Companies are doing all they can to maximize their recruiting efforts, and they’re turning to new technology or new recruiting methods to improve their ability to find top tier talent. One of the ways that companies and employers are doing this is through the use of text interviews. These text-based job interviews are a great way for employers to reach the largest talent pool of available workers, and also helps them seem like a more modern company to Millenials and Gen-Z workers.
Since text interviews are still relatively new for everyone in the working world, we’ve put together a helpful guide so you can learn all about text interviews, understand how they benefit both employers and job seekers, some common scams you should avoid when conducting a text interview, and how you can ace your next text interview.
What Are Text Interviews?
The most common method of evaluating candidates used to be having a face to face job interview one on one or in a group setting. Now, times are changing and companies are doing all they can to rapidly adapt to the changing environment and are switching to text interviews. Instead of trying to schedule complicated interviews, reserve meeting space, make sure everyone is on the same calendar, etc., companies are now scheduling interviews that can be conducted via text messages.
This means that you might be running a typical errand and you receive a text message from someone claiming to be an employee, recruiter, or manager for an organization you recently submitted an application to. With all the scams nowadays, you might be hesitant to reply, but rest assured modern companies are actively scheduling text interviews and might surprise you with this new form of an interview.
While receiving a random message might be something that happens, it’s often very rare. Instead, companies and employers will typically reach out to you to schedule a text interview for a certain day or time window. Typically, employers will conduct a phone interview first, and if they like you they will advance you to the text interview phase. Text interviews are being used more frequently because of the positive reception from both employers and job seekers, so you should expect to have a job interview conducted by text messages in the near future.
Text interviews will also become even more prevalent in our daily professional lives, as texting has quickly become the most popular form of communication on a mobile device as well. Companies want to do all they can to keep up with the times and reach professionals wherever they may be, whenever they are available. Text interviews allow them to do this. We’ve highlighted some additional benefits below for both job seekers and employers when it comes to text interviews.
How Text Interviews Benefit Employers
Text interviews have tons of benefits for both employers and recruiters. We’ve highlighted some of the key benefits that employers are finding when they are switching to text interviews or have increased the number of text interviews they conduct when screening candidates.
1. Text Interviews Help Employers Automate Their Recruiting Process
The number one benefit that employers have found when switching from a traditional interview process to a text interview process is that it helps them automate their recruiting process. One of the best benefits when switching to a text message interview system, is that they can conduct multiple interviews at once.
We’ve all been in a scenario where it seems like the interview process is terribly slow or scheduling conflicts push the interview further and further away. When the job market is competitive and bills are due, candidates and employers cannot afford to wait weeks to months to interview candidates. They need to fill the position quickly and get everyone up to speed. On the flip side, professionals and job seekers cannot wait long periods for a decision to be made, because they need to consider every single job that becomes available to them.
With text message interview methods, employers can quickly interview a multitude of candidates at one time and rapidly speed up their evaluation and consideration timeline. Instead of waiting weeks to conduct an interview, candidates and employers can respond in minutes to days without any scheduling conflicts. According to Viber, the average response time for a text message is 90 seconds. That means employers can quickly ask and receive the interview answers they need, instead of having to schedule an interview two weeks out to ask the same questions.
With text interviews, employers can automate their process by having multiple interviews conducted at once. They can send out the same messages to multiple candidates, and view it all on one platform. Then, when they get a reply, they just select the candidate they’d like to view and continue the interview process. Best of all, they can even track all of the messages and recall previous conversations or messages. This helps them quickly speed up the interview process because they no longer have to take notes or ask them a similar question so they can remember how they answered.
Arguably the second most important aspect of text message interviews is that they are incredibly convenient. One of the biggest challenges that employers, managers, HR professionals, and recruiters face when trying to match an open position with a professional is scheduling conflicts. Scheduling conflicts can not only cause frustration on both sides, but they can lengthen the time that a position is open.
Text interviews allow employers and HR professionals to quickly speed up the recruiting process and significantly cut down on the time it takes to fill an open position.
3. More Popular Form of Communication
To job seekers and professionals, it might seem like every single employer, HR professional, or recruiter loves face to face interaction. But it’s simply not true. Just like the rest of us, HR professionals might not like to conduct face to face interviews every single time, or they’re more open to communicating with others through written forms of communication.
