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Is it possible to automate the job interview process?

Would you want to have a job interview conducted by AI?

A candidate is interviewed at a job interview. Image: Alan Cleaver via Wikipedia (CC BY 2.0)
A candidate is interviewed at a job interview. Image: Alan Cleaver via Wikipedia (CC BY 2.0)

Many hiring managers struggle with the capacity to screen and interview candidates at the scale required to meet hiring targets. One reason for this is due to some methods of hiring reflects antiquated thinking.

Job interviews are considered as an important part of the selection and hiring process and they remain a necessary part of the process. However, interviews can be run in a less reliable and efficient manner.

Interviews are a difficult technique to get right, according to an article in the Harvard Business Review. This is because interviewers should stick to questions that predict good hires—mainly about past behavior or performance that’s relevant to the tasks of the job—and ask them consistently across candidates.

In particular, the interview format has historically been a trade-off: the interviewer must take time away from producing or servicing, investing countless hours per hire.

Many aspects of interviews can be automated, from scheduling to conducting the interview via video or chat, and scoring and recommending candidates. But what about the actual interview process?

An alternative approach has been developed by a newly minted unicorn called Karat. The firm has created a product called the Interview Cloud. This is an on-demand delivery of first-round technical interview solution that involves the use of artificial intelligence.

Coming into use the application has taken the interview process 24/7, with half of all candidates who have used the service electing to interview on nights and weekends. The processing time is also said to be faster.

All technology needs to be related with caution, says Oxford University researcher Aislinn Kelly-Lyth, noting: “If you apply for a job and are rejected because of a biased algorithm, you certainly won’t know.”

In Europe, the use of the technology is being treated with far more caution than in the U.S. Here, the European Union (EU) has proposed to regulate the use of artificial intelligence, which could alter how companies recruit and hire.

Recital 36 of the proposed regulation states that: “AI-systems used in employment, workers management and access to self-employment, notably for the recruitment and selection of persons, for making decisions on promotion and termination and for task allocation, monitoring or evaluation of persons in work-related contractual relationships, should be classified as high-risk, since those systems may appreciably impact future career prospects and livelihoods of these persons.”

In time, these types of technologies may become more acceptable by the general public and employers, and acceptability is developed through understanding and supported by peer-reviewed research.

Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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