Career Advice for the Smart Job Seeker
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Using AI chatbots to practice interview questions
Have you ever frozen when an interviewer asks, “Tell me a bit about yourself”? Or, “Why are you a great fit for this role?”
You’re like a deer in the headlights, because you thought you could wing easy questions on the day. Now the pressure is on, and your train of thought chugs out that window.
Well, we’ve all been there. When you’re stressed in an interview setting, your tongue can freeze and your mind goes blank. Especially if you’re under-prepared.
And that’s the key: one of the best ways to boost your confidence and performance is through thorough preparation.
A lot of people avoid preparing because they think it takes a lot of effort, or will make them sound rehearsed and inauthentic. Or that they’ve done so many interviews, they can handle whatever comes their way with zero hesitations.
That’s usually the opposite of what happens in reality. Especially when you get flustered by unexpected question phrasing or a hard-hitting interviewer.
Practice (and Preparation!) Makes Perfect
There’s no denying that when you’ve pre-anticipated responses to likely interview questions, and have practiced how to answer them, you actually sound a lot smoother.
And thanks to recent developments like AI chatbots, the effort factor (which, as we’ve seen, is why a lot of us avoid preparing in advance) is considerably slashed.
An AI chatbot is a versatile tool that can assist you in multiple aspects of interview preparation. “AI chatbot” is just a fancy name for tools such as ChatGPT, Bard, or Bing Chat, which you’ve probably already tried out already in other contexts.
So, how can AI chatbots help with your interview preparation?
- Question Generation: AI chatbots can help you generate potential interview questions. By practicing your responses to these questions, you can refine your answers and boost your confidence
- Resume-Based Responses: With your resume as a reference, the AI chatbot can help you craft personalized responses to common interview questions. This ensures that your answers are tailored to your unique experiences and skills
- Mock Interviews: You can use AI chatbots for mock interviews, allowing you to simulate the real interview experience and receive constructive feedback.
- Research and Insights: AI chatbots can even provide insights into common interview best practices, the company you’re interviewing with, and industry-specific trends
All at no cost, in the privacy of your own home, and on demand.
In this blog post, we’ll show you how to use tools like ChatGPT (or Bard or Bing Chat, or whichever other tool is your personal favorite) to generate and practice interview questions. We’ll share what happened when one of our coaching clients tried this exercise (we’ll even give you the 5 prompts so that you can create tailored responses based on your own resume).
Ready? Then let’s get started!
The Basic Steps (Summary)
Step 1: Gather Information
Before you start using your chosen AI chatbot, make sure you have the following resources at hand:
- Your resume
- The job description
Step 2: Generate Interview Questions
To generate interview questions using your preferred AI chatbot, follow these steps:
Set the Context: Provide information about the job you’re applying for, and any specific skills or experiences you want to highlight (e.g. the job description and your resume)
Ask the AI chatbot: “Can you generate common interview questions for a Software Developer position in the tech industry?” or “What are typical questions asked during a Marketing Manager interview?”
Review and Select: The AI chatbot will generate a list of questions. Review them and select the most relevant ones for your preparation.
Step 3: Resume-Based Responses
To generate personalized responses based on your resume, follow these steps:
Provide Context: Share your resume with the AI chatbot and specify the question you want to answer. For instance, “I’m preparing for a Software Developer interview. Can you help me draft a response to the question: ‘Tell me about your experience with web development?’”
Collaborate with the AI chatbot: Engage in a conversation with the AI chatbot to refine and develop your response. You can ask follow-up questions and seek suggestions for improvement.
Save Your Responses: Keep a record of your responses for future reference.
5 Common Interview Questions (With Prompts)
Almost every job interview incorporates a variation of the 5 common interview questions below. And even if they don’t, preparing for these questions will help you to address any number of other related questions.
Here are the 5 questions, as well as prompts you can share with your preferred AI chatbot.
#1 “Tell me about yourself”
Prompt: “Based on my resume, can you help me create an engaging response to ‘Tell me about yourself’?”
#2 “What is your greatest professional achievement?”
Prompt: “I want to discuss my most significant accomplishment as a Marketing Manager. Can you assist me in crafting a response?”
#3 “Why do you want to work for our company?”
Prompt: “I’m applying for a software development position at XYZ Inc. Can you help me personalize my response to ‘Why do you want to work for our company?’”
#4 “Describe a challenging situation you faced at work and how you overcame it.”
