Student Sofia Tobon - a college junior, has applied for 15 banking internships this year, and most required her to do a recorded interview, which was evaluated to determine if she would make it to the next rounds with people.

GO AHEAD : The Recorded Interview : Ms. Tobon said the recorded process also required an additional level of preparation. Like many other job applicants, Ms. Tobon has put together a stable of stories to answer typical queries like :

The impersonal nature added to the stress. In some cases submitting an application garnered an automatic invitation to record an interview.

''With so many qualified people applying, sometimes I ask myself, will this even get viewed?'' she said, ''or will I be weeded out before they see it?''

Ms. Laurano said it was important for companies to reduce applicants' stress by clearly communicating what the candidate should expect, minimizing the time and effort required to apply, and quickly delivering an answer.

The communication should be personalized, she said and ideally even convey some of the company's culture.

The pandemic has accelerated the use of this technology. In February, Ms. Laurano found that 58 percent of businesses were using or considering digital hiring systems, including ones with the ability for applicants to schedule their own appointments online and participate in video interviews, either with a recruiter or recorded.

Now 77 percent of the companies she surveyed are using or considering the use of interview software. Many of the others ''probably just aren't hiring,'' she said.

The growth is also global. HireVue tools are available in 40 languages and used in 180 countries, according to Mr. Parker.

There are other new ways of assessing applicants online. Pymetrics, a four-year-old company based in New York, offers a set of online games that aim to measure job-seekers' cognitive, social and emotional aptitudes.

Applicants are usually measured against those of the company's top performers in the job the candidate is applying for.

In one game, for example, the job seeker is asked to pump up a series of cartoon balloons. For every pump, applicants are rewarded with a small amount of play money, accumulating rewards as the balloon is pumped up.

They can stop at any time and keep the money, but if the balloon bursts, they lose all of it. The exercise offers information about how candidates learn and their risk and reward apetities.

The exercises  were developed in cognitive science labs, said Frida Polli, one of the few founders of  Pymetrics and a former academic scientist.

They reduce bias in hiring because they evaluate qualities that applicants can possess without attending elite colleges or fitting into a preconceived image of what a ''good'' candidate looks like, she said.

The games can feel a bit opaque to applicants. though. Ms. Tobon said she understood there were no right or wrong answers to Pymetrics tasks she encountered, but she still found herself wondering :

''Did I do well? I just wanted to to do well and get employed in the economy.''

The World Students Society thanks author Julie Weed.


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