Employers and recruiters are doing all they can to maximize their recruiting efforts, which means that they need to be open to different communication methods to find and match with the ideal candidate. As we’ve highlighted earlier, text messages are a more popular form of communication than some of the other traditional methods of by-gone eras.
According to the Gallup Poll we highlighted earlier, communicating by text is the most popular form of communication for individuals under the age of 50. As Millenials and Gen-Z workers will soon make up the bulk of the working population, employers need to do all they can to target them with the communication that those generations use. Another benefit for employers and companies that switch to text message interviews, is that they will be seen as a more progressive employer looking to hire for their open positions.
4. Less Expensive
The next benefit that text interviews provide to employers is that they are far less expensive than traditional interview methods. Some of the main pain points for organizations is the cost to fill a position or cost per hire. On average, this can get into the thousands of dollars. The longer a position remains open, the more they have to advertise to attract potential job seekers, productivity suffers, and more. Text message interview platforms can offer employers a much cheaper solution to find and fill open positions much quicker than traditional methods.
5. Employers No Longer Have To Worry About Candidates Ghosting Them
One of the biggest issues facing employers in the modern job search environment is referred to as candidate ghosting. For those who are unfamiliar with this term, it means that a job candidate didn’t show up to an interview, didn’t respond to communication requests, and essentially disappeared from the interview or evaluation process like a ghost, hence the term. With text message interviews, employers can manage multiple prospects at one time, and their interview process isn’t being slowed down by candidates who don’t reply.
If candidates don’t reply in a reasonable time frame due to the convenience of a text message, employers can simply move on to other candidates without having to sacrifice a large chunk of their day trying to get in touch with the professional.
6. Employers Can Recall Previous Conversations
The next benefit to text message interviews for employers is that they can recall previous conversations. One of the biggest challenges that employers and HR professionals face when they’re trying to interview a candidate is to recall what they said. Often times, the interviewer will have to frantically take notes to highlight what the candidate said. The average speed a person can write is 20 to 40 words per minute (WPM). In contrast, the average speed that a human can speak at is between 100 to 130 words per minute (WPM). This means that nearly every 2 to 3rd word that a candidate says won’t be in the notes.
With text message interviews, both the job seeker and the HR professional can recall everything that was mentioned or given as an answer to interview questions. This means that at any time, employers and HR professionals can go back and see everything they need to, thus reducing the errors in translation or chance of forgetting something that was said down the road.
7. Others Can View Conversations and Interview Answers
Another fantastic benefit to text message interviews for employers is that they can easily collaborate with their coworkers and HR professionals who need to be a part of the candidate consideration and evaluation process. Often times, selecting the right candidate for the position requires a team of individuals who need to evaluate the candidate and then voice or provide their opinion/feedback.
This is no longer necessary as they can easily view the conversations and answers that a candidate provides when they review the text message interview history, thus saving time and help to speed up the consideration process.
8. No More Scheduling Issues
The next benefit that employers have when they use text interview platforms is to avoid any scheduling issues that might arise. It’s always a massive challenge to not only make sure that the interviewer and the interviewee can schedule some time to get together and hash out the interview, but it can also be a gigantic struggle to coordinate with coworkers as well. With text message platforms, employers no longer need to worry about scheduling issues that can arise.
How Text Interviews Benefit Job Seekers and Professionals
Text interviews aren’t just benefiting employers, as job seekers and professionals can also see a massive benefit by switching or encouraging text interviews with companies that they’re actively applying to. We’ve outlined some of the key benefits that job seekers and professionals can see when they engage in text interviews.
1. Ability To Answer On Your Own Time
As we’ve highlighted above, we’ve all been in those scenarios where it seems like we have to change our schedule around because we need to attend an interview. Sometimes, it can even feel like the employer schedule and our schedule just don’t line up, and then we have to worry that we won’t be considered for the position or they’ll move on to other candidates who can do an interview sooner. With text message interviews, job seekers and professionals no longer have to have those worries.
