How to find the right interpreter for your next zoom meeting
Find interpreting services that specifically offer video remote interpreting.
Many interpreting agencies specialize in remote interpreting, have platforms for the service or even provide the equipment to their interpreters ensuring the best video quality and performance. However, there are even more agencies that will accept these bookings and have little to no experience or will refer an interpreter with a lousy internet connection. What’s important is that communication can happen clearly and effectively from both sides. There’s a strong chance of failure when the interpreter is lagging like a PS4 game on dial-up internet. Not only does it create tension in the meeting but can lead to postponements and even early adjourning of meetings.
Companies will often list these services as VRI, VRT, video interpreting, video translation, remote interpreting, telephone interpreting, remote translation and telephone translation.
Ensure the interpreters contact information is shared both with the attendees and the sign language user is connected with the interpreter before the meeting.
Our clients want to hear from us ahead of time, prepare us with materials and sometimes a quick phone call. This is especially helpful with any technical terminology or office jargon the interpreter might not be aware of. When we have the opportunity to connect with our clients it serves two purposes. First, it ensures the qualified interpreter is prepared, on time, effective and ready to interpret for the Zoom meeting. Second, it serves as a way to iron out any technical kinks or identify a lack in technology for either party. If we can run a quick tech check on both ends, we can reduce the chances of an important meeting being interrupted by technical difficulties or shortcomings.
Ask about the interpreters credentials and experience on Zoom.
It is absolutely AOK to ask for an interpreters licensing information, credentials, internet speed and experience. You are always welcome to receive a copy of their resumé, reviews or references. We function in such an insular industry that is not very mainstream and welcome your questions any time!
Be sure to keep an eye out for common credentials like the NIC or National Interpreter Certification by RID or the Registration of Interpreters for the Deaf along with the Texas BEI (The Board for Evaluation of Interpreters) and the EIPA or the Educational Interpreters Perfomance Assessment. While there are other levels of the NIC like a CI/CT or NIC Master, you’ll find them all under the jurisdiction of RID.
Avoid the bargains.
It is absolutely true that you get what you pay for. Interpreters lowballing the market, especially in gig-work message boards are often unable to find work elsewhere. They are often working outside the purview of a certifying body, professional supervision or have just gone rogue. While this certainly isn’t always the case, many are just creating their own side-hustle; it is a safe bet to trust that an agency or interpreter billing slightly higher than middle of the road, is doing so because they understand how to price their work accordingly.
Ask the service user.
This tried and true tactic seems obvious but it often isn’t. I always recommend first and foremost to get their take. Most times they will already have someone in mind. Perhaps it’s not with the agency you’re currently contracting with and that’s okay. We’re a simple service agreement away from reducing your headaches for your upcoming Zoom meeting and hopefully many more to come!
For more answers to common questions and finding interpreters who practically live on Zoom for work. Check out our website.