Previously, I’ve written about how the world of recruitment has evolved. It seems that using AI could consign fantastical or over-optimised resumes to the dustbin of history, along with the Rolodex and fax machines.
But how do we go about selecting the perfect (or as close to perfect as possible) candidates from AI-created shortlists?
It should be so easy to learn how to conduct an interview that adds the human element to the AI selection. The web is awash with opportunities to earn recruitment qualifications from a variety of bodies, both respected and dubious. There are so many manuals, guides and blog-posts on the best ways of interviewing. People have been interviewing people for hundreds of years.
Why are there no perfect interviews?
We’ve all heard about bizarre interview questions (no explanation needed). We’ve felt the pain of people caught up in interview nightmares (from both sides of the desk). And we’ve scratched our heads and noses over the blogs on body language in face-to-face interviews (bias klaxon).
Even without the extremes, people have tales to tell. Did you ever come away from an interview for your ideal job, where something just felt wrong?
It’s clear that adding human interaction to the recruitment process is by no means straightforward. Highlighting these recurring problems doesn’t solve the underlying question, which is:
“We’ve used an algorithm to better identify suitable candidates. How do we ensure that adding the crucial human part of hiring doesn’t re-introduce the very biases that the algorithm filtered out?”
Start by asking better questions
Searching for “Perfect interview Questions” gives 167,000,000 results. Many of them include the Perfect Answers to match. So it’s not simply about asking questions that, once upon a time, were reckoned to extract truthful and useful responses.
Instead, we want questions that will make the best of that human interaction, building on and exploring the reasons the algorithm put these candidates on the list. Our questions need to help us achieve the ultimate goal of the interview: finding a candidate who can do the job, fit with the company culture AND stay for a meaningful period of time.
It’s generally agreed that we get better interview answers by asking open questions. I’d expand on that. They should ideally be questions that don’t relate specifically to the candidate’s resume, or only at the highest level, to get an in-depth understanding.
We should try to avoid using leading questions that will give an astute candidate any clues to the answers we’re looking for. And we should probably steer clear of most, if not all, of the questions that appear on those lists of 'Perfect Interview Questions', knowing that some candidates will reach for a well-practised 'Perfect Answer'. We want them to display their understanding of the question and knowledge of the subject matter. Not their ability to recall a pre-rehearsed answer.
And so, we need to remember that we’re looking for the substance of the answers we get, not the candidate’s ability to weave the flimsiest material into an enchanting story.
Five new interview questions to ask your AI-shortlisted candidates
So, here are some possible questions to get you thinking.
- We use an algorithm as part of our hiring process to ensure we’re not missing the right candidates. Considering everything you know about us and this role, why do you think the algorithm has suggested you might be a good hire?
- If asked, what would your colleagues in your current or previous role say about your work-related exchanges with them?
- Tell me about any of your previous personal or career achievements that you feel relate to this role
- We strive to be as diverse and inclusive as possible. Tell me about the places where you’ve most enjoyed working and the communication styles of people you’ve worked best with. Please expand on your reasons
- Can you recall a time you’ve needed to make a business decision with incomplete information? How did you move forward?
Of course, you’ll need to frame and adjust those questions to match the role and your company.
How AI for HR helps interviews – and interviewers – get closer to perfection
AI equips recruiters with impartial insights that resumes, questionnaires and even personality profiles can’t provide. Well-constructed, supervised algorithms overlook all the biases that every human has. And that can only be a good thing.
Statistically robust AI uses an algorithm, derived from business performance and behavioural science, to shortlist candidates. It can predict which ones will do well, fit well and stay. We can trust it to know what makes a successful employee, for our particular organisation and this specific role. It can tell us to invest effort with the applicants on that shortlist. However unlikely they seem at first glance.
So we can use all of our knowledge and skills to understand a candidate’s suitability, and look beyond things that might have previously led us to a rejection.
AI is the recruiter’s friend, not a competitor. It can stop us wasting time chasing candidates who we think will make great hires but instead fail to live up to the expectation. And it can direct us to the hidden gems we might have otherwise overlooked.
Technology like AI for HR is only a threat if you ignore it.
Don’t be that company that still swears by dated processes because that’s the way it’s always been done. The opportunity here is putting technology to work, helping your organisation evolve for the better. The longer the delay, the harder it will be. So don’t be left at the back playing catch-up.
There are very few businesses these days that communicate by fax machines – and that’s for a reason. In a few years, you’ll look back and wonder “Why didn’t we all embrace Artificial Intelligence sooner?”
The Business Transformation Network has posted this article in partnership with PredictiveHire.