You’ve undoubtedly heard the talk: artificial intelligence (AI) – the stuff of Spielberg-esque sci-fi films – is quickly transforming the way we live, and that includes how we’re screened and hired too. Recruiters everywhere are turning to advanced software to save themselves heaps of time and to make better candidate selections, driven by data.

What does this mean for you as a job-seeker? Well, for one, it means if you’re on the hunt for a new position in 2018, it’s well worth improving your understanding of how intelligent tech might impact you and your quest for work. With that in mind, we’ve rounded up seven things you should definitely know about automated recruitment tools, AI, and job interviews.

1. You’ve almost certainly already encountered AI in your job search — you just might not know it.

As one of the top tech trends in HR at the moment, AI is already being used by hundreds of major companies to scour job sites, scan resumes, schedule interviews, and engage with applicants. Vodafone, Unilever, Ford, and Marriott International are just a few of the large corporations that rely, in some measure, on AI to source and screen job-seekers. So, if you’ve been approached as a passive candidate or shortlisted for a role you’d like, there’s a good chance you have a machine to thank. You may have even engaged in conversation with a very human-sounding chatbot, like Mya or Olivia, without even realizing it.

2. The next time you interview, you may be talking to a robot

While intelligent software has predominantly been used to automate screening, there’ve been a number of developments in the world of AI and job interviews too. Innovations like Vera, a lifelike Russian robot with impressive conversational skills, mean that the next time you engage in an initial phone or video interview, the ‘person’ on the other side of the line or screen might actually be an artificial being. Naturally, not receiving human feedback during an interview can be quite off-putting, so prepare yourself mentally for that.

3. AI-powered software isn’t just analyzing your interview answers

Tools like HireVue, which uses complex algorithms to screen video interviews, are capable of assessing much more than just the words in your responses. This particular software can evaluate 15 000 different attributes, including subtle dimensions like micro-facial expressions, frequency of blinking, and motivation to determine how well you’d do in a role. So, while you can prepare your actual answers, you’re also being judged on a number of behaviors that are rather out of your control. Plus, if you’re lying or faking enthusiasm, there’s a good chance the bots will pick this up.

4. Counterintuitively, AI is actually meant to make the job search process more ‘human’

If you’re concerned that the use of robots is going to make looking for a job a cold and impersonal endeavor, you’ll be happy to know that AI, in fact, has the potential to greatly improve the candidate experience. Think about it: whereas previously your emails and queries would have probably disappeared into a vast void, now there’s always someone (or should we say, somebot) available to engage with you and respond to your messages. Plus, since AI does a lot of the grunt work for recruiters, it frees them up to spend more time building meaningful relationships with applicants. Another major benefit of this trend is that it can make hiring much more fair and inclusive by minimizing the effects of human bias.

5. That said, it’s not going to make landing your dream job any easier

You might think it’d be easier to impress a machine than a person, but that’s just not true – this is some seriously smart tech with a nuanced grasp of what employers are looking for. Thanks to machine learning, the capabilities of AI software improve exponentially as data is gathered, so it’s only getting more intelligent with time. Automated tools are now also adept at assessing culture fit, personality, and more abstract soft skills. So, don’t relax just because you’re engaging with a machine – continue to use proper grammar, present yourself professionally, and put your best foot forward.

6. Automated software is intelligent, but it’s not fool-proof

As impressive as AI is, it’s still not human, so if you use obscure language or submit an application with formatting issues, it’s not going to fill in the gaps or make allowances for you like a human might (if they’re nice). As more recruiting functions are automated, you need to make extra sure that you include the right keywords, avoid shorthand in texts, and complete form sections correctly . . . or risk being screened right out.

7. At the end of the day, a human being is still going to have the final word

If you think that the rise of robots means you’ll never have to sit through an awkward discussion with a human hiring manager again, you’ve got it all wrong. AI is being used to make initial selections and narrow down large pools of talent, but shortlisted candidates are still passed on to recruiters for consideration and further interviewing. So, be prepared to have to wow an actual person, too.

Since 2005, LiveCareer has been helping jobseekers write persuasive cover letters, develop better interview skills, and create resumes via our free resume builder. Check out our collection of free, professionally written resume templates and cover letter templates, all of which are organized by industry and job title. Also find guidance on how to answer some of the most common interview questions you could face in an interview situation.

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