Interviews by text are a great way for job seekers and professionals to engage in an interview but do so on their own time. Professionals and job seekers no longer have to drop everything they’re doing to reschedule everything just so they can get to an interview on time, instead, the interview can happen at its own pace.
Another benefit to interviews by text is that they allow job seekers to answer on their own time. They don’t have to feel obligated to immediately provide an answer right away like in a traditional job interview. Instead, they can put the phone aside for a bit and then come back to it later when they have more time to answer properly.
2. Additional Time To Prepare Answers
If you’ve ever had a job interview, it can feel like you have a limited time to answer when the interviewer asks you a question. Often times, that pressure can feel like it’s mounting until you just blurt out an answer. One of the biggest fears is that you just answered and it wasn’t the right answer, or you could’ve given a better answer when you think about it later on.
With text interviews, another fantastic benefit to job seekers and professionals is that you can think about the question and come up with a solid answer. This extra time to prepare reduces some of the anxiety that job seekers and professionals might feel when they’re in the interview process. Job seekers and professionals are already stressed enough, so having to worry about one less thing is critical to finding success when engaging in a job interview.
3. Text Interviews Help Socially Awkward Candidates
Interviews and face to face discussions cause significant anxiety for a lot of people. For those candidates who would consider themselves socially awkward, in-person job interviews might cause them to perform badly and ultimately cost them the job. As we’ve mentioned earlier, some people prefer to communicate in written forms over oral methods. There’s nothing wrong with that.
Unfortunately, in-person interviews will sometimes eliminate candidates because they didn’t perform well in the interview if they’re socially awkward. Text interviews allow those socially awkward candidates to put their best foot forward and ultimately increase their chances of landing the position they’re interviewing for.
4. Text Interviews Eliminate Meaningless Conversations
Another frustrating process of the job interview saga is the time for meaningless conversations. Often times it can seem like questions are designed to take up some interview time while they’re getting ready or waiting for another individual to join the interview, but these meaningless conversations can actually frustrate job seekers who feel pressed for time or nervous about the situation.
With text interviews, there is no room for meaningless conversations. In addition, job seekers don’t have to feel forced to participate in these meaningless conversations and instead can provide direct answers to questions that an interviewer might have. This not only cuts down on the clutter of the job interview process but also helps them speed up the process as well.
10 Tips To Ace a Text Interview
Now that we’ve highlighted ways in which text interviews benefit both job seekers and employers, we’re going to highlight key ways that you can ace a text interview if your next interview implements an interview by text.
1. Keep It Professional
The most important thing to remember when conducting or engaging in an interview by text is to remember that you need to keep it professional. Even though texting is a more informal form of communication, it’s important to remember that you’re texting with someone on a professional basis, and that you’re hoping to impress them in a professional environment. You need to resist the temptation to appear unprofessional by using improper grammar, misspelling, images, etc.
2. Avoid Using Emojis
Even though emojis nearly come standard across the board with every single mobile device or SMS platform, it is best to just avoid using emojis in your responses. This is in large part due to the fact that some platforms might not have emoji support. This means that if you send them a message with an emoji, it might come up with a bunch of unsupported or weird characters that they don’t understand.
Interviewers might suspect that this was an automatically filtered message, which could indicate curse words or something else and think negatively of your response. In addition, not all emojis are clear answers. Interviewers don’t have time to rehash questions themselves when they’re trying to interview multiple candidates at once, so keep it straight forward. Provide clear answers to their questions to avoid any misinterpretation, and avoid the use of emojis at all cost!
3. Only Reply During Business Hours
Another tip to ace a text interview is to only reply during business hours. As we’ve highlighted above, oftentimes employers and interviewers will log into a platform to conduct interviews by text. This means that during regular business hours, they’ll be alerted to new replies/answers. On the rare occasion that they’re conducting the interview on their personal or company mobile device, the last thing you want to do is message them outside of regular business hours.
They will either consider it very unprofessional or will push it off until they go back to work the next day. There will also be instances where they do read the message, and then forget that they needed to respond to it later. You don’t want to accidentally be forgotten because you chose to reply during non-business hours.
