Tips To Consider For Text Interviews

Tips To Consider When Preparing For Text Interviews

By Zach Seybert
In August 15, 2017

In previous NexGoal articles, we have provided tips for job seekers to prepare for various interviews (video, etc.) and even provided common interview questions and answers. Now, we will offer up some tips on how to ace a different type of interview that utilizes a method that we use every day – texting.

According to Domo, there are 22 billion text messages (not including app-to-app messaging) sent every day worldwide and 8 trillion texts sent each year. With text messaging being the most used data service in the world, the team at Canvas saw a way to capitalize on the communication method while cutting hiring costs.

Canvas is the first text-based interviewing platform that allows companies to screen and interview candidates over a text. According to the company’s site, 50 million millennials will be hired between now and 2025. With only 12% of the generation preferring phone calls for business communication, you may find yourself receiving a request for a text interview sooner rather than later. While currently being used by hospitals, start ups and fortune 500 companies, more industries are likely to follow suit and utilize the platform.

CNBC provided four tips for interviewees to use in their preparation for this unique interview type. They are as follows:

“No novels required”

When texting in every day communication, it is common to send brief messages that can be read in less than one scroll on a phone. CNBC’s Abigail Hess says that “choosing your words wisely pays off no matter the type of interview but is particularly helpful when texting.” Being short and sweet is important in all interview types, but especially so when it comes to text interviews.

Take a deep breath

While texting can be seen as a quick way to communicate, there is also an expectation that it should be instantaneous. However, due to the nature of sending and receiving messages on the user’s own time, both parties can take their time to formulate well-written responses. On the other hand, when communicating via phone call, both parties have to be relatively quick in responding to questions. Having the time to think and respond is one of the benefits of text interviewing.

Let your business personality shine

One of the challenges in text interviews (and texting in general) is letting your personality shine. Aman Brar, CEO of Canvas, suggests using emojis. “I do think things like emojis are a way to express emotion or punctuate a point. In text, there are certainly worse thing than the candidate expressing themselves that way.”

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If you want to save your emojis for casual texting with your friends and family, another way to let your personality shine is to mention your hobbies outside of work. When a recruiter asks “Tell me about yourself,” this is the time to do just that both during text and in-person interviews. By talking about who you are outside of work, there is a chance to make a personal connection with the interviewer which could make the difference between getting hired and rejected.

Show your interest

If you are not interested in the position, it seems sort of pointless to even interview for it, doesn’t it? Sometimes people interview solely because they want a job – any job. This is usually picked up on pretty quickly by the interviewer and will likely result in you not getting a job offer (not surprisingly).

One of the best ways to show your passion and interest in the job is by asking a variety of questions. This holds true for all sorts of interviews – informational, phone, video, in-person and now, text.

Wrap Up

It seems pretty crazy that companies are now interviewing candidates via text message. In our “heads-down society,” a term coined by thunder::tech which refers to the reliance on our cell phones, we are constantly connected and consumed by media. Whether that is scouring the news on apps or snapping pictures to send to our friends, at any given time we are not very far from our phones. With the advent of text interviewing, job seekers can interview for jobs at all hours of the day, wherever they are.

CEO of Barstool Sports, Erika Nardini, was a self-described “horrible interviewer” because of her impatience. She detailed her process of vetting candidates for Barstool in an interview with the New York Times. Capitalizing on the constant level of connectedness in today’s society she uses a unique candidate vetting process. “Here’s something I do,” she said. “If you’re in the process of interviewing with us, I’ll text you about something at 9 p.m. or 11 a.m. on a Sunday just to see how fast you respond.” With the advent of text interviewing, not only could she see if the candidates are responsive, but she could also conduct the entire interview.

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Zach is a Digital Content and Marketing Specialist with NexGoal, who specializes in creating career transition and job search preparation content.