An FT article from 30th November highlights the fact that job-seekers can feel confused, dehumanised and exhausted by automated recruitment systems. This is almost certainly true, but if we assume that AI’s role in the application process is here to stay we have no choice but to roll with it. There are various tips in the article but I’m going to include a few more suggestions here:

Be Prepared

It’s in the interests of CV readers and interviewers – robots and/or human – to see you at your best, not your worst. Professional recruiters aren’t deliberately trying to make you uncomfortable, but if you don’t know your CV inside-out and haven’t done your homework on the target company, every question will feel like a trap.  

Don’t think of technology as the enemy. 

ATS (applicant tracking software) is there to screen you ‘in’ just as much as to screen you ‘out’, and if you really deserve to kick the competition into touch it could even be your friend.  

Don’t set yourself up for a fall.

Never make a claim that you can’t back up with evidence. For example, if you claim to fuel your passions for financial markets by reading the FT make sure you can answer the (perfectly reasonable) question “So, what bits do you tend to read first?” They may of course be trying to call your bluff but much more likely is that they’re genuinely interested in your answer.

Show don’t Tell.

There’s not much room on a CV to elaborate claims with written actions and descriptive language, but it is imperative that you make space. For example, it isn’t enough to say you have great interpersonal skills (yawn); you must prove it by how well-received your presentations were on project X and what happened to engagement levels as a result.

Practice might not make perfect but it will certainly help.

There’s less of a reason to feel confused, dehumanised and exhausted by what’s demanded of you on an AVI if you can anticipate the questions and have rehearsed the answers. Expect the unexpected and you’re less likely to be surprised.

Interviews were never meant to be fun. 

“HOW WAS IT?” is inevitably what you get asked when it’s all over and it would be rare for ‘fun’ to turn up as one of your possible responses. As an interviewee, aim for that and you’re likely to be disappointed, but with some proper application you could come close.

Better still, imagine what it’s like for the person asking the questions. Make it fun for the interviewers themselves and you’re laughing.