Communication has certainly come a long way since the development of the traditional phone. People used to rely on postal services and expensive long distance phone calls just to send a short but very important messages. Today, a simple text message, email and phone call can do much more than just a simple letter.
Communication has even affected the way companies screen the possible candidates. Phone screening is very common for larger companies so that they will not waste theirs and the candidates' time for a personal interview if they have not qualified. While it's not the same as a personal interview, phone based screen can provide a lot of information about the candidate.
A growing trend in interviewing a candidate is emerging particularly in small businesses who wanted to outsource some of their tasks. Instead of talking over the phone or internet (through VOIP) business owners opted to communicate through chat.
Using instant messaging (IM) applications, the interviewer and interviewee exchange text messages. It's a highly unique form of interview that may give you an upper hand or would cost your chances of being properly interviewed.
Why Businesses Practice Chat Interview
Chat interview is now practiced by small businesses for the following reasons:
• Distance concern - The person they are interviewing is hundreds or thousands of miles away from the office.
• Limited technology available - Long distance phone call can be expensive and instant messaging does not require a strong internet connection.
• Record keeping - Every text you entered in chat messaging application can be recorded. This is an increased option to screen candidates later.
While some may consider instant messaging as a little bit crude, it does provide advantages for both parties. However, the interviewee should be aware of some pitfalls when the interview is simply based on chat.
Tips in Dealing with Chat Interview:
• Read the question twice - Everything that the candidate enters in the instant messaging application can be used to boost or to decrease his or her chances of employment. It is important to read what they ask or they have to say twice before formulating the answer.
• Read the answer twice - Candidates should read their answer twice as well as a way of proofreading their answer. Once the candidate hits the "enter" or "send" button, there is no going back as this will be scrutinized by the interviewer.
• Keep the conversation professional - Interview through chat is simply an interview on text. This means that the exchange of information should still be professional. Using internet jargons such as "LOL" or smiley’s is not encouraged unless the interviewer starts to use these during the chat.
• Keep records - One of the biggest advantage of chat interview is that both parties can keep the records of their conversation. This is very useful for future references. Candidates should be able to review what they said and take note on what should be included or avoided next time another chat interview comes.