Prompt: “I’d like to talk about a challenging project I handled as a Project Manager. Can you help me formulate a response?”
#5 “Where do you see yourself in five years?”
Prompt: “I’m a recent graduate applying for an entry-level position in finance. Can you assist me in creating a response to ‘Where do you see yourself in five years?’”
Remember to tailor these questions and prompts to your specific job application and experiences.
In the next section, we’ll share how an AI chatbot (in this case, ChatGPT) helped a real-life job seeker prepare for their interview using these same five questions.
AI Chatbots in Action
Let’s see how ChatGPT helps someone prepare for these five common job interview questions.
Background information: Rudi Gold is a Data Engineer based in the Netherlands. He wants to apply for a Data Engineering role with a particular company in Amsterdam.
#1 Tell me about yourself
Rudi asked ChatGPT: “I’m preparing for a data engineer interview. Based on my resume, can you help me create an engaging response to ‘Tell me about yourself’?”
Of course, ChatGPT said it would be happy to.
YOU: Hello! I’m preparing for a data engineer interview. Based on my resume, can you help me create an engaging response to “Tell me about yourself?”
ChatGPT: Of course! I’d be happy to help you craft a compelling response to the “Tell me about yourself” question. To tailor the response to your specific situation, I’ll need some information from your resume. Could you please provide me with key points or highlights of your experience, skills, and any notable projects you’ve worked on as a data engineer?
After pasting his resume, ChatGPT created a personalized response for Rudi to edit and practice:
Certainly! I’m a Principal Data Engineer and AI Developer with a rich and diverse background spanning 18 years. In this time, I’ve successfully navigated through the intricacies of scalable architectures, AI projects, cloud infrastructures, distributed computing, big data analytics, and microservices. My professional journey has taken me from start-ups to government projects and top-tier enterprises, allowing me to cultivate a deep understanding of the intricacies of the tech landscape.
My expertise lies in a wide range of domains, including AI, data modeling, data management, web technologies, big data, cloud computing, semantic web, IoT, machine learning, and project management. I’m proud to be bilingual in English and Dutch, a skill that has proven invaluable in my international collaborations.
In terms of academic qualifications, I hold a Master’s degree in Software Engineering from the University of Amsterdam and a Bachelor’s degree in Software Engineering and Business Informatics from Fontys University of Applied Science.
In my recent role at DashFuture, I spearheaded a career pivot into AI-based development for a highly confidential $2.3 billion federal project. Coordinating a project team, I focused on implementing strategies for design and testing, resulting in significant project savings. Prior to that, as a Principal Cloud Engineer at Embolden Tech, I led a multicultural team in developing cloud infrastructure and successfully migrated key applications to the cloud across multiple continents, achieving ahead-of-schedule results with zero errors or delays.
My earlier experiences include leading research on integrating Semantic Web technologies into Big Data analytics infrastructure at Resolute, where I developed scalable architectures for global research projects valued at $127 million. At Scholable, I led multiple EU and internal projects, securing $6.4 million in funding and playing a key role in standardization for government agencies.
Overall, my journey has been marked by a commitment to excellence, leadership in complex projects, and a passion for staying at the forefront of technological advancements. I’m excited about the prospect of bringing this wealth of experience and skills to contribute to [Company Name]’s dynamic environment.
As you can see, ChatGPT tends to be a little wordy. So feel free to ask it to shorten the reply you receive for your own interview preparation, or edit it yourself if needed.
# 2 What is your greatest professional achievement?
Rudi then moved on to the next question on our list. “I want to discuss my most significant accomplishment as a Data Engineer. Can you assist me in crafting a response?”
You: I want to discuss my most significant accomplishment as a data engineer. Can you assist me in crafting a response?
ChatGPT: Absolutely! Could you provide more details about what you consider to be your most significant accomplishment as a data engineer? This could include specific projects, challenges you overcame, the impact of your work, or any notable results. The more details you provide, the better I can assist you in crafting a compelling response.
You: Sure! In my previous job, I drove the development of cloud infrastructure supporting Embolden’s online electronic design tools. This included developing microservice architecture supporting 7 products. Once everything was developed and tested, I helped migrate 4 key apps to the cloud across 3 continents ahead of schedule with 0 errors or delays.
After prompting Rudi to add some more specifics, ChatGPT generated a response for Rudi to tweak and practice:
Certainly! One of my most significant accomplishments as a data engineer was during my tenure as the Principal Cloud Engineer at Embolden Tech. In this role, I played a pivotal part in driving the development of cloud infrastructure to support Embolden’s online electronic design tools. The challenge was not just about transitioning to the cloud but ensuring seamless functionality and performance for a suite of 7 diverse products.
