If you read my recent post about the robots who screen your resume, you should be aware by now that the nature of job interviews in the era of cloud technology is rapidly changing. It’s no longer good enough to simply submit your resume online. If you want any hope of getting that job interview, you must tailor it to get past the digital gatekeeper. If that worries you, hang on to your seat because the digital ride is just beginning.

Meet your robotic recruiter

Right now, there are a number of commercial, cloud-based technologies available that enable HR departments to interview you before you even have a chance to speak with a human recruiter. Resumes will first be screened by a smart Applicant Tracking System (ATS) and, if selected, candidates will be invited to conduct a digital interview via the web. However, this isn’t your grandfather’s Skype conversation. The HR manager sitting at the other end of the video link is a big data robot. With instantaneous access to to a database of millions of interviews, it is capable of evaluating you in context of all other candidates based on thousands of different attributes, from skill and experience to grammar, syntax, articulation, tone of voice and much, much more. Only the candidates deemed most qualified will be invited to continue to speak with an actual human being. Chances are, it will identify the most qualified candidates at least as well as, and perhaps even better than, the human recruiter. That is the power of big data applied to human resources.

Taking the ‘human’ out of Human Resources

Sound scary? While these companies are largely positioning the technology as an enabler for HR, most job candidates will not look upon it so kindly. Critics might even fairly suggest that they are taking the human element out of Human Resources. Whether that is true or not is debatable. However, the implications for candidates are clear: evolve in the era of big data or drastically reduce your odds of getting jobs.

So what should you do?

Take a holistic perspective  — Breathe deep for a moment. It’s tempting to freak out and cry foul. However, consider for a moment that this type of technology will actually vastly increase the number of candidates who will have an opportunity to interview. Large companies receive hundreds of applications per open position. The rate limiting step in most cases is the recruiter’s ability to screen all candidates. This technology will actually provide visibility to candidates who might otherwise have been overlooked. Suddenly, it’s not so scary anymore when you consider it from this angle, right?

Everyone else is in the same boat  — you are not the only one facing the digital recruiter. Continue to practice your interview skills, focusing on differentiating yourself as a candidate. Your targeted message about your experience, skills and future potential is still highly relevant. Leave the worrying to others.

Change your paradigm  — The technology is here to stay. Might as well accept it and up your game. You can let the naysayers grumble (the robot will detect the negative attitude) while you focus your efforts on differentiating yourself as the top-caliber talent.

What do you think? Do you feel this technology will empower or hinder your career opportunities? And if you’ve been interviewed by a robot already, please share your experience.

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Hi there,

I’m Abdul. My heart belongs to my family, but my opinions are mine alone.

For more uninformed conjecture, follow me on Twitter at @CaliAbdul. Or connect with me on LinkedIn.