Special offer 

Jumpstart your hiring with a $75 credit to sponsor your first job.*

Sponsored Jobs are 2.6x times faster to first hire than non-sponsored jobs.**
  • Attract the talent you’re looking for
  • Get more visibility in search results
  • Appear to more candidates longer

AI Interviews: What Are They and Pros/Cons To Consider

AI interviews rose in popularity during the pandemic, but even as the need for social distancing dropped, remote work—and remote hiring—remained. Using artificial intelligence to analyze candidates saves time and boosts consistency. On the other hand, there are some drawbacks worth thinking about before you swap out office chats for an algorithm.

Post a Job

What are AI interviews?

The interview portion of the recruitment process can be time-consuming, as many interviews may last at least 45 minutes. Multiply that by a few dozen candidates for a highly competitive position, and recruiters can be caught in a whirl of Q&A indefinitely. With AI interviews, artificial intelligence can take the lead based on a recruiter’s direction. Here’s how it works: 

  1. You put in a list of questions AI will ask via computer.
  2. Candidates answer the questions as the computer records.
  3. AI assesses those answers, looking for keywords and responses that best align with pre-set criteria.

In most cases, AI is used as an early screening tool to narrow down a massive list of candidates into a smaller list that’s easier for human recruiters to manage. That smaller group then moves on to real, face-to-face interviews and other assessment opportunities.

AI interviews vs. AVI interviews: How do they compare?

There are several types of technology-assisted and AI interviews that exist on a sliding scale of human involvement.

  • With the onset of the pandemic and the continued rise of remote work, video-based interviews became more popular. These still involved humans on both sides, but those humans were geographically separated.
  • Automated or asynchronous video interviews (AVI) represent the next evolution. Both parties participate on-demand, with the recruiter providing written or recorded questions and candidates logging in to write or record responses.
  • Recruitment can be streamlined even further using AI-assisted AVI. This is similar to regular AVI but uses AI to assess each candidate’s answers and create a summary human recruiters can use during the decision-making process.
  • Finally, there’s AI-led AVI. These interviews take machine intervention to the extreme, restricting human involvement to the early stages (e.g., creating interview questions and training the algorithm) and leaving AI to “conduct” the interview and make the final hiring decision.

5 Pros of using AI interviews while recruiting

1. Speed

One of the most obvious advantages of AI interviewing is that it can speed up the recruitment process exponentially. AI doesn’t have the staffing limitations companies experience or the limited workday humans do. You can have AI analyzing candidate videos while you’re attending a job fair or leading a welcome meeting for last week’s new hires.

2. Flexibility

The on-demand nature of AI interviews makes candidates less reliant on the availability of human interviewers. This can be a huge perk for currently employed job seekers who can’t get away to interview during typical work hours but can sign in and interact with AI in the evening or on weekends. Recruiters can then review the interview data on their own time, continuing the cycle of convenience.

3. Objectivity

Humans can be biased. Preconceived notions about characteristics such as age, race and physical appearance can subconsciously change how someone views a candidate, regardless of their qualifications or experience.

AI tools may be trained by human beings with their own worldviews and preferences, but these algorithms could help reduce bias. 

4. Consistency

There’s usually one version of an AI interview used for each job opening, or at least for each batch of applicants. Questions are phrased the same way every time, and the algorithm reviews answers using identical criteria. It’s a consistent, standardized process. Compare that to human beings who may switch up questions from day to day or see answers through lenses warped by how they’re feeling or what happened in the interview before.

5. Accurate analysis and recordkeeping

Between resume-gathering, scheduling interviews, conducting interviews and discussing candidates, traditional hiring timelines can be months long. Even the most seasoned HR professional might struggle to remember those little details that make one job seeker stand out more than the other. Notes and rating systems can help, but those records are only as solid as the person creating them.

AI generates post-interview reports almost immediately following the interview itself. Those documents can be as thorough as you want them to be, creating a paper trail that’s complete, accurate and consistently structured from candidate to candidate.

Cons of using AI interviews while recruiting

1. AI-inspired bias

AI may be less subjective than human interviews, but that doesn’t mean artificial intelligence is completely without bias. For example, anyone with a deep Southern accent who has tried to navigate an automated phone system or use voice-to-text tools knows that AI understands some vocal instructions better than others. Expand this idea to interview settings and it’s easy to see how AI might accidentally score a candidate low simply because they’re accent made answers seem incorrect or unintelligible.

The potential pitfall here is that recruiters may give AI too much credit. Trust in the algorithm too much, and you could dismiss talented candidates because of what essentially amounts to a technical error.

2. Lack of diversity and “big picture” POV

Being overly reliant on AI recommendations could completely alter the makeup of your in-house team. AI looks for patterns and ticks boxes based on your initial input or prompts. If candidate A has 80% of the qualities required in the job description and candidate B has 70%, candidate A is probably going to be the top recommendation.

But this black-and-white approach to candidate assessment ignores the fact that new hires become part of a larger team. Candidate B’s experiences or skill set could add more value to your team. Perhaps candidate C has even fewer boxes ticked, but they have the one skill the marketing department needs most.

3. Privacy and security concerns

AI is still relatively new, especially regarding recruitment and interactive uses such as candidate interviews. Some job seekers might not want to share personal information during interviews because they question how that information could be used. Ethical concerns regarding AI-driven profiling might cause candidates to bow out of machine-led interviews, and that could cause your company to miss out on a talented hire.

4. Depersonalization

AI interviews are usually a case of job seeker vs. video screen. The convenience and efficiency of this approach may be tempting. However, the other side of the coin is that AI can’t yet read the nuance of vocal tone, body language and other nonverbal cues.

Candidates can’t strike up a rapport with a machine. They might make a joke that includes a keyword that raises a red flag, but in reality, a human would’ve understood the underlying humor. There’s also the possibility that candidates will feel like they have a duty to impress an algorithm. That’s a task that could feel impossible and put companies at a disadvantage compared to competitors who conduct face-to-face interviews.

AI interviews may well be the recruitment tool of the future, but there are a few caveats. Human oversight is still essential, and finding a balance between technological input and human interpretation could be key to finding and hiring quality candidates.

FAQs about AI interviews

What is the AI interview process?

Artificial intelligence can be used throughout the interview process, starting with AI-generated emails that contact candidates and schedule interviews. Recruiters can use AI to create interview questions, record and analyze answers and generate final reports that summarize how qualified each candidate is.

What do AI interviews look for?

Human recruiters build AI interviews and therefore echo many of the same questions and goals you’d encounter in a more traditional face-to-face interview. Build your interview questions based on what you want to know about candidates. This might include queries that help evaluate technical skills, emotional intelligence and culture add.

What are the benefits of AI-assisted recruiting?

AI can help streamline, expedite and improve the recruitment process. Using artificial intelligence to create job listings, conduct interviews and summarize candidate suitability frees up hiring managers to tackle high-level tasks and concentrate on the more hands-on parts of hiring and onboarding talent.

Post a Job

Ready to get started?

Post a Job

*Indeed provides this information as a courtesy to users of this site. Please note that we are not your recruiting or legal advisor, we are not responsible for the content of your job descriptions, and none of the information provided herein guarantees performance.

Editorial Guidelines