LinkedIn is adding a new way to help employers and candidates connect via video – an increasingly important consideration during the COVID-19 lockdowns – while it’s also launching a new, AI-enabled assessment tool that can help interview candidates better prepare for the interview process.
First off, with more job interviews being conducted in isolation, LinkedIn is fast-tracking the launch of its new video introductions process, which enables recruiters to ask candidates to submit a video response to a question, which can help to assess their communication skills and presentation.
As explained by LinkedIn:
“With video intro, once you receive applications for a job posting, you can invite the most qualified candidates to answer up to two questions from a list of options that include questions, such as “Tell me about yourself,” “What is your greatest strength?,” and “Describe your most challenging project.” Candidates can choose to submit their answers via quick video recording or written response.”
That last line is an important note – while a potential employer can ask you to submit a video response, you don’t have to submit one. Some people simply won’t feel comfortable recording a video clip, so it is optional. But it does provide another avenue to consider in the candidate assessment process.
The discomfort around the job application process leads into LinkedIn’s next new tool – LinkedIn is also adding a new, automated interview feedback tool, which enables users to record themselves answering common interview questions, then provides AI-generated feedback on your answer delivery – including notes on pacing, your use of “filler words”, phrases to avoid, etc.
As you can see in the example above, the automated assessment measures how fast you’re talking, the words you’re using (and overusing), and provides tips on how to improve.
This is a great innovation. While not everyone will be comfortable talking to their webcam, the tool can provide valuable insight, without the pressure of talking to an actual person. And while it may feel strange at first, that’s kind of the point – eventually, the more you use it, the more comfortable you’ll feel, which will lead to improvements in a real-world interview situation, while you’ll also have the additional feedback notes to further assist.
And both tools maybe even more important in the current situation. Right now, pretty much all job interviews are being conducted online, so while it may feel weird to be talking to your computer screen, that’s actually how many interviews are being conducted.
It’s also likely how more interviews will be conducted going forward. Given the pressure on big cities – in terms of traffic, congestion, higher house prices, cost of living, etc. – it makes sense for more businesses to move towards more remote working options, which can benefit smaller communities, provide access to wider candidate pools, and improve people’s overall quality of life.
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For years, businesses have resisted such a shift, insisting that face-to-face engagement is a crucial element of effective operations. But the COVID-19 lockdowns have shown that many businesses can continue to operate as normal, even if their employees are not all in the same office building.
That will have significant long-term implications. Governments will be assessing how they can incentivize investment in regional communities in order to slow the urban sprawl; businesses will be considering what it could mean for their operations to enable more flexible arrangements. Basically, the argument that it’s just not possible won’t hold up now that we’ve seen it in operation.
As such, new tools and approaches like these from LinkedIn could play a critical role in the future employment process – and both are solid innovations that are worth considering.