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

“The interview can be tough, especially if you don’t have access to friends, family, or on-the-job mentors who can help you practice and prepare,” said Jesse Haines, director of the Grow with Google initiative in the US, which offers free training, tools and events to help create more economic opportunity for people. “Preparing for interviews will always be a lot of work, but hopefully this tool can make it a little easier for anyone to become more confident and comfortable with the interview. »

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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 answers.

“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. It’s 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 definitely helpful,” said Chris Russell, managing director of RecTech Media, a recruiting technology consulting and research firm in Trumbull, Connecticut. “Anything that helps you practice interviewing is a good idea. The ability to practice even when you can’t find another person is the main draw. It also helps you craft better responses based on the comments.

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 better the technology is compared to other tools. preparation for market interviews.

Other products typically offer a recording of the workout, which is then sent to someone to review and provide feedback or to the user for self-evaluation, Kleiman said. “These tools can also be helpful, but Interview Warmup breaks down your answer, lets you know what’s good and why, and what could be improved, all on its own. The feedback is also non-judgmental and unbiased, something you won’t get from practicing 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.

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

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

“At some point you will have to prepare with an actual human,” Kleiman said. “The person’s feedback is subjective, but this subjectivity can be an advantage for the job seeker. Until then, it is important to use all possible tools and techniques to develop your interview skills so that you can interview 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 this is a step up from the simple automation used to screen resumes. This technology provides more context in its comments. »

Russell said the tool is a glimpse into the future of bot recruiters who will perform initial candidate screening, 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 hiring funnel. »

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