A glimmer of hope for people who hate job interviews

The most stressful part of any job search undoubtedly is the job interview. Not only must you be prepared to make a persuasive verbal case for your candidacy to a prospective employer, but you also must be ready to handle tricky or unexpected questions from a stranger or group of strangers assessing your every response, all while displaying a positive, upbeat attitude and whatever other traits — funny? laid-back? assertive? — you think will show you can fit in with their work culture.

Likewise, job interviews aren’t exactly a joyful experience for employers, who may have to schedule sessions with a dozen or more candidates to fill one position, are under pressure to make a good hire from a group of candidates that might include total strangers, and are taking away valuable time from their own jobs to conduct one mind-numbing interview after another. Then there’s the actual candidate selection, which often is the subject of internal debate and can involve subjective judgments and leaps of faith.

Is there any way around this mutual ordeal? Perhaps there is, for VentureBeat’s John Brandon informs us that “a company called Opportunity is figuring out how to use AI to analyze job candidates and eliminate the classic in-person interview.”

As the company explains, Opportunity uses artificial intelligence algorithms to sift through “our network of millions of professional profiles to proactively connect you with people who have indicated they need your services, skills and more.”

Admittedly, that’s a long way from totally eliminating the need for job interviews. Still, as Brandon points out (and I agree), “At the very least, I can see how a job search AI would eliminate the initial interview, the one that is meant purely for information-gathering and to cover the basics. And the interview process could run much more smoothly for you if the AI has already determined the person has the best skills and background.”

Eliminating that initial round — which by definition involves the largest number of candidates — would accelerate the hiring process and, even more important, increase the odds of a successful hire. That’s a win-win for employers and candidates.

At some point, however, a real human probably should meet another real human before an employment agreement is struck — at least until we all have our own personal robots to do our jobs for us.

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