Dear Coach Joan: Career Advice
Yup, automation technology is ever impacting everything! And now it is having an interesting impact on the job seeking process.
For the first time, I’ve heard about a robo interview. A client of mine is a recent college graduate and she’s seeking a position
in the environmental consulting field. She’s ecstatic that a company of key interest to her has requested her to interview.
And the good news is that they are way open and flexible on timing. As long as it’s completed within the week. You see, it does not involve
scheduling because she can do the interview at any time that suits her. She merely goes on to the designated interview site,
types in her special code number and voila, she is in interview mode. The screen has her log on and asks her to press the START
button. The questions appear on the screen with suggested times to answer. And the taping begins!
Yes, you are looking at a computer screen instead of another person. You really don’t know what the questions will be. You are told the whole
interview should take no more than 45 minutes and there you go!
I asked my client how she felt about it. She said that it seems like it’s a good news/bad news situation. The good news she doesn’t have to leave home, she can do the interview at her convenience and isn’t worried about having an awkward interaction with a difficult person or even a panel of interviewers that can make you feel like you’re out numbered.
The bad news is that you don’t get any feedback at all. You are just taking into a screen and camera and you have no idea of the reaction that the ultimate assessors will make. You realize that you typically get all kinds of cues, both subtle and direct from an in person interview; even from a phone interview. There are no follow on questions, no nods of the head in either direction, no indications if you are going on too long.
So how does one best prepare for this new day of ROBO INTERVIEWS?
Here are three suggestions with the overall advice being to prepare as you would for any interview, with a few caveats:
- Prepare answers to the typical questions of why you are attracted to this organization and to this position. And what skills do you bring that demonstrate your abilities. Also be prepared to discuss your work style as a team player, as a leader and how you works in groups. But practice and TIME your responses. Anticipate that people do not have long attention spans. Typically do not plan to do a monologue for more than a couple of minutes
- Anticipate that they will ask if there’s anything else you want to add. And I think that if they haven’t already asked if you have questions, do come up with some to suggest you have researched and learned about the company. They could be questions about their biggest challenges, how they compare with their competitors (and mention their names to show that you know them.)
- Show Enthusiasm. Smile. Without getting live feedback it would be easy to get very serious and monotone. But don’t! Pretend it is a performance and you need to entertain them. Really. It will make a difference. Mention some knowledge you have about their industry. Look to see if they have been in the news. Maybe they have a new CEO or Executive Director. Talk about key ways you can add impact and value. Onward for your success in this new day of Robot Driven Interviewing! Coach Joan