Why interviews are changing (and what you can do about it)
There aren’t many areas of life that are still untouched by AI – especially in recruitment. Lately it’s the turn of the interview. In what feels like a short space of time we’ve gone from “Lord Sugar will see you now” to “Upload your response here.”
So is this a good thing?
The technology is certainly eye-popping – and transformative.
For example, Google’s Interview Warmup platform uses AI to generate potential questions tailored to the role the candidate has applied for, allowing them to practise their answers in advance.
They simply type or voice record their answers, then bingo! – the software analyses them and makes suggestions for improvement.
And it doesn’t just score them on what they say; it lets them know if they’re overusing certain words or phrases, too.
Because, like, that’s, like, really helpful.
Of course, Google’s not the only platform in this space – LinkedIn allows candidates to record answers to interview questions and get feedback on their pace, delivery, use of ums and ahs, and inappropriate or non-inclusive language, and ChatGPT has a feature specifically designed for interview prep where applicants can input a job ad and get examples of questions they might be asked.
So if candidates are prepping so much, how’s an employer supposed to know what they’re really like?
Well, it turns out AI is on the side of employers, too.
AI-powered interview tools like Prepper tailor interview questions to a specific job role so employers can make sure they’re asking the right questions, taking the guesswork out of interviewing and saving a whole lot of time.
And for some time now employers cut out the first-round interview altogether, using on-demand videos to get candidates to record video responses to questions on their own time.
So with all this AI flying around, has the traditional interview become a farce? How’s an employer supposed to know who to hire any more?
Well, like all things AI, ignoring it isn’t the answer. If candidates are becoming smarter when preparing for interviews, employers just need to get smarter at getting to know them. But while that means making the most of AI, it also means getting more personal, not less.
Here’s how to make interviews work for you – with and without technology.
Offer internships and work experience schemes
For bigger companies, internships and work experience schemes are a pretty smart way to get to know someone. You’ll get a glimpse into a candidate’s work ethic and overall cultural fit, and they’ll get a chance to showcase their skills in a real work environment. That’s win-win, no?
Schedule office visits
As convenient as Zoom interviews might be, they don’t give you real insight into what a candidate’s like. So get them into the office – not just for a formal interview but for a tour and a coffee. This helps candidates get a feel for the work environment and lets employers see how they interact with existing employees. And as it’s an informal setting, you’ll get to know a lot about the candidate’s personality and communication style – in other words, all the stuff you don’t get from an interview.
Arrange day interviews
Or if you really want to see how a candidate operates in the wild, why not take the interview process further by conducting day-long interviews? Sounds like a drag? Make it fun. Set a work task candidates can do as a team, or a day of team building. You’ll filter out candidates who aren’t the right fit for the role (let’s face it, if they’re not enthusiastic about the company they just won’t attend) and you’ll give them the chance to work on real projects with the team.
Use AI to discover soft skills
We all know AI’s pretty useful at screening CVs, but did you know that it can reveal candidates’ soft skills? Yep, you can use AI to analyse written responses, conduct video interviews and assess communication skills for empathy, emotional intelligence and problem-solving abilities. Here’s where combining AI with the human touch leads to more informed hiring decisions.
Be diverse in your interview panels
The good thing about AI is that it has no bias. Reduce yours by making sure your interview panel represents diverse perspectives and backgrounds. It gives a great impression of your company and gives candidates a fair evaluation of their abilities and potential.
Video is a great way of getting to know your candidate – and you’ll soon find any untapped creativity. Ask them to record a short, Instagram Reel-style cover letter instead of a written one and sit back and watch their personality shine.
With or without AI, it’s time to rethink the standard interview. Hiring’s no longer just about skills and qualifications but should focus on values, work ethic and adaptability, too.
Throwing out the rule book when it comes to interviews will open the door to new candidates, filter out some unsuitables and give you a stronger, more loyal workforce in the long run.