Are you already Intimidated by the Hiring Process?
Do interviews give you hives? Well, strap on your big kid pants because the hiring process is about to get much worse.
I think everyone (candidates and hiring managers) will acknowledge that the hiring process is broken. It yields inconsistent results. Hiring managers live in fear that their new hires will be duds, wasting time and money. Candidates just want a job. They want to be acknowledged as human beings.
Yet today’s hiring process does not give anyone what they want or need.
Business leaders have been applying cutting edge technology like Band-Aids, as if that were a substitute for fixing a broken system. Candidates wind their way through high tech applicant tracking systems, interview packets with pre-set questions, and automated interview screening, trying to discern the path that lands in a job offer. The results have not changed because (in my opinion) the process remains broken.
Just when you thought it couldn’t get more complicated or that the deck could not get more stacked against candidates, companies are introducing Artificial Intelligence (AI) to the mix.
In a fabulous recent Wall Street Journal video article, Artificial Intelligence: The Robots are Now Hiring – Moving Upstream, Hilke Schellmann and Jason Bellini explore the newest trend: video interviews analyzed by an AI algorithm.
In one version of this technology, the robot asks a question built around a real scenario. The candidate’s responses are assessed by AI that measures the voice, word choice and “micro expressions” using facial analysis software.
In another version, the AI compares that personality assessment you took against a view of your social media accounts to identify your underlying personality traits. This is legal by the way. Your social media posts are all public domain so anyone has access for any purpose. That alone should send you scurrying to clean up your Instagram account.
The developers say that the AI compares interview results against the results of the highest performing current employees. Candidates with the highest results move on to the next level. Everyone else is out. They get the traditional, “Thanks but no thanks” letter if they are lucky.
Although this is new technology and not widely utilized yet, there is a lot we do not know.
We do not know which organizations are using this technology. We do not know which video interviews are analyzed by AI. We do not know what is in the algorithm or the standard to which we are being held. We do not know why we are not selected to move on or which aspect of the video interview or AI caused us to not be selected. We do not know the finesse or skill level of the hiring managers who will be reading these results.
Are you scared yet? I am.
I didn’t want to drop this information without leaving a few tips on how to prepare. I am sure I will come up with more as this technology develops but for now, here are a few tips:
- Don’t be afraid to be yourself. Since we don’t know the standards then it is hard to adjust your presentation to make yourself more appealing. You have nothing to lose by being yourself because it appears there is not a way to manage the system. Yet.
- Have a brand. Why not lay out who you are with a consistent brand that appears open, honest and everywhere throughout your social media presence, your job search materials and your interview preparation?
- Build relationships so you can avoid relying on video interviews / AI to pass gatekeepers. A personal recommendation still outperforms the application process. People will continue to hire candidates with good reputations who are recommended by someone they trust. You have to meet the people who can help you open doors around AI.
- Practice, out loud. Know the competencies (knowledge, skills, abilities and behaviors) needed to do a great job in your field. Then practice every possible configuration of question (FAQs and behavioral) that might come your way until your responses come out smooth. That way if you get a video interview, your responses will look natural and you will sound more like a successful match for the job you want.
- Be prepared. Give video interviews extra preparation since we don’t know which interviews are evaluated by AI. Consider the technical aspects of course: lighting, camera preparation, the background visible behind you, your clothes. Then try to relax. Get some exercise or meditate before the video interview so you appear unperturbed and comfortable with yourself. Since we don’t know what exactly they are evaluating, perhaps being relaxed will help you present the best version of yourself.
Finding a job and managing your career gets tougher each day. AI is just another hurdle we can overcome through persistence, networking and preparation.
Have you experienced an interview with a robot? Do these tips resonate with you? What did you do to prepare? Share your experiences so we can all learn!