In the dark old days before ChatGPT, you had to research the company, perhaps even the hiring manager, think about various scenarios in the discussion and your responses, and then the possible questions the panel might ask — all by yourself.
And yet, sometimes the preparation might be inadequate because when you’re relying solely on yourself, you might not cover all the bases or have blind spots that a third party can help you with.
ChatGPT has made preparing for interviews easier and faster.
How ChatGPT Can Help with Your Interview
ChatGPT and services like it can help you prepare for an interview, thoroughly covering almost every aspect that the hiring manager or the interviewers might discuss, using the strengths of artificial intelligence (AI) to boost your chances of success.
It can, for example, research company information and provide the data and information you need, explain the job description and the expectations of the hiring manager, and prepare a script that is tailor-made just for this position.
Think of it as an interview specialist, depending on how you use it.
After you have used ChatGPT, you will likely feel more confident and relaxed going into the interview.
But remember, ChatGPT is not flawless. It can guide you to wrong or outdated information and can’t replace you in the interview yourself.
You may also be competing against other ChatGPT-enabled interviewees, who may be reading off the same script beats.
An interview is more than just acquired knowledge – interviewers will be hunting for creativity, clear thinking, mental strength under pressure, and that little touch of human ingenuity.
Still, for preparing for an interview, there is a lot of power in using ChatGPT to work in your favor.
Think of ChatGPT as a 24/7 virtual assistant who responds to your queries. Ask anything, and it responds with an answer. It may be the best way to prepare for an interview.
The exciting thing about this virtual assistant is that it understands natural language, the way human beings communicate with each other.
For example, if you ask it to explain an Application Programming Interface (API) to a dummy, it responds in a language and content appropriate for a beginner.
Ask for an answer worthy of a software engineer, and it can respond with a more in-depth answer.
Where does it get its answers from? Let’s say you’re an avid reader of the Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling. If someone asks a question about the book Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, you should be able to answer it quickly because you might have read it multiple times.
Similarly, ChatGPT consumes and processes enormous volumes of information from the internet regularly. Think of the internet as a book and ChatGPT as its reader.
Use it for relevant research, how to interpret the job description as a hiring manager, and provide you with a script as close as it gets to the real-time questions and answers.
How to Use ChatGPT to Prepare for an Interview
Using AI for job interviews has multiple aspects or bases. The more bases you cover, the better prepared you are.
Prompting is at the core of getting the best out of ChatGPT, and it responds better to certain types of prompts than others.
Researching the Company and Role
When researching the company, instead of going to the website, prompt ChatGPT to find the following:
- What is the main business of the company?
- What are the sources of revenue?
- What are the products or services, and who are their clients?
- How do the products or services help the client’s pain points?
However, remember that ChatGPT has a dataset that is limited to after 2021, and some Googling on top will not be a bad thing. Other tools like Google Bard can also be ways to use AI in interviews.
After you have the company information, it may be worth exploring ways in which your prospective role links to the business, so you may want to try prompts such as:
- How can my potential role add value to the business of the company? Can you give some examples?
- What are the actions that I can take if hired that impact the business positively?
Holding a ChatGPT Interview
You probably have a copy of the job description in your hand, whether it came from the company’s website, LinkedIn, or wherever else you first saw the job advertisement.
But, your employer might expect you to think beyond what is given in the job description. Copy and paste it into the ChatGPT window, and effectively hold an interview with ChatGPT:
- What do you think the employer expects from this role?
- Give a list of recommendations for me to project myself as the best candidate in the context of the job description.
Best Ways to Prepare for an Interview With ChatGPT
ChatGPT retains the context of preceding conversations. So, copy and paste the words of your CV into the prompt window and try out the prompts below.
- Check if my skills and experience match your observations of the job description, and let me know if I’m a good fit.
- Point out where I am a good fit, a partial fit, or not a good fit for the job.
- Give me recommendations on improving the areas of partial and no fit.
If you’re short of time, ask ChatGPT to recommend online resources that provide primary and quick orientation on areas you might lack.
The hiring panel doesn’t expect you to know everything but is likely to appreciate that you’ve worked hard to learn about areas you didn’t know.
Create a Question & Answer Script
Now is the time to create a question-and-answer script. For this example, we will pretend you are seeking work as an experienced UX designer.
ChatGPT can help with an interview by guiding you for questions that may pop up by using prompts such as:
- What are the most common questions for an experienced UX designer? Can you provide examples from different companies?
- Provide me examples of intelligent answers to the above questions that are likely to be appreciated by the hiring panel.
