Telephone interviews are common and have been around for decades. Video interviews, on the other hand, are just now entering the mainstream and are quickly replacing face-to-face interviews – especially for the first-round face-to-face. While I am an advocate of both, the advocacy comes for reasons you might not suspect. For me, it’s all about what I hear and what you know. It’s the video and voice of interviews.
The Video and Voice of Interviews
I’ve interviewed countless people during my time as Human Resources Manager at MegaGate Broadband. The interview techniques, as with most positions, change based upon the nature of the job. Some are interviewed one-on-one while others are by group.
When interviewing for a position in the call center, the utilization of a phone (voice) interview provides an added bonus when determining if the person is a good fit for the position.
Why, you ask?
The answer is not visual – it is verbal. It isn’t what the candidate says….it is how they say it. (No, I don’t mean if they have an accent, use slang, etc.) Many customers who call into a call center are senior citizens and may, quite possibly, have a hearing impairment, but this isn’t restricted to just people who are over a set age as anyone can have an impairment. I’m not over 65 but I’ve worn hearing aids since the age of eighteen.
Can I understand you?
How do you SOUND over the phone?
Are you muffled?
Do you breathe too heavily into the phone and restrict the sound of your voice?
Do you speak too fast?
Do you interrupt me when I’m speaking?
I would say as a disclaimer that the above is only one tool of many and would not prevent a candidate from hire based solely on that one tool. But, in the end, can I hear you?
Technology is amazing. (Yes, I’ve said it before.) Who would have imagined years ago that we would be able to interview without leaving our homes?!?!?!
An HR friend and fellow Performance I Create contributor, Tiffany Kuehl, recently wrote an article for the Equals 6 blog. The article, Be Prepared for Various Interview Styles and Settings, provides excellent tips on the different styles a candidate might come face-to-face with – or by phone, etc. Regarding video interviews:
Make sure you are dressed as though you are interviewing face-to-face. Yes, grab your interview ensemble and work it. While your favorite concert t-shirt is cool, set it aside for this occasion.
While 100% correct, I would like to go back one step. Dressing for the occasion signals the candidate’s acknowledgement of the interview style. The candidate will use Skype, Google Hangouts, or whatever tool requested by the interviewer.
The step back provides an examination of the candidate. Then, as a result of that examination, I am provided with what you know. Allow me to explain using the following example:
A candidate applies for Tech Company 123 in the Technical Support Department. The HR manager schedules an interview using Skype. The candidate calls and says “can we do an interview over the phone? I don’t know how to use Skype.”
What does this tell me about the candidate?
I see two vitally important facts.
- The candidate applied for a technical support position at Tech Company 123 and does not know how to use a tool that is familiar to a wide range of the general population.
- The candidate did not seek out understanding by asking how to use Skype or, as a better alternative, learning how to use it prior to the interview. Instead, he/she requested an alternate means.
The above tells me what the candidate DOESN’T KNOW but also reveals a very important character trait.
We all have reasons why we prefer a certain type of interview over another. These two tools work for me. What works for you?
To read Tiffany’s complete article, click here.
Tiffany also contributes to Performance I Create.