South Korea: How job applicants are learning to beat AI hiring bots and land a job

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Jan 13, 2020, 03.56 PM(IST)

Kim Seok-wu, a university senior majoring in management, demonstrates an AI interview program in Sungnam, South Korea. Photograph:( Reuters )

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'I'll need to sign up for cram schools for the AI interview. So, I feel like the conventional interviews with people are better,' said 26-year-old job seeker Yoo Wan-jae.

Artificial Intelligence has almost taken over the world. It is everywhere, from our social media news feeds to now the company hiring process. 

But as AI is becoming popular in the hiring process, the effort to beat the machine has opened opportunities for business.

In South Korea, people have converted this opportunity into a booming business where they teach job applicants ways with they can tackle these AI bots.

These consultants also teach applicants how to maintain composure and positive facial expressions to score more points.

An AI solution business consultant, Park Seong-jung said, he held 48 lectures to demonstrate AI interview solutions in 2019, in which over 700 university students, graduates and lecturers joined in 2019.

"AI is becoming a trend. South Korea also has a serious youth unemployment problem and competition among students is very fierce. We help students overcome and succeed in AI interviews by preparing them for job analysis, introducing themselves, and gamification," said Park.

"Gamification" in this case refers to analysing a job candidate's personality and adaptability, by putting them through a gruelling segment fairly late in the interview process.

But, the applicants who have to sit through these AI interviews are not very happy about it. Applicants fear the additional expense of joining institutes and workload to prepare for AI interviews.

"I'll need to sign up for cram schools for the AI interview. So, I feel like the conventional interviews with people are better," said 26-year-old job seeker Yoo Wan-jae.

AI is already widely used by many companies' human resources departments to help in selecting candidates, ranging from spotting plagiarism in resumes to checking how candidates react in certain situations.

But more companies are now applying AI to the hiring process.

Top South Korean conglomerates including SK Innovation and Hyundai Engineering & Construction are among a growing number of employers deploying artificial intelligence in hiring.

Nearly a quarter of the top 131 corporations currently use or plan to use AI in hiring, according to the Korea Economic Research Institute.

(With inputs from Reuters)