Mastering the AI Interview

With the rise in AI-driven job opportunities, will we also begin to see an increase in AI-conducted interviews? Actually, if you’ve ever started your job search and were assisted by an online tool when submitting a resume, you’ve already experienced AI in its infancy. Tools that have become commonplace—like voice-activated telephone menu prompts and live chat tools—were an early indicator of tech-driven conversational tools used by companies to streamline processes. Recruiters and staffing experts have long been employing the use of AI to save time and create efficiencies through AI-based tools that scan applications and filter resumes. As a next step, it makes sense that as the interview process has evolved, we will see more instances where an artificial intelligence model will be leading the interaction.

AI interviews, whether entirely led or assisted by, are growing. In fact, Resume Builder recently released a survey projecting that nearly four in 10 companies will use AI for job interviews by 2024. Job seekers must be prepared for these scenarios to remain competitive and marketable for future opportunities. First, however, let’s understand the nature of AI interviewing.

Did I Just Talk to a Bot? Perhaps, or You May Have First Been
Screened Through an AI-Assisted Interview Process.

An AI-assisted interview is akin to taking an online test, where the candidate answers questions displayed on the screen, either in written form or spoken form that is often recorded and submitted for review. In some scenarios, the answers are initially assessed by an AI-based model, followed by a human evaluation to continue the hiring process; in others, the recruiter or hiring manager directly takes the next step in the process to evaluate the results. Either way, the candidate must be prepared with the right information about the job and how their skills align, answering questions the way they would in a traditional interview. This AI-assisted process might be a benefit as well, especially if the answers are initially submitted in written format, allowing the candidate to carefully craft their responses.

With recruiters and hiring managers freeing up time upfront in the hiring process with an AI-assisted interview screening, turning the keys over to a completely automated interview process is an expected next step.

Now You Just May Be Talking to a Bot Through an AI-Led Interview

While some researchers have dubbed a full AI interview interaction as “having a videoconference with yourself” the candidate is in fact being assessed as if they were having a real conversation. An AI-led interview will again prompt through screens but usually in a timed process of question-and-answer to mimic the natural back-and-forth of a conversation. Except in this instance, not speaking to another human feels anything but natural, which is why candidates must adjust their expectations and inclinations in order to facilitate a successful outcome.

As one can imagine, speaking with a conversational AI interviewer can be both beneficial and problematic. On the pro side, these AI-driven interview models could undoubtedly speed up an already long hiring process, which is a plus for both the talent and the hiring employer. The use of AI also leans towards eliminating certain biases that have been present in traditional interview processes and creates a level of consistency across interviews that is hard to replicate with human interaction.

Conversely, the challenges with AI interviews are exactly what you would think: they lack the human components of feedback, body language, and non-verbal confirmations that are crucial to building a working relationship between a potential new employee and employer. With company culture and candidate matching being a priority to today’s job seekers, being interviewed by an AI model could be a lackluster introduction to the workplace.

For additional insight, Harvard Business Reviews offers an extensive, deep outline of various AI interview processes and their associated nuances.

No Matter the Journey, It’s Best To Be Prepared for
Any AI Interview Scenario

Given the commitment by many organizations to AI development and innovation across all industries, take a page from the Scout handbook and be prepared for whatever interview format that comes your way!

Know the Type of Interview Format Going Into It

One author notes that your first responsibility is being aware that there will be an AI component to your interview. HBR says: “To be sure your upcoming interview indeed includes AI, keep an eye out for the following terms in the emails you receive about the interview, or in the fine print: machine learning, predictive analytics, decision algorithms, recommendation engines, or data driven-decision.

These terms according to HBR, can indicate that data from your interview based on visual, verbal and vocal cues will be collected and reviewed by an AI-generated model for initial assessment.

Plan for the Interview Like Any Traditional Interview

Research the company. Draft notes that correlate your skills to the job description’s stated requirements—peppering in keywords here is good practice as well since AI systems will be trained to look for them. Know why you want the job and why you would be a good fit and be prepared to communicate those messages.

Dress Professionally, Against a Professional Backdrop
in a Professional Environment

Your interview will be conducted virtually, so background scenes, noises, and the dress in which you present yourself should be professional without distractions as they would be for any work meeting. Bot or no bot, this will be noticed, and most likely recorded.

Speak Clearly, Slowly, and Deliberately

This is a general rule regardless of the interview setting in order to convey strong, definitive answers to any question, but it’s probably most helpful when answers are recorded, and you don’t get the chance to repeat or clarify yourself.

Practice Time With Dry-Run Selfie Videos

Record yourself answering, at a minimum, the standard interview questions we’ve come to know. Then watch yourself and make adjustments. Pay attention to mannerisms and facial expressions.

Leveraging Technology To Make the Best Connection
Humanly Possible

Interviews with a non-human entity can be unnerving of course. As referenced by Zahira Jaser, associate professor at the University of Sussex Business School in a CBS News Report, “People who have sat in these interviews find it difficult because they almost all fall into an existential dread when, at a very important time in your life, you’re not facing a human and you’re not seeing cues coming to you.”

The best advice according to consensus is to try your best to present a fluid, natural, human persona on camera.  Maintain eye contact with a thoughtful expression (as difficult as that may sound when you are not face-to-face with a person) and express your enthusiasm and interest in the new opportunity at hand.

When searching for new opportunities, don’t forget to tap into staffing resources for help. Recruiting and staffing experts not only help find new roles, but they can also help support candidates during different steps in the hiring process, including interview prep, with or without AI innovation. Speak with a Prosum expert today for details.