Caution! Don’t memorize the answers or follow the script unthinkingly. ChatGPT makes your task more accessible, but your role is far from diminished.
Review every response for context, and consider whether you agree with the suggestions. Also, remember that ChatGPT may not account for local country or company culture.
Practicing Interview Scenarios with ChatGPT
Technical interviews test the technical skills required to perform your day-to-day job and solve problems.
For example, you may apply for a Java developer’s position, and questions about Java are expected. So potential prompts for ChatGPT may include:
- Setting the context with your experience level – for example, you don’t want questions asked of a senior Java developer if you are an entry-level developer.
- What are the different problems an entry-level Java developer might be expected to ask to solve in an interview? Cite examples from real-life interviews.
For example, ChatGPT can help you solve the following Java coding problem as an entry-level developer:
Create a basic Bank Account class that models a simple bank account. The class should have the following properties and functionalities:
- accountNumber: A unique identifier for each bank account (a string or integer).
- accountHolderName: A string representing the name of the account holder.
- balance: A double representing the current balance in the account.
Similarly, let’s take the case of an interview with a Senior System Designer. ChatGPT can give real-life solutions to questions such as:
Design a URL shortening service similar to services like bit.ly or TinyURL. The service should take long URLs and generate shorter aliases for them. Users who access the shortened alias should be redirected to the original long URL. You will be given requirements such as availability, scalability, uniqueness in aliases, and security concerns.
ChatGPT may not always give perfect code or follow the prompt exactly, but it can be an excellent steer or a great code-checker.
ChatGPT can provide you with as many potential questions as you want – and also the solutions to the problems. Practicing the problems can make you more confident in cracking the technical interviews.
Eliminate Bias and Other Problems with ChatGPT
An interviewer will often assess how you would handle problems that might arise during your employment.
For example, let’s say an interviewer asks you:
You have an observation on the product that you take up with the product owner. The product owner replies that your observations are not valid for certain reasons. How do you accept or handle the response?
Your response can be used to assess your personality and fit for the job, which can make or break your chances.
For example, if the hiring manager feels you don’t handle criticism or pushback well, you may be considered a poor fit despite all your technical understanding.
Or they might want you to stand up – assertively but not aggressively – for your opinion rather than submit quickly to someone else.
So, don’t take your non-technical answers lightly, especially the situation-based and personality-oriented questions.
Still, ChatGPT is no stranger to interviews and can help you once again.
Your response to the above question is, “I will try to convince the product owner of the validity of my observations despite his reservations, and I will try to support my position with evidence.”
Now, ask ChatGPT to analyze your response for bias, ability to handle feedback and contrarian opinion, and tone, and ask it to reframe and provide a balanced response suitable for a corporate environment.
ChatGPT will analyze your response and give its input, giving you a sounding board to compare with your original response. It may not always be perfect, but sometimes, another opinion is all you need.
Experimenting and Iterating with Different Approaches
Storytelling is a technique that enables you to tell stories or narrate incidents that are related to your answers and can help make you seem more engaging.
For example, say you may be asked when you trained new joiners to a company or resolved conflict with a customer or a manager.
Tell ChatGPT your story! And then ask it to…
- Re-write the story with clarity, and perhaps provide a few different versions.
- Lighten the tone, or make the tone more serious.
- Write a sentence that links your story to some of the qualities the company is looking for.
How to Manage the Limitations of ChatGPT
For all its unique capabilities, ChatGPT is not sacrosanct.
Do not accept its inputs without validating them for yourself or with a friend.
Remember that ChatGPT is a data guzzler and consumes vast volumes of data every day – it is prone to committing errors or showing bias and prejudice.
The data is fed by human beings, and ChatGPT does not verify its sanctity. There have been multiple instances when the responses of ChatGPT have been inappropriate or inadequate. In many cases, its responses have been found to be biased and discriminatory. Poor AI bot! It is usually holding up a mirror to what humans have said or written before.
Final Tips for a Successful Interview Experience
Prompting is the key to getting the best way to prepare for an interview via ChatGPT. If you trust your instinct, that should be your primary guide when answering ChatGPT interview questions.
But running ideas past ChatGPT first and seeing it offer a fresh perspective on your thoughts can be worth every minute.
ChatGPT can be your ally in preparing and cracking an interview – as many people have discovered to their advantage in the last year.
However, note that ChatGPT is an evolving tool so take its responses with a pinch of salt, especially those responses that have a risk of being subjective, biased, or discriminatory.
Knowing how to use ChatGPT for job interviews, learning to prompt correctly, phrasing questions in different ways, and role-playing with ChatGPT will take your interview skills to another level.