Smartphone Lingo and Your Interview

Society has become extremely reliant on technology, for EVERYTHING. I know personally I couldn’t live without my smart phone. I check my email, bank balance, pay my electricity bill and check the traffic reports for my drive home daily. How many of us run our lives through that small electrical device?  I know I am constantly responding to important emails through my phone or tablet on the go. Most of us even have a signature that precludes any typos or spelling errors due to our “fat fingers”. So, in this day and age when it’s the norm to respond this way in the business world? The question “When is a text or a quick response unprofessional in an interview process?” is a fair one.

Often when dealing with a professional recruiting firm you are contacted by phone or email first. I have had many candidates shoot me a text or a one word response from their smartphone instead of returning a call. Although this isn’t the worst way to respond, if I don’t have a professional relationship with you already then your first impression may be lost among detailed responses or conversations from other potentials candidates. This is considered the first point of contact in the interview process and could determine if you move on to the next step.

More important than your recruiter interaction is the way you interact with the hiring manager. Again, most professionals are dealing with hectic and intercontinental schedules so it isn’t uncommon for the interview process to include emails, text messages and Skype as a part of the communication. No matter which form of communication you might be using, you are always being interviewed. The shirt you wear during a Skype interview, and your spelling and grammar, are ALWAYS important. Responding with text lingo to a hiring manager (even if the hiring manager has to you) isn’t the professional response. No ttyl, brb, “thx for your time today” should be used. Please! Please! Please don’t send your follow up letter from your phone. Ever. Take the time, and ENERGY to compose and send a thoughtful, and detail oriented follow up letter from your computer. This is a direct reflection of what you will bring to the position in the future and you don’t want it to look like you spent a few minutes on public transit sending the follow up from your phone.

As we continue to morph culturally to the new iPhone and android vernacular let us try to keep some things consistent, including the professional interview process.