Will Robots Assess My Next Video Interview?

Posted in: Applications, Interviews, Tips & Hints

Machine Learning and Video Interviews – how to prepare?

white robot

As it is future proof your career week and we are talking about how technology can affect our world of work, I have recently researched how technology is already affecting application processes for placement students and graduates. Here is what I found….

What is happening right now?

There has been an increase in big companies using machine learning to assess CVs, Cover Letters and video interviews. This means that a human being will not have a look at your application before you have passed these stages. It is entirely machine – assessed. Big names such as Accenture, Unilever and Goldman Sachs are already using technology in their assessment of candidates and it is expected to increase in the future.

How is it done?

The video interview is analyzed by advanced machine learning. An algorithm looks at facial expressions, word choice, body language, vocal tone, and thousands of data points. The algorithms can pick up what kind of words or phrases you are using, how you present your argument and how confident you sound. The machine learning software can also detect micro – expressions which can be how much you blink, smile or frown. This is then translated into a score, which is then compared against one the program has already “learned” from top-performing employees at that specific company. The idea is that a good prospective employee looks a lot like a good current employee, just not in any way a human interviewer would notice.

Is this a good thing?

Companies state that having a computer do the candidate assessment will take out any human unconscious bias in the selection process and will increase diversity in the company. In Sweden some are even using a robot for this purpose. Unilever already confirms that their recruitment has diversified since starting to rely on machines and algorithms. In addition, for the candidate it means that they can have the interview at any time, from the comfort of their own home, instead of using time and money travelling to a company headquarter.

However, critics has also mentioned that you can’t always take out bias even in machine algorithms as was shown in a trial by Amazon where an algorithm was de-selecting any candidates who attended women’s events. In addition, as facial micro movements will be assessed it is argued that a candidate’s emotional wellbeing on the day may affect scores e.g. will a change in mood change the scores?

How can you prepare?

Tips for preparing for a video interview assessed by advanced machine learning is very much the same as for normal video interviews. Research the job role, the company and tailor your answers to the skills and experiences required in the job description and the values of the company, and have a read of an excellent recent blog entry on Top Tips for Video Interviews.

One of the best pieces of advice I ever received was from a Civil Service recruitment manager:

“Imagine yourself in the role, sitting at a desk at the organisation you want to work for, put on the hat like you are in the role already. Then sit in a quiet space and do the assessment”.

There is a little preparation you can actually do for a machine – assessed video interview compared to a human – assessed interview, but reading some of the research, some advice may be:

  • Be yourself – can machines pick up dishonesty?
  • Imagine that you are speaking to someone; ensure you have eye – contact, smile and be as natural as you would if you were talking to an actual person. Ensure you speak clearly and expressively, and be aware of the speed you are talking in.
  • Don’t apply for the job unless you know why you are enthusiastic about it, as the software may pick up your lack of enthusiasm which a human assessor may not.
  • If you have researched the job role and the company this should not come as a surprise, but focusing on key words relevant to the position and the organisation would be even more important.
  • Try and be well – rested, eat healthy beforehand and make sure there are no distractions to ensure you can be 100% focused in the interview itself.
  • Make sure the lighting is good and the background simple – have a look at How to Look Good in Skype Interviews to get further advice

So my best advice?

So my best advice? Be yourself, treat it as any other interview and know why you are applying to the company!

We wish you the best of luck in the application process


Posted in: Applications, Interviews, Tips & Hints


  • (we won't publish this)

Write a response