Watch Out: Your Next Job Interview Could Be With a Computer

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Job hunting was once a high-touch process. Candidates would try to network in person, agonize over resume layout and work hard to establish a connection in the interview.

See: What It’s Like to Job Hunt During a Pandemic
Find: How You Can Bounce Back After a Bad Job Interview (and Ace the Next One)

The traditional format worked well for some people. It also allowed for discrimination and subjective decisions that led to less capable, less diverse workforces.

In response, several companies are using Applicant Tracking Software systems to screen text resumes. The format doesn’t matter as much as it used to, but having the right keywords does. An ATS screens resumes based on how well the keywords in them match those in the job description. This prevents snap judgments based on an applicant’s name or schools attended, but it favors people who understand the system (and who use ATS checkers before submitting their resumes).

See: How to Get Your Resume Noticed by Recruiters
Find: How to Interview for a Job Over Zoom

Candidates who pass the ATS screen may still have to wait before talking to a human. CBC Radio reported on Asynchronous Video Interviews. Candidates speak to a video camera to answer job interview questions as a clock counts down. Hiring managers can then review the videos and share them with others in the organization. The advantage is that all candidates are asked the same questions, and building a subjective rapport with the interviewer does not come into play.

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Some ATS systems use artificial intelligence or other methods to screen or score the videos, which may allow a different set of biases to creep into the process. They are unlikely to go away, however. The convenience of scheduling is, in itself, so great that companies that try an AVI are unlikely to go back to traditional interviews.


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About the Author

Ann Logue is a writer specializing in business and finance. Her most recent book is The Complete Idiot’s Guide: Options Trading (Alpha 2016). She lives in Chicago.
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