Being Human: How the Interview Process is Evolving

Conor Larkin our consultant managing the role
Posting date: 10/25/2018 8:28 AM
Should we make our interview processes more like a talent show? That’s what a job centre in France thought when they introduced ‘This Is The Job’, an interview more in the style of ‘The Voice’ than a traditional Q&A session. Complete with spinning chairs and buzzers, this ‘technique’ has been swiftly brought to an end following public outcry. 

But whilst it might not be the best idea to base the recruitment process on a popular TV show (let’s not use ‘Bodyguard’ as an inspiration for problem-solving tasks), we are seeing an evolution in how interviews are conducted. Here’s a look at some of the most popular trends we’re seeing businesses apply to their recruitment processes. 

Cultivating a culture 


Perhaps the most significant change we’re seeing at the moment is the increased prominence placed on cultural fit. No longer an afterthought, this is now a make or break factor for most employers. 

Interview panels are looking for a candidate’s personality to come through when they discuss previous projects they’ve worked on. They’re keen to know that they can explain their findings to a wider audience. This includes being open about where they can improve and showing a level of humility. We’ve seen candidates rejected for being overly-defensive when receiving critiques of their technical work. 

Alongside this, businesses are adapting their interviewing techniques to reflect this more human approach. First-round telephone interviews are being replaced by video calls, offering an experience closer to face-to-face. Agencies, in particular, are taking interviews out of the office and into coffee shops, with the ambition of creating a more social interaction. 

All of these changes should mean that both businesses and candidates have a better understanding of what they’re signing up for before an offer is made or accepted. 

Ironing out the creases 


Given the fast pace of working life, finding time to dedicate to an interview process is a challenge for businesses and candidates alike. Fortunately, we’re seeing processes streamlined. 

Whereas we had seen a trend for employers sending out time-consuming tasks to thoroughly test people’s abilities, the amount time required led to delayed processes and candidates dropping out. As a result, businesses are now including technical screenings within the interview itself, alongside short demos, presentations of work and online coding sessions. 

By keeping things simple, we’re now seeing less candidate drop off early in the process. This, alongside combining technical and competency questions, has resulted in a more concentrated, yet just as detailed, way of assessing an applicant’s suitability for a role. 

Getting hands on


Employers have always looked for someone who can walk the walk, as well as talk the talk. Now they’re taking matters into their own hands by requiring candidates to react to real world examples. Most commonly, we’re seeing these take the form of case studies, generally falling into one of two categories:

  • Quantitative, where a relevant business situation and data are provided and need to be addressed. 
  • Conceptual, where there are no figures, and the interviewer is trying to gain an insight into the candidate’s approach and thought processes.

On top of this, we’re beginning to see new methods introduced that test applicants even further. Job Auditions are becoming an increasingly popular way of assessing how well a candidate can perform in a real-world situation. There’s even talk of introducing Virtual Reality to push this idea even further within a controlled simulation. 

Regardless of what the future may hold, companies are clearer than ever with what they’re looking for in the interview process. Don’t be surprised if we continue to see innovations that offer more depth into a candidate’s true behaviour, personality and working styles. 

If you’re on the lookout for a new role, we can support and guide you through the interviewing process. We have a variety of roles in both Junior and Senior positions, both Contract and Permanent. 

Take a look at our latest roles or get in touch with one of our expert consultants to see how we can help you progress you career. 

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What Will Happen In The World Of Data & Analytics In 2020?

What Will Happen In The World Of Data & Analytics In 2020?