To tackle this, I spearheaded the design and implementation of a robust microservices architecture tailored to the specific needs of each product. This involved a meticulous approach to ensure scalability, reliability, and optimal performance across the board.
The true test of this endeavor came with the migration of four key applications to the cloud, spanning three continents. What made this achievement particularly noteworthy was not just meeting but surpassing the migration schedule, and accomplishing this feat with zero errors or delays.
This accomplishment stands out for several reasons. Firstly, it showcased my ability to conceptualize and implement scalable cloud infrastructure tailored to a complex array of products. Secondly, the successful migration across continents highlighted my adeptness at coordinating and executing large-scale projects with precision. Finally, achieving this ahead of schedule and with flawless execution underscored my commitment to delivering results that not only meet but exceed expectations.
The impact of this accomplishment was felt across the organization, as the cloud infrastructure enhancements significantly improved the overall efficiency and accessibility of Embolden’s electronic design tools. It also demonstrated my ability to navigate challenges inherent in data engineering, from architecture design to flawless execution on a global scale.
This experience has fueled my passion for leveraging data engineering solutions to drive business success, and I’m eager to bring this expertise to contribute to similar impactful initiatives at [Company Name].
As always, when reviewing your own AI chatbot-generated response, you may wish to shorten or tweak it a little to sound more like ‘you’.
#3 “Why do you want to work for our company?”
Your interview may have gone swimmingly up until this point. But if you fail to come up with a specific response to this particular question, they’ll know you haven’t done your research or prepared.
You: I’m applying for a Data Engineer role at Enertec Netherlands. Can you help me personalize my response to ‘Why do you want to work for our company?’
ChatGPT: Certainly! Here’s a personalized response for the question “Why do you want to work for Enertec Netherlands?” based on the information you’ve provided:
I am genuinely excited about the opportunity to contribute my skills and expertise as a Data Engineer at Enertec Netherlands. As I researched your company, several aspects stood out to me that align perfectly with my professional values and career aspirations.
Enertec’s commitment to innovation in the energy sector is particularly inspiring. Your focus on developing cutting-edge solutions aligns seamlessly with my background in scalable architectures, AI projects, and cloud infrastructures. I am eager to bring my experience to a company that is at the forefront of leveraging technology to drive positive change in the energy landscape.
Furthermore, I am drawn to the collaborative and dynamic work environment at Enertec. Your emphasis on teamwork and the diverse range of projects aligns well with my experience in leading multicultural teams, as demonstrated during my tenure at DashFuture. I believe that my skills in data engineering, coupled with my ability to collaborate effectively, would contribute to the continued success and innovation at Enertec.
The company’s commitment to sustainable practices and energy efficiency is a value that resonates with me both professionally and personally. I am excited about the prospect of applying my expertise to contribute to Enertec’s mission of creating sustainable energy solutions for the future.
In summary, Enertec Netherlands represents an ideal environment where I can merge my passion for data engineering with a company that values innovation, collaboration, and sustainable practices. I am eager to bring my skills to the team and be a part of Enertec’s continued success in pioneering advancements in the energy sector.
You can always ask the AI chatbot to refine this this response by asking it to research the company for you, and then incorporate what it learns into the response. However, double-check each fact to ensure accuracy: AI chatbots are brilliant, but not perfect.
#4 Describe a challenging situation you faced at work and how you overcame it.
This can be a tough question for many people. They want to maintain the balance between picking a relevant example, coming across as knowledgeable, while not sounding like they’re bragging or – conversely – that they lost control of the example situation. An AI chatbot can help you craft your response in a positive and authentic way.
You: I’d like to talk about a challenging project I handled as a data engineer. Can you help me formulate a response?
ChatGPT: Certainly! Please provide some details about the challenging project you’d like to discuss. Specifically, I’d like to know the key aspects of the project, the challenges you faced, the actions you took to overcome them, and the results or impact of your work. The more information you can provide, the better I can assist you in formulating a comprehensive and compelling response.
You: OK so that’s in my current job. The key aspects are coordinating the project team in the development of implementation strategies for design and testing. This was the first time I’ve led a project team, so that’s been really cool. The goal is to steer the deployment of solutions to directly reduce manufacturing, assembly, integration, and testing costs/schedule. The challenges have been: as I’ve come in with a fresh pair of eyes, I saw several ways that we could make the project flow a lot better. I ran these by leadership and got the go-ahead. In the end, I introduced efficiencies which have so far led to $235k project savings.
