Should You Use AI To Interview Candidates? | Eden Scott

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Should You Use AI To Interview Candidates?

Artificial intelligence

Should you use AI to interview candidates?

If you’re thinking: “If someone mentions AI one more time, I’m going to throw my computer through the window”, then we’re going to gently ask you to restrain yourself for the next five minutes. 

AI is inescapable at the moment, and it’s disrupting the recruitment industry.

In this article, we’re exploring how to use AI to help you vet and interview prospective employees. But first…

A word of warning

AI is here to stay, and it’s going to make big changes in practically every market. So, you won’t hear us railing against AI or denying its value as a hiring tool. 

That said, an indiscriminate use of AI probably won’t get you the hiring results you’re looking for. We shouldn’t rely solely on AI to perform recruitment tasks for us - this technology works best when used as a tool to support human decision making. 

With that out of the way, let’s explore the best use of AI for recruitment. 

Vetting candidates

One of the lengthiest elements of the recruitment process is sifting through CVs to search for candidates who meet the experience, skills and qualification requirements for the role. 

AI tools have long been able to assess CVs for keywords that relate to the job posting - now, tools like Interviewer.AI and HireVue can grade candidates’ relevance to the position, and even conduct pre-application skills assessments to weed out unqualified applicants. 

This system can save time, but there is a risk of missing out on candidates who could bring value to the role simply because they don’t meet a strict list of criteria. Often, having an initial discussion with a candidate can help you understand their strengths. We would suggest broadening the vetting criteria when using AI to make sure you don’t miss out on a diamond in the rough. 

Artificial intelligence

Interviewing candidates

If you want to, you can now use AI to conduct an entire interview on your behalf. An AI-powered system asks the candidate a series of questions and analyses their response to assess everything from their skills and experience to their personality. 

Yes, it’s all a bit Black Mirror, but there can be some advantages, such as avoiding interviewer bias and saving the company time.

That said, a major critique of this approach is that it can feel too impersonal. After all, the candidate won’t ultimately work with AI robots, but real human colleagues. An interview is a two-way street, and it’s only right that applicants should have a chance to gauge things like company culture by meeting the people they will work with. 

There are other ways that tech can help with the interviewing process - and it doesn’t necessarily need to feature AI. We often use Willo video screening software, which is an AI tool where early-stage applicants can record answers to interview questions. Then, interviewers can invite successful candidates to follow-up interviews, which are also recorded and graded according to the application criteria. This allows for a more objective assessment of a candidate’s performance, while maintaining human interaction.

Avoiding bias

One of the purported advantages of using AI interview tools is their ability to limit bias. If you’re in a company that uses an interview performance framework, then you’ll recognise the approach that AI interview tools are following. Essentially, they’re taking your company’s list of criteria for a good candidate - such as communication skills, responses to competency-based questions, contextual awareness and more - and then grading the interviewer’s performance based on this criteria. 

While performance frameworks help to reduce bias, they can’t totally eliminate it. The theory is, AI (which acts on cold hard data, not personal feelings) can give a less biassed report of how the candidate actually performed. 

That’s not the end of the story, however, as there have been several reports of AI showing bias (remember that time when Amazon’s AI recruiting tool discriminated against women, anyone?). It’s believed that AI bias can be caused by the biases of AI programmers, which can often be held unconsciously. So, while AI probably limits bias, we can’t completely rely on it for this purpose.

So, should you use AI to interview candidates?

Our answer is a cautious yes. AI can certainly support with interviews and bring in much-welcomed efficiencies to the recruitment process. We just need to be aware of AI’s limitations, and use it as a helpful tool to support a human approach, rather than a technology to completely rely upon. 

Struggling to get through applicants CVs? Read how to shortlist candidates with CV screening here.

Would you like support with recruitment?

We embrace new technologies to make hiring the top candidates a streamlined experience. Get in touch to discuss how we can help you find your next employee.


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