You’re applying for a dream job and have been told you’ll be interviewed by way of artificial intelligence (AI). Panic sets in. What happened to face-to-face interviews? Or interviews using a technology like Zoom?

More businesses are using AI-powered interviews to cherry pick quality candidates before short listing top ones for a ‘human interview’.

As a jobseeker, you may have no choice but to participate in an AI-powered interview. Here’s what you need to know, and how to prepare.

Why is AI interviewing become more popular?

AI interview software is increasingly popular with employers and some recruiters as a more efficient, quicker and cheaper way to sift through large volumes of applications to uncover the best-of-the-best. It’s used for positions at all levels, from junior to senior.

Does AI really work in recruitment?

The jury is out on the effectiveness of AI interviews. Some experts say it can’t replace humans when it comes to matching candidates and their talents to position requirements. Some are concerned about issues like AI misplaced bias. Others are impressed by the time saved by not having to review applications.

How do AI interviews take place?

Different methods are used to conduct AI interviews. You might receive a link for a text-based or chatbot interview. You’ll be given questions in writing during your interview and have a certain amount of time to respond.

Other AI interviews require you to record your interview on video (the most common). You’ll hear a question and record your answer.

How do I prepare for an AI interview?

It’s essential to prepare as intensively for an AI interview as you would for any other type of interview:

  1. Research the company in advance—their mission, vision, values, culture and what they do.
  2. Dive deep into the job specs so you understand what hard and soft skills are desired. Read more.
  3. Pinpoint the essential keywords to emphasise, since AI is designed to pick up on these. Make sure your keywords echo the job specifications. Read more.
  4. Stay on point when answering questions. Avoid broad statements. Instead, use concrete examples of successes, stats, progress and achievements. Read more.

Also read

How to interview properly.

The panel interview: How to ace it.

How else do I prepare for an AI interview?

Speak succinctly

Avoid small talk. Head straight to your answer. Be clear, concise and speak at a steady, comfortable pace. Breathe deeply so you don’t appear nervous. Remember that AI interviewers use speech analytics software to draw conclusions. The software looks for how you say things as much as what you say.

Pretend you’re talking to a real person

Smile and nod frequently to demonstrate your listening skills. Use non-verbal cues so AI can analyse your body language and personality. Sit up straight, since slouching or resting your head in your hands suggests you’re overly relaxed or even lazy. Use hand gestures as you normally would when speaking to someone in person, and make sure your hands are seen in the frame of the video. Don’t fidget or you could be seen to lack confidence. Don’t go overboard with non-verbal gestures, however, since your interview could end up elsewhere, such as on a hiring manager’s desk.

Dress for success

This will make a great first impression. Ideally dress a level above the position you’re applying for. If in doubt, smart business wear is ideal. Avoid clothing with bold stripes or patterns that get don’t work well on video. Instead, choose plain-coloured attire. Also pay attention to personal grooming. Dressing for success helps you look great and feel great, which increases your self-confidence.

Tidy up the background

Having a cluttered, messy background behind you on video sends the wrong signal. Tidy and remove personal or inappropriate items so you have a clean, neat background. A plain wall is ideal, in a pale colour. With lighting, don’t be sitting in the dark or in blinding light. Remember that AI-interview software scans elements in your space. In doing so, it draws conclusions you can’t control.

Also read

Video interviews: stand out from the crowd.

How to minimise interview nerves.

Scored an interview? Steps for staying calm.

Is AI in recruitment here to stay?

The future is never certain, but AI in recruitment is increasing in popularity. More recruiters and organisations are already asking candidates to complete a video introduction to enhance their written application (without the AI component). So, there’s little doubt that AI will continue to rise in importance when filling roles.