Make no mistake: this kind of work is challenging. Even if you’re an interpreter with dozens or hundreds of on-site interpretation assignments under your belt, remote interpretation (and, as we’ll see, industry discussion call interpretation) can take some getting used to.
Technical difficulties, no-shows, clients dissatisfied with their experts: you’ll encounter all of these problems at some point during your career. While you can’t ensure that they’ll never happen (that’s the arranger’s job!), you can be a proactive troubleshooter. Take the initiative to reach out to the expert network POC when an issue occurs and your client will love you for it.
Even for clients who’ve participated in dozens of industry discussion calls, it may be their first time interacting with an interpreter.
As you can imagine, the speed at which information is relayed on a call is a close second in importance to the information itself; after all, these clients are often paying upwards of $1300 USD/hour for the expert’s time.
During your industry discussion call interpretation career, you will almost certainly encounter at least one expert who loves to give long-winded answers that may or may not be germane to the discussion. While it may be common practice to interpret the full answer as-is, this will frustrate the client as it uses a great deal of valuable time while providing no useful insight.
Regardless of the mediation strategy you employ, provide a consistent string of updates for your client in addition to interpreting the expert’s speech. To expand on the previous hypothetical, if the expert provides an evasive or unclear answer, ensure that you inform your client of the situation before reengaging with the expert. Popular strategies have included:
Above all, understand that your success is based largely on your client service acumen. Be calm in the face of adversity, be patient, and never lose your cool!