The New Year, and the new decade, have arrived. The past ten years saw Data move to the forefront of public conversation following a number of big leaks and controversies. But, realistically, the impact of the ease of access to a surplus Big Data has only just begun to be felt.  Whilst many are predicting what the world will look like by the end of the 2020s, discussing how far AI will have come and the consequences of automation on the job market, we’ve decided to look a little closer to home.  With that in mind, here are a few trends we expect to see over the next year.   ACCESS TO DATA SCIENCE WILL BECOME EASIER Data Scientists have traditionally been limited in number, a key group of individuals with PhDs, honed skills, and a vast understanding of Data & Analytics. However, with the advent of a number of new tools, more and more users will be able to perform Data Science tasks. However, many of the more sophisticated processes are still far from being replicated, so those currently working in this area shouldn’t be concerned. In fact, the more standard tasks that can be automated, the more time Data Scientists will have to experiment and innovate.  THE 5G EXPLOSION  Whilst there may have been a soft launch last year, the introduction of 5G will have a much more significant impact over the next year. With a flurry of compatible mobile devices around, and many more expected to come, we’re likely see 5G networks hit the mainstream.  In the world of Data, this is likely to have a huge impact on how businesses use the Cloud. Indeed, with mobile upload and download speeds set to be so fast, there is a chance that an online middle-system may no longer be as necessary as it once was.  THE RISE OF THE EDGE On the subject of the Cloud, it’s worth talking about Edge Computing. No, this has nothing to do with the pizza or the guitarist. Edge Computing has been a trend for a few years now, but, following an announcement from AWS, it looks set to become much more prevalent in 2020.  Concerned with moving processing away from the Cloud and close to the end-user, Edge Computing is already beginning to have an impact across a number of industries.  A NEED FOR AUGMENTED ANALYTICS It’s no surprise that the use of AI, Machine Learning and NLP is set to increase over the next year, so it shouldn’t come as a shock that Augmented Analytics are set to become more popular too.  The opportunities, and extra time, offered by using the automated decision making offered by Augmented Analytics are the perfect fit for the increasing number of organisations who find themselves with more Data than processing capabilities.  DATA WILL HELP FIGHT THE CLIMATE CRISIS  Whilst there is a fair argument that the amount of processing required by the world of Data & Analytics is detrimental to the climate, the benefits any insights can offer are likely to outweigh any negative impact.  Indeed, the UK government are already using Satellite Data to help reduce the impact of flooding, whilst Google’s EIE is being used to map carbon emissions with a view to better plan future cities. Given the recent, and tragic, bushfires in Australia, this is going to become an even more pressing issue over the next 12 months.  If you want to be at the forefront of the latest innovations in Data & Analytics, we may have a role for you.  Take a look at our latest opportunities, or get in touch with one of our expert consultants to find out how we can help you. 

HOW AI AFFECTS US FROM JOURNALISM TO POLITICS

How AI Affects Us from Journalism to Politics

It’s been nearly 40 years since the War Games movie was released. Remember the computer voice, JOSHUA, who asked the infamous, “Would you like to play a game?”. The computer had been programmed to learn. You might call it a forerunner of Artificial Intelligence (AI) today. Except AI is no longer the little boy who becomes a stand-in for a grieving family. Now, we’re no longer watching a movie about AI, we’re living in its times. But unlike a movie, we won’t find a solution after 90-minutes to two hours. Now, we must be cautious and pay attention or we will be leapfrogged by our own inventions. Can we change course at this late stage? As we enter a new decade, let’s take a look at some of the concerns and solutions posed by Amy Webb, author of The Big Nine: How the Tech Titans and Their Thinking Machines Could Warp Humanity.  How Did We Get Here? As Christmas approaches, we are cajoled by memories and makers to buy back our past and cement our futures with things. Our desires for instant gratification keep us from planning for AI properly. While it can be fun to watch AI play against Chess champions or worrisome to watch it direct our buying decisions, we remain secure in that its not yet to its full potential. But elements such as facial recognition and realistic generation cause concern for a number of reasons. Not the least of which is what will happen when systems make our choices for us. From the Big 5 of Tech to your local commercial or paper, our minds are already often made up. And even when we’re presented with the truth, we may not even realise it because our AI capabilities have grown exponentially and continue to grow making us wonder…what if? So, What Can We Do? Businesses, Universities, and the Media all have a part to play. And in our image-centric world, the greatest of these is Media. Universities can blend technical skills with soft skills and blend in degrees such as philosophy, cultural anthropology, and microeconomics just to name a few. The blending of these skills can offer a more robust understanding of the world around us.  Businesses can work to ensure a more diverse staff and improve inclusion. Shareholders and investors can help by slowing down when considering investments in AI to allow for determining risk and bias before moving forward. And when it comes to the Media, there’s general agreement the public needs greater media literacy. While AI-focused accusations of deepfakes in news and on television abound, there is a greater concern in that much of what people believe to be fake, isn’t. So, the question becomes, how does the media generate trust in a public that no longer believes what it  reads, sees, or hears?  It’s this casting of doubt which is the greater danger. Why? Because it requires no technology at all. While it’s best to be informed, it can be tricky to navigate in today’s world. So, it’s up to not only the news consumers, but is up to researchers, journalists, and platforms to separate the wheat from the chaff. Or in this case, the real from the fake before the news reaches its audience. From Socrates who taught his students to question what they learned to the students of the 20th century expected to remember only what was needed for a test; we have come full circle. But at a unique time in our world, in which the questioning has not much to do with challenging ourselves but is at best used to sow distrust.  While tech companies like Facebook and Google have jumped on the bandwagon to expose fakes, others are moving into how to build trust. Again. At best, these startups offer comparisons of videos and images as the human eye works to discern the difference.  But while tech may be advancing technological wonders by leaps and bounds, there remains a solid grounding of the human element. Humans are needed as content moderators to dispel fiction from truth. And in the media? There’s a renewed focus on training journalists to fact check, detect, and verify their stories. The human element adds a layer of nuance machines can’t yet emulate. If you’re interested in AI, Big Data and Digital or Web Analytics, we may have a role for you. Take a look at our current opportunities, or get in touch with one of our expert consultants to find out more. 

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