Companies are starting to replace human interviewers with AI

Fall is upon us, and as a student worried about the workforce, that means internship application season is upon us as well. I spend way too much time browsing Handshake looking for possible positions that would lead me. I sideline classes to write cover letters, schedule interviews, and attend career fairs. It’s stressful, but the only thing that gives me comfort during this process is the unlikely chance that I’ll meet an interviewer I can really relate to. It feels so degrading to reduce all of my work and life experiences into one marketable document, one application that will likely never be reviewed. Being able to connect with an interviewer about our hobbies, even for a moment, brings me back to reality. I need to be reminded that we are all human beings as workers.

But my last attempt at an interview left me blank as always – it betrayed all those human values. A few weeks ago, after I sent my application to a company and forgot about it, I woke up to a random email from them. The first line seemed standard to me in my other experiences, something along the lines of “(insert company) wants you to attend a digital interview.” Great I thought. Another opportunity. But searching the email a little further, I realized I wasn’t going to be speaking to an interviewer. I was given a deadline: I had 72 hours to complete a “virtual interview” in which my skills were measured by a computer. My heart sank. Maybe those dystopian YA novels I read as a kid will come true.

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My interview was conducted through HireVue, a third-party platform. HireVue’s website claims their goal is to “make hiring scaling easy” with “fair and transparent hiring.” As I read through their information page, I couldn’t help but notice how incredibly corporate and vague it all sounded. The main features of their virtual interview were similar to the standard zoom interview I had to do over and over again. “Interview Everywhere”; “use any device”; “Tell your story”; “Present yourself as you wish.” These statements meant nothing to me. I figured I just had to experience the interview to really understand its characteristics.

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