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I’m Ryan Dickerson, an Executive Career Coach. I work with Directors, VPs, and C-level professionals preparing to make their next career move. 

Over the last few months, well over 200k people have been laid off at large companies including Google, Amazon, Twitter, and Microsoft. For many, the news came as a terrible surprise. 

Most of the folks I work with have not had to interview with a new company in several years. They have decades of fascinating and relevant stories to tell, but limited recent practice telling those stories in a competitive interview setting. 

Practicing your response to a simple prompt like, “tell me about yourself” in front of a mirror can be demoralizing and unnerving, especially during a difficult economic time. 

However, I’m thrilled to see how advances in generative AI are helping people improve their communication skills, specifically their interview skills. With platforms like Yoodli, candidates can practice mock interviews and receive private, personalized, and actionable feedback on the content and delivery of their answers. Yoodli’s free platform is a powerful resource for people who might be rusty at interviewing and want to get back into interview shape quickly.

What is generative AI and how can it enable interview practice?

Generative AI is a relatively new field of artificial intelligence that’s capable of creating human-like free form output based on specific inputs. In the past, candidates could practice speeches or interviews on platforms such as Yoodli, and they’d get metrics on their filler words, eye contact, pacing, etc. Feel free to check out my previous post about how generative AI is transforming my coaching business.

Using generative AI, Yoodli’s technology is able to generate contextual recommendations on how candidates can stop rambling, be more concise, or even use proven interview training frameworks such as the STAR method (for instance, if you’re asked about a time you led a team or a project, consider using STAR: Situation, Task at hand, the Action you took, and the Results you achieved). This is an efficient and effective way for candidates to get private feedback without the pressure of feeling judged. What’s more, Yoodli provides you with follow up questions, based on your answer, for you to finetune your response so you can simulate the impromptu back and forth with your interviewer.

But I’m an expert! Why should I practice for interviews?

For better or worse, how you communicate your ideas is often a primary determinant of whether you earn a job offer. Let’s say that you’ve updated your resume, applied to a few jobs, and you’ve landed your first interview. What happens when you join the Zoom meeting and the interviewer asks, “tell me about yourself? 

Perhaps you think that you can just wing it. You know your story like the back of your hand, right? 

An introductory interview or a screening call usually lasts under 25 minutes. In that brief period, the recruiter will evaluate your fit for the role and the company, check a few must-have boxes, and make sure that your compensation expectations line up with their budget. A 7-minute rambling introduction not only demonstrates that you’re unprepared, it also burns through more than 25% of the time allotted for the entire interview. Unprepared candidates don’t tend to advance through the interview process and land job offers. 

How you can make the most of Yoodli for interview practice:

Go to Yoodli, select the interview practice module and choose the kind of job you’re applying for (product management, marketing, consulting etc.). You can choose questions from a pre-generated question bank or add your own! I’ve listed 5 frequently asked questions for you to try:

  • Tell me about yourself
  • What do you want next in your career?
  • Tell me about your favorite project from the last 6 months?
  • Why are you looking for a new role?
  • What are your compensation expectations?

At the end of your recording, Yoodli will provide you a report summarizing analytics across your word choice (filler words, non inclusive language), delivery (pacing, centering, gesturing) generative AI comments that include rephrasing suggestions and follow up questions!

While AI has come a long way, it cannot give you feedback on human connection – your empathy, passion, authenticity (not yet!). I highly recommend sharing your Yoodli interview with a colleague or interview coach – they can leave you feedback synced with specific parts of the video to help you improve – all asynchronously! 

If you’re an experienced professional and want a complementary consultation or want to understand how to make the most of AI speech coaching, drop me a line at hello@goodfitcareers.com