Those who haven’t hunted for new employment recently may not realize that human resources departments are no longer always, well, human.
Many hirers are now using artificial intelligence to read resumes, schedule interviews and even ask preliminary questions.
Meaning that your next job interview could well be with a robot that uses algorithms to analyze your answers, tone of voice, facial expressions, body language and word choices.
It may sound like a chilling new episode of “Black Mirror,” but companies claim it saves time and removes bias. In fact, being interviewed by AI could work in your favor. Robots will not in theory judge your accent, weight, gender or ethnicity (though keep in mind that systems are only as good and fair as the humans who program them). A machine interview may also be a boon for those who don’t enjoy or excel at chitchat, as it asks only relevant questions.
You will, however, need to pay special attention to your smile, posture, eye contact and clarity of voice. It’s also important that your responses relate directly to the job you’re seeking — just as you do when writing your resume, try to echo the same keywords the company used in the job description. Remember that, unlike with a human interviewer, you can’t gloss over any weaknesses with a charming shrug or small joke. You’ll really need to focus on skills and content.
Obviously, interview-by-robot favors digital natives who grew up snapping selfies, posting videos of themselves on YouTube and asking Alexa what time it is. If any of this is new to you, know that you’ll most likely be using your own computer or phone. Choose a quiet spot with an uncluttered background and flattering lighting. Practice recording yourself until you can speak naturally and convincingly. You can ask a friend to sit behind the computer or phone so it’s like talking to a real person but you do have to remember to look at the camera and not your friend.
One of the major problems with robo-interviews is that they’re one-sided. In a normal interview you can ask questions, evaluating potential employers just as much they are evaluating you. In the end, you’ll have to find other ways to determine whether this is a company you want to work for.