4. Avoid Using Text-Speak and Acronyms
Avoid using shorthand or text-speak when you’re replying to text messages that an interviewer has sent you. These include common phrases like “wbu?”, or “l8r”, or “hmu”. These common text phrases are largely deemed to be unprofessional or might even confuse the interviewer if they’re not familiar with all of the modern text lingo. Stick to typing full words and sentences so you can be as clear as possible, and set yourself for a professional presentation.
5. Remember To Ask Questions Like a Normal Interview — Show Interest
It’s important to remember that even though the way in which the interview is being conducted has changed, it is still an interview nonetheless. One of the best ways to separate yourself as the leading candidate is to show your interest in the position. This means that you should always be looking at ways to show you’re interested by asking questions throughout the interview process. Don’t be afraid to ask for additional clarification on a question or get a better understanding of what the job environment is like, what the responsibilities will entail, some additional benefits for working with the company, etc.
Asking questions is a great way for you to showcase your interest and separate yourself from other candidates and ultimately become the leading candidate.
6. Avoid Long Test Messages and Answers
Even though you’re conducting an interview by text, it’s important to remember that you shouldn’t feel obligated to write an essay each time you want to answer. One of the best things about text interviews is that they give you an opportunity to be clear and concise. You don’t really need to elaborate on something unless they explicitly ask you. Instead, you should focus on providing clear and concise answers to their questions to help speed up the interview process and provide the information that they’re directly looking for.
Providing lengthy answers or essay-like responses will only confuse the interviewer and make them work even harder to get the answers they need. Make the process easy for them and provide direct answers to their questions.
7. Make Sure You’re Texting The Right Person
In some cases, there might be multiple people you’re texting from one company because text interview platforms allow multiple people to engage in the interviewer. You need to be careful when you’re responding or using the interviewer’s names because you don’t want to unintentionally offend anyone by listing or mentioning the wrong name. You also don’t want to say something that might cause frustration amongst the interview team members, so make sure that if you do choose to respond with their name(s), that you’re confident in who you’re speaking to. Remember, it’s more likely than not that someone else will be viewing the messages later on during the evaluation process as well!
8. Try To Showcase Your Personality
We understand that it can be difficult to showcase your personality through text messages, but you need to do your best to try. Unfortunately, text messages are just words on a screen/page. It can be very difficult for someone to get a “read” on the person they’re interacting with through text messages. This is in large part why face to face or in-person job interviews are still the most common way that employers will choose to interview candidates.
To truly separate yourself and become the leading candidate that they’re considering, you need to do your best to showcase your personality when you’re responding to their interview questions. One of the best ways to do this is to hint at what drives you to work hard, explain why you’re passionate about a particular field, or indicate what drove you to apply to their organization in the first place.
9. Avoid Simple Mistakes, Proofread!
Another important thing you can do to ace a text interview is to make sure that you avoid simple mistakes. The best way to avoid simple mistakes is to proofread every single text message before you respond. Even though your friends and family might not mind when you accidentally misspell something or it gets auto-corrected into something else, text interviews can be cut short and candidates quickly eliminated if there is an abundance of misspellings or grammatical mistakes in text interview responses. Therefore, you need to do your best to ensure that you’re avoiding these common pitfalls and proofreading every single text message before you send it.
You want to put your best foot forward in a text interview, so a simple proofread can go a long way when engaging in a text job interview.
10. Protect Yourself and Avoid Common Scam Attempts
Even though it’s rare, there are still nefarious individuals out there who are actively trying to scam individuals through fake text job interviews. These are typically easy to spot, and you can take steps to actively avoid any scam that might pop up on your phone. Some of the most common scam attempts will ask you things like your social security number (SSN), your date of birth (DOB), your full name, address, credit card information, and more.
You should avoid giving out any personal information to someone you don’t know. If the individual does know you or you have met them as part of the job interview process, just inform them that you don’t feel comfortable providing that information over text message or a phone call and that you’d much rather prefer to provide that information in-person.
Job seekers and employers are doing all they can to stay with the times. One of the ways they’re doing this is by cutting down on old and outdated interview methods, and switching to more efficient and faster methods like text interviews. By implementing the tips we’ve highlighted above, you can quickly become the leading candidate by acing your next text interview.
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