Job seekers

New Google tool helps job seekers prepare for interviews

Google recently launched an AI-powered preparation tool that will help job seekers with the only proven way to improve in a job interview: practice.

Google’s Interview Warmup asks common interview questions curated by industry experts, transcribes responses in real time, and uses basic machine learning to provide feedback.

“Interviews can be tough, especially if you don’t have access to friends, family or on-the-job mentors who can help you train and prepare,” said Jesse Haines, director of the ‘Grow with Google’ initiative in the United States, which offers free training, tools and events to help create more economic opportunities for people. “Preparing for interviews will always be a lot of work, but we hope this tool will help anyone become more confident and comfortable with interviews.”

The tool asks general job interview questions such as “Tell me a bit about yourself” and asks about past work experience. It also asks questions about how the candidate can handle specific situations and technical and skill-specific questions related to jobs in data analysis, e-commerce, project management, IT support or design. user experience, roles arising from the Google Career Certificates program.

In addition to transcribing the mock interview for personal review, the tool’s machine learning identifies work-related terms and overused phrases and generates common “talking points” to improve responses.

“You can see how much time you spend talking about areas like your experience, skills, and goals,” Haines said. “Your answers are not graded or judged, and you can answer the questions as many times as you like. This is your own private space to practice, prepare, and get comfortable.”

Interview Warmup is free and currently only available in the United States. Audio and transcripts of interview sessions are not recorded, although users can manually copy or download transcripts.

“It’s really helpful,” said Chris Russell, chief executive of Media RecTecha recruitment technology consulting and research firm in Trumbull, Conn. based on feedback.”

Carolyn Kleiman, career coach, resume consultant at ResumeBuilder.com and senior career counselor at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., was surprised at how much the technology has improved compared to other interview preparation tools on the market.

Other products typically offer a recording of the workout, which is then either sent to someone to review and provide feedback, or to the user for self-assessment, Kleiman said. “These tools can also be helpful, but Interview Warmup breaks down your response, lets you know what’s good and why and what could be improved, all on its own. Feedback is also non-judgmental and unbiased, something you don’t not learn to practice with another person.”

Job seekers can practice interviewing as much as they want, any time of the day or night, without disturbing anyone else. And practicing in private can reduce anxiety.

“Interviews are stressful,” Kleiman said. “Doing it in front of a person can be intimidating or awkward, even if it’s with a friend or guidance counselor like me who is there to help.”

The benefits of interview preparation technology are compelling, but experts also recommend practicing in front of other people. Only another human — at this point, at least — can assess an interviewee’s set of presentation skills, physical and verbal cues, and ability to improvise based on the interaction. The technology lacks a level of connectivity that only a person can provide. And at this time, machine learning does not generate follow-up questions based on the candidate’s answers.

“At some point, you’re going to have to prep with a real human,” Kleiman said. “The person’s feedback is subjective, but that subjectivity can be an advantage for the job seeker. Until then, it’s important to use all the tools and techniques you can to develop your interview skills in order to to be able to question in person.”

Both Kleiman and Russell see the tool as the start of greater use of AI in job interviews.

“AI technology has room to grow, and the next phase could be something more conversational,” Kleiman said. “But it’s a step up from the simple automation used to filter resumes. This technology provides more context in his comments.”

Russell said the tool is a glimpse into the future of bot recruiters who will do the initial screening of candidates, especially for high-volume employers. “A robot will call you, ask you some basic questions and provide feedback,” he said. “He will then make the decision to move you through the recruiting funnel.”