The successful conference interpreter's checklist

Management is key to a successful career as a conference interpreter. Here's a checklist for beginners.

Availability management

  • Keep track of all job offers and their status
  • Maintain a database of people who have offered you work and when
  • Keep regular recruiters informed of your availability.

A conference interpreter’s checklist

  • Valid ID card and/or passport
  • Mobile phone, fax, answering service, high-capacity email
  • Make your details known to your business contacts
  • Valid work permits
  • International vaccination booklet (for long-distance assignments at short notice)
  • Tax returns and social security charges
  • Banking instructions and credit cards details
  • Health, travel and other insurance cover
  • Up-to-date database of colleagues and contacts.
  • A good travel agent to turn to for travel arrangements

Other items

  • Business cards (learn when to use them and when not to)
  • Up-to-date curriculum vitae
  • Filing system for your engagement contracts
  • AIIC dues and other professional subscriptions
  • Filing system for articles, documentation and other job-related paperwork
  • Business card binder
  • File management system (to keep track of potential clients, recruiters, job announcements, terminology).

Make the most of your free time

  • Learn to take time off and rest when you can;
  • Keep abreast of current events;
  • Surf the Internet and subscribe to publications of interest, read them and make notes
  • Hone your language skills, including your mother tongue
  • Improve your knowledge in specific fields

Further Reading

Recommended citation format:
VEGA Network. "The successful conference interpreter's checklist". January 25, 2005. Accessed July 2, 2020. <>.

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Alexei, I really don't know what the best time is or even if cold-calling interpreters is the best way to establish good contacts. I suggest that you pose the question on - an Q&A site for all things interpreting.

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Alexei Alexei Stanger


Hi. I'm starting out as a conference interpreter in Paris (English A, French A), and so far I've got two repeat customers.

I'm cold-calling interpreters and agencies to get more jobs. What's the best time in the day to call interpreters?


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