Here’s what ChatGPT came up with:
One of the most challenging yet rewarding projects I’ve undertaken in my current role as an AI Developer at DashFuture was when I took on the responsibility of coordinating a project team for the development of implementation strategies focused on design and testing. It marked my first foray into a leadership role, and it has been an immensely fulfilling experience.
The primary goal of the project was to steer the deployment of solutions with the aim of directly reducing manufacturing, assembly, integration, and testing costs and schedules. As I delved into the project, I identified several areas where improvements could be made to streamline the workflow and enhance overall efficiency.
Approaching the challenges with a fresh perspective, I proactively communicated my insights to the leadership team. I was met with enthusiasm and granted the go-ahead to implement the proposed changes. This marked a pivotal moment in the project, as it allowed us to not only address existing bottlenecks but also introduce new methodologies that significantly improved the overall project flow.
Implementing these efficiency-driven changes resulted in tangible and impactful outcomes. To date, we’ve realized project savings totaling $235,000, a testament to the effectiveness of the enhancements introduced. This achievement not only validated the importance of continuous improvement but also demonstrated my ability to navigate and lead a team through transformative changes.
Leading this project has not only honed my project management and leadership skills but has also instilled in me a deep appreciation for the value of collaboration and innovation in problem-solving. It’s a testament to the impact that strategic, well-executed changes can have on both the project’s success and the organization’s bottom line.
This experience has fueled my passion for driving positive change through data engineering and project management, and I’m eager to bring this proactive and results-driven mindset to future challenges at Enertec Netherlands.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Many of us don’t know where we’ll be in 6 months or a year. Let alone 5 years. So even though whatever you say won’t actually be your goal, potential employers ask this question to get a feel for your ambitions.
You’ve got to get the right balance between a desire to grow and develop, without them thinking you’ll then take those skills elsewhere.
You: Thank you! Finally, can you assist me in creating a response to ‘Where do you see yourself in five years?”
ChatGPT: Certainly! Crafting a response to the “Where do you see yourself in five years?” question requires a balance between expressing ambition, alignment with the company’s goals, and a realistic understanding of career development. Here’s a sample response:
In the next five years, I envision myself continuing to grow both professionally and personally, and I see Enertec Netherlands as a key partner in that journey. As a Data Engineer, I aspire to take on increasingly challenging projects that not only leverage my current skill set but also push me to acquire new skills and knowledge.
I’m keen on further developing my expertise in emerging technologies and trends within the data engineering field, especially as they relate to the evolving landscape of sustainable energy solutions. Enertec’s commitment to innovation and sustainability resonates with my own values, and I’m enthusiastic about contributing to the company’s vision.
Beyond technical skills, I see myself in a leadership role, collaborating closely with cross-functional teams and contributing to strategic decision-making processes. As a team leader, I aim to foster an environment of continuous improvement and mentorship, empowering my colleagues to excel and driving collective success.
Moreover, I’m committed to staying at the forefront of industry advancements, possibly taking on additional responsibilities in research and development. Whether it’s exploring new technologies or contributing to the company’s growth, I believe that my journey with Enertec will be characterized by ongoing learning, leadership development, and meaningful contributions to the organization’s success.
It’s my goal to not only align my personal career objectives with the objectives of Enertec but also to make a lasting impact within the company and the industry at large. I’m excited about the potential for growth and collaboration here, and I am committed to being a valuable asset to Enertec’s vision for the future.
As we have seen, AI chatbots are brilliant at customized interview preparation. In this blog article, we discovered how they can generate job-specific interview questions, and prepare personalized responses based on your resume.
So, now it’s your turn. Try the 5 questions and prompts for your next interview practice, and we guarantee you’ll feel much more confident and prepared.
- AI chatbots (such as ChatGPT, Bard, Bing Chat, etc.) are becoming increasingly used as a tool to help job seekers prepare for interviews
- When it comes to interview preparation, AI chatbots are being increasingly used for customized question generation, personalized resume-based responses, mock Interviews, and even company research and insights
- Learn what 5 of the most common interview questions are, and copy our 5 prompts to generate individualized responses
- Read how a real-life job seeker uses each prompt to create an entirely unique interview preparation experience
- Discover how AI chatbots slash your interview preparation and research time from hours to minutes
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