Do you know that feeling after sending your CV to hundreds of companies, and hoping that at least one of them calls you back in for an interview, and, if you’re lucky, hire you as well? I’m sure many of us have. Sending out CVs is nothing new in the world of a job seeker, but have you ever thought about how any of the companies will get to know the real you before introducing you to the team? This is all part of the candidate experience that is what draws you to a job, and what can make you feel less or more attracted to a company.
For many of us, being part of a team that matches well with our personality is important. We would want to be part of a company that shares our values and has a culture that treasures employees for who they are, and not only for the skill sets they bring with them.
Therefore, in the modern recruiting world where AI-led interviews prioritize candidate personalities over experiences, candidates have been approaching interviews and job-searching with a different mindset: culture value.
To get a deeper insight into a candidate experience that went through an AI-led interview, we talked to Lucy Schneider, a Junior Customer Care Manager at happybrush GmbH in Munich. Her days are no doubt eventful and filled with tasks to complete.
By starting her day off by checking her emails and slack messages, her days are filled with addressing customer concerns and working on company projects.
What we were curious about was her journey into landing the job role and what it was like for her to go through an AI-led interview process that highlighted her personality rather than only her resume.
Because after all, personality and behavior beat experience.
What's in this post?
- The Importance of Personality
- How to Prepare for an AI-led Interview?
- What was the process like?
- What is it like after getting the job?
- Why Retorio?
The importance of Personality:
“I didn’t study anything to do with marketing or customer service. I did Literature and other things.”
Whilst studying at university, Lucy did what most university students do – the small, odd jobs, and throughout her studies in literature, she only got the chance to gain a little bit of customer service experience. Therefore, when applying for the position of the junior customer care manager, she entered with no prior experience that would make her CV ‘fitting’ to that of what the company is seeking. Nonetheless, happybrush decided to shift their recruitment mindset and focus on personality and behavior instead to find people that fit the job, team, and company culture
“Overall, I really loved it, thought it was a more interesting way of getting to know someone, which isn’t just through a piece of paper.”
Traditional interviews have always had a more detached approach to getting to know candidates as experiences and skills were the top decision-making factors. On the other hand, having AI as part of your interview process changes it completely. Not only does the process become more personal, but you as a candidate feel more seen and appreciated when your personality gets to shine through.
When it’s your personality that is being prioritized, you get the chance to be yourself and share more about who you are as a person and how your personality would suit the job role rather than parroting back your CV. In Lucy’s case, despite not having previous experience in marketing or customer service, it was her personality that matched the behavior of what happybrush was looking for, for their next Junior customer care manager.
At the end of the day, if your personality does not match the company’s culture and the characteristics of that specific job role, you may end up not enjoying the job as much and don’t stay too long. This is why personality is so important - it brings out your characteristics as to what inspires you, your thinking process, communication preferences, and attitudes that will have a direct impact on cultural fit and job performance in the long run.
When we asked Lucy how it felt to give the company more than just a CV during the hiring process, she responded that it “felt really personal because I guess if you are looking for a job you are already sending your CV to hundreds of people and this was the first time I sent my CV…they kind of see you in person and how you act on camera and it’s just kind of different and I really enjoyed that.”
How to Prepare for an AI-led interview?
First things first - get to know the company you are applying for at your own pace and do your own research. Before hitting the “apply” button, Lucy did what most candidates would do - search for as many reviews on the company as possible. She dedicated herself to reading about what the application at happybrush was like, the employer rating, and what previous employees had to say about the company. Of course, these are all crucial facts to become aware of before becoming part of an organization and contributing to its success.
“I just informed myself about the company so that I could see why I was interested, why I would want to work here and what motivated me to pick happybrush and not a different company.”
The truth is, there is no real way to prepare for an AI-led interview. Why? Because you can’t prepare personality. Be informed about the company and bring out the best sides of yourself when answering the questions.
What was the process like?
When stepping into her AI-video interview, the process was explained by an employee from human resources through a video Lucy would be asked 5 different questions and would be given enough time to think of an answer.
Since it was also Lucy’s first time with an AI-video interview the nerves were real.
Lucy shared with us the difficulty she faced when trying to come up with the “perfect answer”. She recorded herself on her phone a couple of times before sending the final recording on her laptop to make sure that the impression she gave off was how she wanted it to be. As candidates, the first impression you give off is essential. The recruiter’s view of the candidate’s reactions and experiences is frequently influenced by the candidate’s initial appearance. It has even been estimated that 30% of interviewers make their decision within the first 5 minutes of the interview. In this case, it would be the first 5 questions that Lucy answers in terms of how she presented herself through her appearance, body language, attitude, and mannerisms.
So just like Lucy said: “if that is the first impression they have of you, you kind of want it to be perfect, and I got a little bit obsessive with making sure that my sentences were complete, and I wasn’t saying ‘like’ or ‘uh’ all the time…”
“The first time I recorded it, it became very prominent how many times you stutter or how you pause…. whereas in an interview call you wouldn’t really notice it as much.”
There are several benefits in being part of an AI-video interview, and one of them is the self-reflection that follows. By hearing yourself talk and re-watching your video answer, you become more aware of your mannerisms and feel the need to perhaps change it or realize the areas of your behavior that could use some improvement.
For Lucy, self-awareness was the case. She began to pay more attention to the way she held herself to look more confident and realized that by appearing more confident, you also begin to speak more confidently. She also learned that “the way you hold your body is very important when you want to come across as self-confident.”
Throughout this process, Lucy learned more about how she presented herself.Nonetheless, Lucy also got a chance to talk more about herself during the interview where “they would also ask things that were more personal to get to know you and what your interests are, and not just about your qualifications.”
What is it like after getting the job?
When looking back on the importance of culture, Lucy shared that getting to know about the company’s culture and getting to know more about the company so early in the process made her feel like she truly does fit well into her job role and the company. This also makes her experience at the company more positive and gratifying. What's more - having an AI-led interview process that did not focus solely on her CV, had also given her more hope in getting the job earlier in the process: “it made me feel like I had a higher success rate with the company if I sent in this video and not just my CV.”
Being part of a company that values you, and the way you work really goes a long way. You get a better sense of belonging and perform better at your job. Not only will you feel motivated, and satisfied with your workplace environment, but you will also feel like you truly are part of the company and not just another employee.
From Lucy’s first time experiencing an AI-led video interview, she thought that despite the process being new and at times strange for her, it was time well invested.
“Its more than just handing someone their CV. It allows the company you want to be hired by to see who you are as a person, and that its not just about the qualifications, but the way you manage the interview, and the way you present yourself.”
She highlighted the fact that the CV was also not completely ignored. Good qualifications are noticed and appreciated, but it is not the focal point of the applicant, which adds more depth to the entire process. Thus, she got a positive candidate experience where she felt involved with the company right from the start, and had the opportunity to approach job-seeking in a new manner.
“Of course, you need to have good qualifications, but with Retorio you can show them – ‘well I can present myself confidently and will have a more realistic shot at actually getting the job, and I think you don’t have that by just sending your CV, but you do have that if you choose to do it with Retorio.”
A positive, fulfilling candidate experience is what we all deserve. This is where AI has come in to make sure that your candidate experience is one that not only helps you land the job and company that you fit in but also provides you with feedback on yourself. Therefore, you can always learn more about yourself and how you function in a work environment for your future career endeavors.
Through Lucy’s own candidate experience with AI, we got to hear her story on how her journey with an AI-led interview had changed the way she presented herself, how she viewed the importance of culture before applying and getting to embrace her personality more than her CV throughout the entire process. It was definitely something new for her which turned out to be a positive, and knowledgeable experience.
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