreter will be a few words behind the speaker. Give them enough time to finish before you continue so that the interviewee can ask questions or join in the discussion.
- The interpreter or the interviewee may ask you to slow down or repeat a word or sentence for clarification. Likewise, be sure to ask them to repeat anything you find unclear.
- Speak normally to someone who is deaf or hard of hearing or has a speech impairment. Speaking loudly does not help, and is especially pointless if an interpreter is there. Allow the interviewee to complete their sentences.
- People with language or speech impairments often have different speech patterns, so you will need to listen carefully. If you find something unclear, ask questions and repeat what they said to make sure you understand.
The Department of Social Protection (DSP) will pay the interpreter a fee for a half-day session (up to three hours). The rate ranges from €95 to €205, depending on the duration and the interpreter’s qualifications.
DSP will also pay the interpreter’s travel costs – either the cost of their fare on public transport or a rate of €0.25 per km where no public transport is available.
How to apply
- Contact your local Intreo Centre or Social Welfare Branch Office to get a JIIG Application Form Section 1 and a JIIG Application Form Section 2. You can also download these forms on gov.ie.
- Complete as much of the forms as possible before the job interview or induction. Ask the staff in your local Intreo Centre or Social Welfare Branch Office for help with the forms if necessary.
- If possible, get your JIIG Application Form Section 2 signed by a DSP case officer before the interview or induction. If this is not possible, call the case officer to get their verbal agreement to the grant.
- Take your application form to the interview. Ask the employer and interpreter to sign and stamp it.
- Return the signed and stamped application form to your local Intreo Centre or Social Welfare Branch Office. The payment will go directly to the interpreter or the interpreting service they work for.
For more details, see the guidelines on the Job Interview Interpreter Grant on gov.ie.
Where to apply
- To get a JIIG Application Form Section 1 and a JIIG Application Form Section 2, contact your local Intreo Centre or Social Welfare Branch Office, or download the forms from gov.ie.
- To book a professional interpreter, contact: