What are text message interviews, and how can you ace them?

You’re about to run out to the store when you receive an unexpected text message. A recruiter from one of your dream employers is letting you know he received your application and has a few questions for you.

Your mind starts to race because you’re not sure how to respond. Is this text message legit? And if so, should you text back a formal reply, stick with a casual tone, or opt for something in between?

Have no fear!

Here are some important tips to help you succeed the next time you receive a text-based interview request, as well as a list of the pros and cons of this new interview method and why it is becoming popular across the globe.

The rise of text message recruiting

A Gallup News article recently shared that “sending and receiving text messages is the most prevalent form of communication for Americans younger than 50.” It should come as no surprise, then, that HR departments want to capitalize on this form of communication to reach the highest number of applicants

How you can benefit

You can impress a recruiter by being prompt and professional when sending your reply. It is the perfect time for you to leave a lasting impression of yourself that will help you stand out from other candidates. A recruiter will assess your communication style, grammar, and how you follow instructions if they decide to invite you to meet for an interview.

Interview tips and text etiquette

Why is SMS interviewing popular? It helps recruiters find top talent and avoid wasting time in calling to pre-screen people over the phone. The next time you receive a message from a prospective company, here are a few messages you want to avoid sending:

  • CU at the interview

  • Thx for the text Intrvew! XOXO

  • Gr8, CU in a few dyz

Instead, try these helpful SMS interview tips:

  • If you need to ask a general question, call or email the HR specialist directly.

  • Long text messages should be avoided. Write a text as if you are using Twitter (280 characters).

  • Emojis are cute, but they won’t portray professionalism.

  • Slang is for people you know personally. Remember, the recruiter will decide whether or not to invite you for an in-person interview based on your SMS etiquette.

  • Reply to the text message during regular business hours.

What to know about text message recruitment scams

Although text messaging takes only a few minutes of your time and can help you land an interview for the job of your dreams, be wary of messages that request personal information. There have been incidents where job seekers unknowingly sent sensitive details about themselves to scam artists posing as recruiters under the guise of a fake job interview. In most cases, these fraudulent text messages will not include the name of or link to the job you applied for.

According to this job-seeker forum on the job board Indeed, these are the types of information that are typically asked for in a fake text-based interview:

  • Social Security Number

  • Date of Birth

  • Full Name

  • Address

If you receive a probing message like this in the future, do not reply. You can report it to the local authorities if the person who sent the original text escalates the situation.

Texting a thank-you note: Yes or no?

After the in-person interview has ended, you might feel inspired to send a text message thanking the hiring manager for their time. It can save you time in thinking about the right words to write in an email, but the traditional letter or email method is still the best approach. Although the first point of contact was via a text, you have a better chance at appearing as a professional of high value by taking the conventional route. A recruiter may be less interested in hiring you if you send a thank-you text.

As SMS text interviews become more popular with recruiters, it is to your advantage to be professional and use these etiquette tips. Think of a text message interview as an in-person meeting. The hiring manager wants to verify that the person on the resume is as professional and sharp as the one behind the text message. It is one step away from being invited to an in-person interview and can be the way you  “wow” the recruiter with your impressive writing skills and professionalism.

Make sure you’re prepared for when you land the in-person interview. Hire a TopInterview professional interview coach today!

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