Know the tech at each step: A guide for today’s job seeker

Get familiar with the tech you'll encounter in the interview process

5 min read

January 2021

Laptop sitting on a wooden desk along with a pair of headphones and notepads

Whether you’re shifting careers, changing roles, or returning to work after time away, you’ve likely got a good idea that the job search and hiring process has evolved in recent years. Give yourself an advantage by being prepared for common tech you’ll encounter during each step of the interview process.

Applying: Build a resume that puts you past AI

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and other forms of automation are becoming more commonplace in recruiting. Because companies know what success on the job looks like, they leverage tech to help their recruiting teams efficiently prioritize who may be the strongest among the candidate pool. And in a highly competitive job market, tech innovations can also translate to faster-paced processes for candidates.

AI, in particular, helps companies quickly and efficiently sift through hundreds of thousands of resumes. To set yours up for success when it comes to AI, make sure it's tailored to the types of jobs you’re applying for and syncs well with the job descriptions. And avoid unique fonts or overly designed resumes that won’t be recognized by AI systems.

Also note that the resume review process isn’t entirely automated. Recruiters still play an integral part, so create a resume that appeals to both people and AI. That means going beyond including key words to also concisely include experiences and accomplishments. And use data to show results.

Assessments: Don’t underestimate the importance of tests

Yes, they’re stress-inducing and can feel like a formality, but tests and simulations are a key step in many companies’ interview processes. They’re not something you should take lightly.

When it comes to assessments…

  1. Answer honestly. Don’t overthink it or try to “game” the test. The point of many assessments is to evaluate qualifications and potential for success at the company. At Progressive, our test measures attributes such as customer service and work style as well as how you solve problems, reason, and apply knowledge to new situations which are critical to success on the job. So answering honestly will help to ensure you’re applying for a role and company that will be the right fit.
  2. Draw from your experiences and go with your gut. In some instances, the company is aligning your answers to on-the-job performance profiles to gauge fit and potential. You can’t study or prep for that, so just follow your natural inclination when responding.

When it comes to simulations…

  1. Be yourself and do the best you can with the knowledge you have. Many simulations are designed to assess your skill and ability to comprehend and navigate a system or workflow as well as your pace of work and ability to multi-task.
  2. Remember that this can be as much for you as your potential employer. Simulations are meant to give you a true preview of the job, so it’s a great indicator for you if it feels like a natural fit.

Finally, when it comes to both types of tests…give it your all. Don’t downplay the importance of an assessment or simulation.

Interviewing: Be prepared for video interviewing

Video interviewing—where you’re sent questions in advance and asked to respond via a recorded video—is becoming more common. Chances are, you’ll interact with it at some point in your search. Your first reaction might be that you don’t like seeing yourself on camera—few people do. But the big benefit is that it allows you to complete your interview when it’s convenient for you and reduces the back-and-forth you might have with a recruiter just to find a mutually available time to talk. Here are some starter tips to help you make the most of this tech:

  1. Put thought into your answers before hitting record. The beauty of this tech advancement is that you have time to think about the best answer from your experiences and really put your best foot forward with every response.
  2. Use the opportunity to be in your own element and really show your personality, passion, and communication skills.

Practice and prep your space in advance...

  1. Pay attention to what’s behind you. Aim for a simple backdrop like a home wall versus a crowded coffee shop.
  2. Avoid background noise. Record your response in a quiet place that’s free from noise and distractions.
  3. Avoid lots of movement or moving in and out of the camera frame. Keep the focus on you and the content of your responses.

The above tips can also apply in virtual interview situations where you might interact with an interviewer in real-time over a video call.

The job search, application, and interview processes will continue to evolve. With many of the changes come exciting opportunities for you to differentiate yourself from the competition and find a career you’ll love.

As the leader of our Talent Acquisition group at Progressive, Neil Lenane strives to find diverse and quality talent who thrive in a high performing, collaborative, and innovative culture. On the personal side, he’s a GSD (Get Stuff Done) type of guy and a big believer in creating your own opportunities through continued development and the desire and ability to be agile.

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