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Interviews Based On Modes Of Communication

We can actually classify interviews on the basis of their modes of communication in the following four ways:

Physical Interview or In-person Interview

Here you are physically present in front of the interviewer and the interview is conducted by person-to-person direct communication. This is the most conventional and mundane type of interview and it offers advantages to both you and the interviewer, who assesses you by observing your eye contact, body language, voice ­modulation, tone, facial expressions and other personal interactions. However, there are a few disadvantages of this mode of interview. As it is time consuming, you need to travel to reach the interview site. Till now whatever you have read in this book deals mainly with this type of interview. However, knowing about other modes of interview as well will help you to understand the advantages and disadvantages of person-to-person interview more.

Written Interview

In this type of interview, the interviewer sends out a form with his/her questions, requesting you to answer them and mail it back to him/her. E-mailing or using conventional post for interview is an easy but very ineffective method of getting right candidates for the job. However, for some very specific types of jobs, where ­recommendations from people are a prime parameter for the job, companies use this mode to conduct interviews sometimes. As this is not an effective mode, it is suggested that whenever you are being interviewed through e-mail or any other written mode, try to be as consistent and appropriate in your language and factual responses as possible.

Telephonic Interview

Telephone as a means to conduct interviews is generally used by companies for a variety or reasons. What comes first in mind is the possible location of the candidate from the company’s location and the high volume of interviews to be conducted by the company. Telephonic communication, as part of the interview process, can be used at an initial stage or at the final stage of an interview.
In case of an initial interview, generally some lower or ­middle-level executive from the HR department of the company will call you to inquire in more detail about something mentioned in your ­résumé. At the end of this call, the executive may provide you with some information on the future meeting planned by the company’s ­decision-maker. It is important to know that these executives are to appraise their seniors on how you responded to their call. The tone of your next interview, physical or telephonic, will be based on feedback received by the interview team from this executive. This aspect makes this initial conversation as part of your interview process.
In case of a final interview through telephone, a high ranking executive (from the HR department) or a decision-maker (usually from the functional side) would like to check the finalities of your candidature, and check if it fits as per their related skill-set or financial guidelines. It may be carried out through e-mail as well, but sometimes executives just feel comfortable calling and asking for certain clarifications instead of waiting for a reply from you.
Regardless of what stage of the interview process you are at, take care of the following points when you receive a call from the interviewer. These will help you to manoeuvre the interview in a tone you like best and at a setting you are most at ease, and respond in a way you are most comfortable with.
Set the Stage : You have mentioned your mobile phone number on your résumé; chances are you will receive this all-important interview call at the oddest of the moments. The interviewer also understands that if you are busy somewhere, you will be unable to give complete attention to him/her. So, do not hesitate to inform the interviewer of your situation and ask to reschedule the interview to a more convenient time. Be polite and flexible to allow the interviewer to recommend a date and time.
Get in the Interview Mode Find out a spot conducive to your liking and also where you can be fully attentive to the telephonic interview. It is suggested that you pick a spot at home or office where you can sit in a closed room, at a desk with the following items—your résumé, cover letter, information on company and related industry. Ensure that there is no distraction from a television or a radio, or friends on phone. Avoid eating or chewing during the interview as sometimes its sound can be picked at the receiver’s end. Instead keeping a glass or a bottle of water would be useful. Also, do not use speakerphones and avoid attending any other calls before the interview and during the interview.
Use Supplementary Material Fairly : Telephone interview allows you to use supplementary material, handouts or online material during discussion. It is advisable to make use of them if possible, but use them fairly. It may sound unprofessional if the interviewer feels that your responses have been prepared ­beforehand and you are reading it out while speaking on phone.
Voice and Tone are Important : Smile during the interview and respond confidently in a clear tone. Though the interviewer may not be able to see your smile, but for sure he/she will sense it from your responses.

Video-conference Interview

It is an extension of audio or telephonic interviews. However, video-conference interviews are becoming common, partly because they save time and money for the company on account of travel and lodging related expenses which a company will have to bear for the interviewee. Telephonic interviews are generally introductory interviews for high-profile candidates and for salary negotiations and discussions on other such important issues. HR executives are relying on conducting video-conference interviews. Generally, this type of interview is conducted for recruiting very senior and high-profile candidates and for such candidates a conventional in-person interview otherwise might never occur.
It is important to understand that you can manoeuvre such interviews by being self-assured and comfortable. People on the other side are aware that still many people are not that tech-friendly yet, and with you video-conferencing with them in good control will help your chances.
There are some important tips which play an important role during a video-conference interview:
Be in an Interview-ready Mode : You got to know how to handle technical aspects of the video-conferencing equipment. It would be better if you can rehearse two or three times before you participate in a live video-conference interview. It will add to your confidence during the interview and you will be able to achieve better outcome.
Control View on the Other Side : Set up the camera and see what all is available for view to the interviewer on the other side. Minimize the moving parts, as computer prohibits relay of motion pictures and it will hamper smooth display of pictures on the other side. It is advisable to even remove locks (with moving hands) in the background if possible. Ensure that you know fully how you are presenting yourself.
Microphone Management : You should be aware of how you are being heard on the other side. Definitely, you cannot control speaker equipment of the interviewer, but you can ensure that you are using good equipment effectively. Avoid distractive instruments, background music, friends around, or child playing in the room, as your microphone can be sensitive to all such noises and can put-off the interviewers.
Use Two Monitors or Pic-in-pic Option on Your Monitor : It is advisable to load a software on your system that allows you another window on live screen (i.e., picture-in-picture mode) of your camera feed. It will help you monitor yourself during the interview. If you do not have such a software with you yet, you may put two monitors on your system.
Eye Contact with the Camera : It is important to understand that while you are responding to the interviewer’s questions, the camera is relaying your view to the other side. That means the only way to make some sort of eye-contact with the interviewer is through the camera and not through the interviewer’s picture on your monitor. However, while listening to the questions from your interviewer, you may view your interviewer’s picture on the monitor to note his/her facial expression, if needed.

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