Job Interviews Without Interviewers, Products of the Pandemic
So much of our work lives has moved online during the pandemic: group meetings, chats with the boss — even interviewing for a new job. The pandemic has also led companies to conduct “interviews” without an interviewer. Job applicants are being asked to video record answers to set questions about their experience, skills and personal qualities, rather than speaking with a recruiter by phone or video chat.
So-called case questions that pose a business problem and would typically lead into a 30-minute conversation with a hiring manager may now require solely written responses. Online tests in the form of games aim to measure job-seekers’ cognitive and personal traits.
The new systems are used most often for high-turnover hourly jobs like fast-food worker, phone representative or warehouse employee, said Madeline Laurano, founder of Aptitude Research, a firm based in Boston that studies business hiring practices. But the systems are beginning to be used more often for professional jobs, too, especially in the financial, consulting, technology and health industries, she said.
Recruiters who use the systems no longer have to spend large parts of their days in the back and forth of scheduling interviews — the software handles that. The company can evaluate more applicants by reviewing more videos, written responses and game results, less encumbered by interviewers’ schedule restrictions.
Hiring bias, too, can be reduced using the new technology, since each applicant is asked the same questions in the same way, making performances easier to compare objectively.
Some of the new systems can contact references, answer questions about benefits using chatbots and send along training modules to newly hired employees. Some offer interview tips to candidates before they start the process, Laurano said.
Job seekers can complete the interview tasks when it is convenient, rather than work around the recruiter’s schedule.
There are challenges. A job seeker who starts off shakily but pulls together and finishes strong may not have their whole video watched by the recruiter. Technical snafus still happen.It can also be harder for applicants to know whom to contact to check their application status.
文／Julie Weed 譯／陳韋廷、核稿／樂慧生