Often our clients will come to us with an American Sign Language interpreter already confirmed for part of the job. While that’s never an issue, what we most often see is that the interpreter they have booked isn’t qualified. That decision ends up costing more money. When booking an unqualified interpreter, jobs can take longer and meetings can be rescheduled in an effort to achieve proper communication.

With all of this in mind, here are some tips on hiring an interpreter through LinkedIn.

  1. Look for a past history of qualified work. If the interpreter has only ever worked in one job and it seems to be a basic one, they may not be ready for the caliber of job you’re searching for. If that one job they’ve maintained is in the same vein as the job you’re booking them for, it could be a great fit.
  2. Look for referrals. The more reviews and recommendations on a person’s profile, the better the chances are that you’re finding quality.
  3. Look for agency experience. If you find an interpreter with multiple agencies under their belt, it means that they’ve worked for multiple contracts and will have a more varied experience in their career.
  4. Check for credentials. While simply having a certification means nothing, it certainly can help firm up the chances of a good choice.

When hiring, be sure to discuss rate and terms ahead of time.

Many interpreters will have competing terms like 2 hour minimums or a base rate per hour that is competitive. Ensuring those are discussed ahead for no hidden surprises is always the best strategy. The last thing anyone wants is to get an unexpected bill. The total should always match the quote you received ahead of time.

Don’t go with the cheapest option.

The cheapest interpreter might not be the worst option but often they’re the least qualified. High stakes jobs are often disguised as the most casual booking. Be sure to work with the interpreter ahead of time to firm up expectations and ensure that not only are they comfortable but also prepared.

Get a service agreement ahead of time.

Never hire an interpreter without a service agreement. Qualified, professional and experienced interpreters have their own contracts and understand the responsibilities of having them. Hiring an American Sign Language interpreter who doesn’t invest in those things, is a sure recipe for disaster.