How AI can help you prepare for a job interview

Artificial Intelligence is rapidly changing many industries. It’s also changing how people search and prepare for a job interview.

It used to be the only way to truly practice for a job interview was to enlist someone else to play the interviewer and you, the job seeker, would be the interviewee. There generally was someone sitting in a chair opposite you as a mockup of the interview, but now that practice can be done with just your computer, and AI takes on the role of interviewer in the newest and most modern form of practicing for that critical interview.

There are AI tools to help with your interview and they work in a fairly simple manner. People can type in who they are trying to interview with, the company name, the title, and even the type of person you are interviewing with. Then AI can generate a bunch of questions for you and can help you do a practice interview.

In this scenario, no other people are involved, and AI can often glean more info about a company or its interviewing process.

Puneet Kohli with careerflow.ai, a firm based in the Seattle area, says AI interview practice yields some advantages.

“At the end of that you’ll get analytics on kind of your speaking style —umms and ahs— but not only that, you’ll also get analytics on how you answered those questions, which you can then use to improve your answers,” said Kohli.

He says AI also can help in keeping notes on answers you already have answered. It can then detail what the perception might be of the answers you gave and how you could improve. Traditionally, the practice interview was often with a friend or someone knowledgeable on what you were interviewing for.

Some job seekers have even purchased mock interviews online. The challenges with either of those options is actually getting the right interviewer, and now, it can often work a little better through AI.

Layoffs have hit the tech industry hard in the last year, and within the last few years since the pandemic. Seattle has not been immune. A website that tracks layoffs, Layoffs.fyi, estimates that more than 2,000 people — and counting — have been laid off from work in our region. Many will be seeking other employment, but do the layoffs hurt your chances of landing another job?

Both the NY Times and Time Magazine have highlighted layoffs at Google as part of a trend within tech companies cutting their workforce. Google’s CEO, Sundar Pichai, said more than a year ago that the goal was to shave thousands of jobs from the company.

Megan Slabinski, with the employment firm Robert Half, says firms like Google, Amazon and other large firms in Seattle were some day due to cut staff.

“We’ve all seen the headlines and experienced it in the Seattle market,” said Slabinski.

Slabinski is a district president for the firm and says her company partners with employers and employees to help find job solutions for both.

She’s also a technology consulting and hiring expert. For her, the layoff bad news comes with a bit of a silver lining. The good news, if you can call it that, is that most companies now see layoffs as a simple economic reality in our current job climate. She says it’s nothing to lose sleep over if you’re a job seeker, but there are some steps people can take when pitching themselves to prospective employers.

“You need to own the narrative and talk about what you’ve done during any downtime to keep your skill set current. Invest in yourself and how your background is going to align to that organization’s long-term goals,” said Slabinski.

Slabinski said that 7 out of 10 tech hiring managers are looking to hire permanent staff in the first half of 2024. That information comes from a US hiring survey that was run by her firm.

Even with layoffs continuing for some companies, she says many others will probably continue hiring whether you lost your job to cost cutting or not.

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