The pandemic moved many HR processes online. One such is virtual, or pre-recorded job interviews, increasingly guided by artificial intelligence (AI). Such interviews allegedly make it easier for companies to find the right talent.

To discover which type of AI interview you face, check the fine print in the email you received. Terms like: “machine learning, predictive analytics, decision algorithms, recommendation engines, or data-driven decision” in pre-interview emails identify IA decision-making involvement: AI will either recommend or make the first hire/rejection decision.

Bot technologies collect and analyze “visual (facial expression, eye movement, hand movement), verbal (vocabulary, keywords), and vocal (voice tone, pronunciation)” data, not professional knowledge and skills. But many interview bots are inaccurate; the technology is not good enough to measure what it is supposed to. Unsurprisingly, some analysts have called the use of facial recognition technologies “pseudoscience.”

So what should you do if an AI-Led bot interview lies ahead?

First: ask yourself if you should trust your future to a company that bases its hiring decisions on technology that may be invalid. What does that policy imply about their long-term survival?

Second: if you think the company has a good future despite this misstep, can you work around this roadblock? Here are three suggestions.

1)    Know your rights. What laws govern AI interviews in your jurisdiction? Are your target companies compliant?

2) Ask an HR staffer about the AI they use. (Here I adapt some suggestions from the author of the “Ask the Headhunter” [ATH] website.)
§ Has the bot interview been proven valid — i.e., does it measure what it is supposed to measure?
§ Has the bot interview been proven repeatable — i.e., does it return the same results if you take the test repeatedly?
§ Who provided the proof for the two previous answers?
§ How will the personal data revealed in the interview be managed?

3)    Try a workaround. Since showing hiring managers how you would do the job is the best way to get them to want to hire you, contact the hiring manager — (find them by searching LinkedIn), and say something like:

“I get many requests to do [bot interviews], but I judge how seriously an employer regards my candidacy by whether they will invest the time to meet me first. I always go the extra mile for a company that shows that level of interest. In fact, if we can meet, I’ll be glad to prepare and discuss a plan for how I’d do the job.” (Advice adapted from yet another ATH article.)

This approach works because you offer to do something few other candidates will do: showing your skills in action. Results are not guaranteed; some companies will reject a manager’s preference if a candidate’s bot interview fails. But it is still the best way to ensure that employers know what you can do.

Good luck!
Tim Cunningham
Your Vancouver Resume Writer