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AI Interviews: What You Need to Know

Updated: Mar 6, 2023

There is no denying that artificial intelligence is everywhere.

AI runs our phones, our computers, and even (maybe) our stoplights! But AI is not just in our personal lives; it is in our professional lives as well. According to Forbes, 84% of business leaders believe that AI is the future of the workplace.

One place we are seeing AI used more and more frequently is in conducting initial interviews with prospective candidates. Many companies are using AI to screen applicants to save administrative time and speed up recruitment. You may love the shift towards AI, or you may feel apprehensive – but like it or not, you are more likely to experience an AI interview at some point during your job search than not.

But first, what does AI do for the interview process?

The term AI can bring to mind a cold robotic analyst scanning our every move and word through an algorithm, but trust us, it is so much simpler than you are imagining. Far from performing the functions of a face-to-face interview, AI interviews are used to streamline the interview process when 100 or more applicants apply for a single job.

The AI interface allows companies to set interview questions ahead of time, record your answers to these questions, and store the recording to be then reviewed by a hiring manager. This process allows hiring managers to quickly get through initial interviews with hundreds of people without needing to dedicate 30-45 minutes per interview.

Despite the sound of the name, AI interviews are still incredibly human.

In these interviews, what you say may not be as important as how you say it. Do you present well in person? Are you articulate? Have you taken the time to research the company? The artificial intelligence’s algorithm is programmed to note all of these elements. You do not need to know the exact formula and science behind the technology. Your role is to express as clearly as possible why you are the best fit for a company. It is just like an in-person interview. The most significant difference is you are talking to a camera instead of another person.

AI interviews are here to stay, and as a recruiting agency, it is our job to ensure you are prepared for one.

1. Consider your Surroundings

AI interviews are different than presentations. The AI will scan your environment and view your surroundings. Any extra clutter in the background may cause “translation” issues. You want the AI to focus on the words, not get distracted by what is around you.

Choosing a neutral, well-lit space is best. Blank walls, while uninteresting, are the best backdrop for your AI interview. Focus on honing your answers rather than curating an aesthetically pleasing space. Potential employers want to see you and your ideas. Save the bookshelf to impress dinner guests.

2. Check your Tech

A simple solution that can be the difference between a successful AI interview and a flop. Before recording your interview, ensure your internet connection is strong, your laptop or phone is fully charged, and your mic is working properly. It would be a tragedy to lose out on a great job opportunity because your internet crashed or the recording was garbled and unintelligible.

3. Skip the Small Talk

This may sound obvious, but with an AI interview, you will not speak as you would in a face-to-face interview. Answers are often limited to 2-3 minutes, so there is no room for small talk. If you are taking an AI interview, cut right to the heart of each question. It is a rare opportunity to bluntly state your qualifications and expertise - a robot will not be offended by your direct approach.

On top of keeping your answers to the point, don’t allow extra words to clutter your interview. Most people have nervous tics that enable them to pause mid-conversation and adjust what they say. Some examples of these are:

  • Um

  • You know

  • Well

  • Like

  • Er

  • So

These filler words will detract from your answer, so do your best to keep them to a minimum.

4. Research and Prepare

An AI interview can be nerve-wracking.

One of the best ways to help yourself succeed is to know as much as possible about the company, the job, and the industry. Many AI interviews ask the most basic interview questions because they are merely a part of the initial screening process.

Look up some basic interview questions and formulate your answers to match the job you are applying for and

the company you hope to join.

The more research you do ahead of time, the better prepared you will be for your AI interview.

5. Rehearse, Rehearse, Rehearse

One element of AI interviews that can be intimidating is the need to record yourself. Many people perform admirably in face-to-face interviews but crumble under the eye of a camera. Don’t let the video element throw you off. Practice in front of a camera! Using the basic interview questions you searched, sit down and record yourself.

Watch the videos to see what you like about your performance, and note what you could change.

Maybe your posture is stiff on camera. Practice loosening up. Maybe you gesture too wildly. Use the camera to focus your non-verbal queues. Maybe your answers may be too long. Use the recordings to figure out what elements are essential to your interview and what you can eliminate.

Practice truly makes perfect when it comes to video interviews. Do not assume that a video will be a breeze because you interview well in person. Rehearsing beforehand will help you stand out during an AI screening.

6. Focus on the Positive

Even if the idea of a video interview makes you nervous, try not to focus on the things that cause you anxiety. A positive mindset will allow you to be at your best rather than being hindered by self-limiting thoughts.

AI interviews are not all bad!

  • The video format allows you to interview outside work hours. This will give you more flexibility in your job search.

  • You will get a fair interview because the interview structure is consistent for all candidates.

  • You will get a chance to showcase your skills rather than just your work experience.

Your chances for success will increase if you can focus on the upside of an AI interview rather than getting bogged down by your fear of a camera or being overwhelmed by a new format.

7. Don’t Panic!

One of the most important things to remember is not to panic. Just because an initial interview will be conducted by artificial intelligence does not change who you are. Trust that you are the best candidate for a position, and answer questions accordingly. The addition of a camera should not diminish your qualifications and your value. Continue to believe in yourself and enter your AI interview with confidence.

You’re all Set!

At Cygnet, we hope that everyone finds a job that they excel at and that they love. Part of finding the perfect job is interviewing, and in the modern era, interviews will become more and more digital. We hope that this article helped you prepare for your first (or next) AI Interview! Good luck and happy interviewing!

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