Will Your Next Job Interview Be with an AI Chatbot?
Artificial intelligence is seemingly everywhere today. After you submit your winning resume that landed you an interview, it may just be with an AI Chatbot.
Since the release of ChatGPT in the fall of 2022, the hype around AI has been immense. People are using AI to generate art, writing, music, and much more. AI has long had a presence in the job interview process, but one new use case is emerging, too.
Many companies are using artificial intelligence chatbots to interview job candidates. This means that some people have their first contact with a company through an automated chatbot, not a human.
To be clear, AI is used already in the interviewing process. Many companies use it to scan resumes, generate job descriptions, post and share jobs, and search for candidates online. These uses make the hiring process more efficient for companies, which saves time and money. Candidates may not have noticed this shift as much, as much of it is going on behind the scenes.
But having an applicant tracking system (ATS) read your resume is much different than doing a job interview with AI software. Most interviews conducted by AI are for lower-skilled positions right now, but the strategy is increasing in use for all types of companies. The odds are if you’re applying for a job at a larger company, you may be interviewed by an AI soon.
We’ll examine the trend of AI-conducted job interviews, including what you need to know if you have to participate in an interview like this.
Does AI Eliminate Bias?
AI systems that interview candidates are already being used by major companies such as Intel, Unilever, L’Oréal, and Citibank. The CEO of Utah-based HireVue, a company that makes AI interviewing software, says a significant advantage of these programs is their efficiency in the hiring process.
One of HireVue’s clients uses the platform to interview nearly 20,000 people daily for stocker and cashier jobs at a large grocery chain. AI interviews are also being used for internships and more highly skilled positions, especially since the pandemic started.
The startups that run these programs say that AI has a unique ability to improve fairness in hiring, cutting out bias and inconsistency. AI can reduce many interview mistakes humans make, such as being immune to charisma and distractions, never getting tired, and remaining on script. Plus, about 20,000 interviews can get done in a single day by the same “interviewer.”
Most startups rave about how AI eliminates bias, but it’s questionable if that’s true. Many AI-based algorithms have been shown to replicate human bias and preferences for certain genders, ages, races, and appearances over the years. For example, Amazon abandoned an experimental AI recruiting tool in 2015 that analyzed resumes after discovering it discriminated against women for technical roles.
The program preferred “masculine” words to feminine ones, which reflected a deeply held bias among many in the corporate world. AI startups say the bias can be removed with the right amount of data auditing, but it remains to be seen if that will be the case.
The Types of AI Interviews
Most of the time, an interview conducted by an AI will be used early in the hiring process, likely replacing phone screening. It’s used as a tool to screen candidates and narrow the field. For most companies, you will eventually make it to the point of speaking with a human, but only after the AI system evaluates you. This isn’t always the case, though. Some people have said they have been hired without speaking to a single human, as in the case of some Amazon warehouse positions.
AI interviews usually come in two forms: interview chatbots and AI video interviews. Talking to a recruiter or hiring manager via text has become more common in replacing the pre-interview phone screen. Text messaging usually requires no schedule coordination and enables the manager to evaluate your written communication skills. Some companies use AI-powered interview chatbots to take this strategy to the next level.
With chatbots, you’re not responding to a human on the other side of the screen, but instead, you’re conversing with artificially intelligent software, which uses an algorithm to ask and answer questions. Most of the questions will be basic, such as “tell me about yourself” and “why are you interested in this job?”
The other type of AI interview is video based. Digital Interview assessments are becoming more common and widespread, where candidates record themselves or are filmed answering a series of questions. HireVue is a company that makes AI-powered software that conducts and analyzes video interviews that are currently being used by more than 100 employers and have analyzed more than a million job candidates since the company launched in 2014.
The AI software records your answers, analyzes facial movements, tone of voice, and word choice, and then ranks you against other applicants. The software typically generates an “employability” score based on its assessment. The tech is controversial, but colleges are starting to help students prepare for these interviews since so many more companies are using it.
When facing an interview like this, be prepared to answer all the same questions you’d otherwise face when speaking with a human. Most tips for an AI interview are the same, such as practicing, dressing appropriately, and ensuring your lighting and technology are suitable. You’ll likely feel even more nervous for this type of interview than a traditional one, but the more preparation and research you do, the better off you’ll be.
The Brave, New Future of Recruiting
Whether you like it or not, the trend of companies using AI to conduct interviews is gaining steam. It is still relatively rare, but as AI improves, the technology will probably become more common. The ability for it to save companies time and money will likely be too tempting to resist.
This presents several pros and cons for job candidates, though many who have conducted AI interviews generally say they don’t like them. Not being able to converse with a real person eliminates the small talk that calms your nerves during an interview and knowing that you’re being evaluated by a robot – and not an actual person – can feel dehumanizing. For now, if a company insists on using AI like this in the hiring process, it could be a sign that the company is not the right one to apply to.
Nevertheless, the use of AI in the workplace is accelerating rapidly, so it may only be a matter of time before you face an AI interview. The more you research the technology and practice, the better off you’ll be in meeting the brave new future of recruiting in the 21st century.
Stay tuned to Empire Resume’s blog for more helpful insights into careers and employment, such as articles like Resumes of the Future, How to Get Promoted, and 6 Digital Skills to Make Your Resume Stand Out.