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Beating artificial intelligence recruitment systems at their own game

Employability Service

Category: Student support services

25 February 2021

We all know that matching your skills and experience to the job you are applying for will get your application looked at – but when computers are involved with recruiting, is there more to it than just that?

On 8 February 2021, the BBC published an article named The computers rejecting your job application. As a spoiler, the journalist talks through her recent experience of having the progress of her job application being decided by artificial intelligence (AI).

To quote from the article: "AI software is now used in the initial recruitment processes of a number of multinational companies, such as McDonald's, bank JP Morgan, accountancy firm PWC, and food group Kraft Heinz. An interview with a human recruiter then follows if you pass.”

With AI technology quickly becoming smarter and making processes for companies more efficient, it’s likely that this may be something you’ll have to face at some point. Luckily for ARU students, we have the resources to help you prepare.

Graphic of a computer screen with information - a graph and a diagram - in front of it

Getting your CV past Applicant Tracking Systems and in front of an employer (a human one!)
CV360 scores your CV against more than 50 checks that commonly flag up on an Applicant Tracking System (ATS), annoy a hiring manager or have your CV deprioritised. You get instant, detailed feedback so you can optimise your CV and significantly boost your chances of getting to the interview stage. Access CV360 on the Career Centre now.

Become a pro at virtual interviews – both automated and live
Employers are increasingly using video interviews as part of their recruitment process. Interview360 includes a large and comprehensive library of the most commonly asked interview questions along with key points to help you answer every one of them. There’s also a range of mock interviews you can take to really test your ability to come up with strong, confident, well-thought-through answers under time pressure. Access Interview360 on the Career Centre now.

Grow your self-awareness
Just like the experience of the author of the BBC article, some hiring processes involve taking gamified tests that indicate to the employer certain cognitive and emotional attributes that the candidate may have to see if they’re a good match for the company and job. The career assessments on the Career Centre help you to explore and understand your personal attributes and how they may impact your career. Access Career Assessment on the Career Centre now.

Practice makes perfect
It’s important to remember that AI is often used as a key way that employers short list what can sometimes be hundreds of applications. If you pass these stages, then you will also get the chance to impress in front of the employer. Using the above to learn how to best showcase your skills will not only help you against AI systems but also will go far in helping you with human checks too – whether as part of the second stage or with those employers who don’t use AI.

When you have tried any of the above, you can share your results and look at how you might improve and put them into practice by emailing [email protected] to talk to an Employability & Careers Adviser.

By Jodie Elwis, Career Information & Systems Lead

Our Employability Service works with students throughout their time at ARU and after they graduate. The Service offers careers advice, online resources, and help with job searches, applications and interview preparation. Our Employability & Careers Advisers may mention some of these resources and services in their blogs, to give you an idea of the careers support that's on offer at ARU. Some of these resources sit behind a log in and can only be accessed by current students.


The views expressed here are those of the individual and do not necessarily represent the views of Anglia Ruskin University. If you've got any concerns please contact us.