Why Your Next Interview Could Take Place Via Text Message

The next time you apply for a job posting on Hire the Youth, don’t be surprised if you receive a text message from a recruiter. Sound far-fetched? Think again. A Gallup News article recently shared that “sending and receiving text messages is the most prevalent form of communication for people younger than 50,” so it’s no surprise that some companies have already leveraged the technology for initial interviews.

Recruiters need to use their time wisely, and can’t risk phone calls to candidates going to voicemail or email invites getting lost in junk mail. Instead, they send messages where they know candidates will see them: their phones. But there’s a right and wrong way of responding to a text message to win the interest of a recruiter or hiring manager. Before you decide to press the send button, read these tips.

Respond, But Do So Selectively

Most people haven’t encountered a text message interview before, so they may not respond to a text right away because it is either unfamiliar or they would prefer a human connection with a live recruiter on the phone. But if you choose not to engage, you may be self-selecting out of the interview process already — so don’t just ignore it.

However, it is worth screening these messages before responding. Some job hunters have fallen victim to text message scams, in which illegitimate companies request personal information. If you ever receive a message from a person asking for your name, address, date of birth, Social Security Number or other personally identifiable information, do not respond.  You can save the message and report it to your local authorities.

Keep It, Professional

Text message interviews are one way to find out if an applicant has excellent writing skills and is professional, so treat your replies just as you would any other workplace communication. Avoid abbreviations like “Gr8! C U Soon” or “Thx for the invite!” as well as slang or other informal languages. And don’t send any emojis — although you may just be trying to show personality, it can appear unprofessional to some recruiters and hiring managers.

A few other tips to consider when texting interview responses:

  • Your messages should be short and to the point — a good rule of thumb is to stick to the (former) Twitter limit of 140 characters or less
  • If you need to send a long message, ask the recruiter to send their email address
  • Remember to use your spell check to find grammatical and spelling errors
  • Only respond during regular business hours

If you ever receive a text about a job you applied for, hopefully, this article will help you. If you want to receive an invite for an in-person interview, treat it as you would a live phone conversation, be as professional as you can and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Good luck!

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