As companies and recruiting agencies adopt new interviewing technologies, it's important you feel informed and prepared.

These days, everyone's all about optimizing. From workflows to content, teams, lifestyles, and even closets, there's apparently nothing you can't optimize — including the job interview process.

More and more major companies are using artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning for recruiting and hiring new employees. Approximately 95 percent of Fortune 500 companies already run candidates' resumes through different versions of applicant-tracking software (ATS), which automatically sorts, scans, and ranks job applicants. Now, companies are beginning to use artificial intelligence to optimize the interview process. Here are some trendy interviewing technologies creating buzz — and how job seekers can properly prepare for these AI powered interviews.

1. Interview chatbots

Recently, you might've conversed with a recruiter or hiring manager through text message, as text message interviews start to become more common as a type of pre-interview phone screen. The text exchanges require no schedule coordination and allow the recruiter to gauge your written communication skills.

Now, some companies and recruiting agencies are taking this technology to another level with interview chatbots. Interviewing with a chatbot is a different experience than text messaging because there isn't actually a human on the other side of the phone or computer. Instead, you're responding to an artificially intelligent software system, which uses algorithms to ask you questions and even answer your queries — or at least attempt to (this technology isn't always perfect).

Typically, companies employ this software for a pre-interview screening, and you can prepare for these interactions just like you'd prepare for a more traditional phone screen. You should expect to answer “yes” and “no” questions, but also prepare answers for some basic open-ended questions like “Tell me about yourself” and “Why are you interested in this job?”

When responding, you'll want to be concise and professional (no emojis!), and give your answers a quick proofread before hitting send. Some chatbots might ask you to record your responses via video or audio, so have a glass of water on hand and wear professional attire if that's the case.

The chatbot might even schedule an interview time with you and send you information about the next steps of the interview process, so be prepared for anything.

2. Artificial-intelligence video interviews

Have you ever had a video interview? No, not a Skype interview — but an actual interview where you film your answers to a series of questions using your computer or cell phone?

These automated assessments are becoming more and more popular. In fact, big-time companies, including Hilton and Unilever, use this type of software to quickly assess and screen candidates before deciding whether or not to continue with them in the interview process. One particular version of this software, HireVue, is used by more than 100 employers and has analyzed more than a million job seekers since its launch in 2014, reports The Washington Post.

The software not only records your answers, but it also analyzes facial movements, word choice, and voice — then ranks you amongst other applicants. It even generates an “employability” score based on these elements.

The technology is controversial as some argue the technology is superficial and deceptive. But it's still gaining popularity, and even colleges are starting to offer resources to help students prepare for these types of automated interviews. 

If you have a video interview coming up, HireVue shares a few tips to help you feel more prepared when using the technology:

  • Do your research. Understand the company's culture, familiarize yourself with its products or services, and know its history. Also, be ready to answer all the same questions you'd answer in a traditional face-to-face interview.

  • Practice. HireVue says most of these on-demand interviews are structured interviews, so just like an in-person interview, you'll want to practice answering these questions so you're not stumbling over your responses.

  • Dress appropriately. Sure, you're sitting behind your computer, but you should dress professionally. You'll also want to scout out a location for your interview and make sure the lighting is good.

  • Make sure your technology is good to go. Check the battery on your computer, tablet, or phone, and make sure you have a strong internet connection before you proceed.

It's quite possible you'll feel even more nervous for this type of interview than a traditional interview, but the more preparation you do, the more you'll feel comfortable with the new technology.

3. Artificially intelligent robot head

It's official — we live in the future. A Swedish recruitment agency is testing a new technology: an artificially intelligent robot head. The purpose? To eliminate discrimination and human bias when it comes to the hiring process.

The robot's head, named Tengai, sits on a table (at about eye level with job candidates) and asks interview questions. It asks the same set of questions in the same order for everyone and then sends the human recruiter a transcript of the answers. The idea is to eliminate pre- and post-interview conversations and take unconscious bias, such as gender, age, and race, out of the equation. 

When BBC last reported on Tengai, an English-language version of the bot was set to be released in 2020.

How to prepare for the continued evolution of AI interviews

As the world continues to optimize itself, sometimes it feels easier to crawl into your shell and ignore new technology. And, for some things, that's fine. But when it comes to job interviews, it's important to stay up on the trends if you want to stand out from other job candidates and land your dream job.

Chances are, your next job interview won't be with Tengai (we'll give that a few more years), but it is possible you could have an on-demand interview through HireVue or complete a phone screen with a chatbot.

The best way to prepare for these AI technology job interviews is to continue to research these new practices and, of course, keep your interview skills sharp.

Whether you're preparing for a text, video, or phone interview, get all the practice you need with our interview coaches.

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