Ever stretched the truth a bit during an interview? While your interviewer might not catch a small embellishment about past responsibilities or coworker relationships, Artificial Intelligence (AI) can. Increasingly, companies are turning to AI during applicant screenings and using this technology to evaluate facial movements. The goal? Spot white lies, disdain for questions, and even issues with past bosses or co-workers that might otherwise escape detection.

How AI Evaluates Job Seekers for Hard and Soft Skills

Using AI to pre-screen applicants isn’t new. Organizations like Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup and UBS Group AG have reportedly leveraged AI to recruit and sort job applicants for several years. Initially, the technology made it easier for hiring managers to find the most qualified candidates based on specific skill and experience criteria. AI would match applicants to open positions using skill assessments, language proficiency, and other technical skill evaluations, helping hiring managers save time by determining which candidates have the required skill sets for each role.

Now, the technology is being used to identify the most qualified applicants based on traits that are notoriously more difficult to assess, like curiosity and tenacity. Companies first compile performance data from current employees and evaluate these employees using a standard assessment test. The same test is administered to job applicants. AI can identify patterns around the resulting data, flagging candidates who rank high for desired traits.

AI Uses Facial Scanning to Catch “White Lies”

As AI systems become smarter, they’re learning to spot micro movements using facial scanning. Organizations including Unilever, IBM, Dunkin Donuts and the Boston Red Sox are using AI during the initial applicant screening and interview process. These organizations require candidates to answers a series of questions during a remote video interview. Once the interview is complete, AI algorithms evaluate the footage, analyzing candidate facial expressions, measuring their moods, and assessing their personality traits.

One goal with AI is to remove cognitive bias from the hiring process. Unilever, for example, says the video screenings have improved ethnic and socioeconomic diversity in its new hires. On the other hand, when an interviewer knows that a machine is evaluating his or her facial movements, the interviewer is more likely to behave in a self-conscious manner. Additionally, myriad emotions and day-to-day events can influence our moods, often unrelated to our ability to be successful at work. A human interviewer can readily identify and separate these facial expressions, but a machine may struggle to do so.

What’s Next for AI Interviews?

AI is being hailed as a time-saving tool that eliminates recruiter bias and delivers better candidate matches. As this technology becomes widespread, job seekers need to get up to speed quickly on what to expect. Your next interview very well could be with a robot.


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