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ChatGPT as an interview coach

How to use ChatGPT as an Interview Coach and Practice Partner

Making it to the interview stage in a job search is an exciting step. Be proud of yourself! Interviews can be a nerve-wracking experience even when you are super excited about the role. You’re probably worried about what to wear and what questions the interviewer will ask you. Totally natural.

Interviewing is a practiced skill, the more you do it, typically the better you get. It’s important to feel good about your ability and confidence to express yourself and show a professional presence and style in interviewing. Good, quality research, preparation and practice is crucial to helping you succeed in interviews.

In this article, we show you how you can use ChatGPT as an interview coach and practice partner so whether you have a week or 24 hours to prepare for your next interview, you’ve got resources and tools to help you prepare and smash anything thrown at you in your next interview.

What is ChatGPT?

If you ask ChatGPT what is it, it’ll tell you it is an artificial intelligence language model designed to simulate human-like conversation by generating responses to user input. It uses machine learning algorithms to analyze text and generate new responses based on its training data, which includes a vast amount of text from the internet. ChatGPT can be used for a variety of tasks, such as answering questions, providing information, generating text, and more.

What is prompt engineering and why is it important?

Prompt engineering is a process of designing and optimizing prompts to generate specific responses from artificial intelligence language models, like ChatGPT. This process involves creating a prompt that gives the language model enough context to understand the task at hand and generate a relevant response. Prompt engineering can be used to fine-tune the output of language models for specific tasks, such as language translation, content generation, question answering, and more.

Prompt engineering involves several techniques such as prompt programming, prompt tuning, and prompt selection. Prompt programming is the process of creating a set of prompts and encoding them into the language model. Prompt tuning is the process of adjusting the prompts to improve the quality of the output. Prompt selection involves choosing the best prompts to generate the desired output.

Essentially, prompt engineering is an important technique for improving the accuracy and relevance of language which is going to be crucial as you use it as an interview coach and practice partner.

How to use ChatGPT as an interview coach

STEP 1: Initial prompt

Firstly, you need to tell ChatGPT you want it to act as an interview coach. This is your initial prompt. You may say something like “I have an interview tomorrow. I would like for you to act as my interview coach. Do you understand?”.

When I typed this prompt into ChatGPT it gave me this response:

“Yes, I understand. As an AI language model, I can provide you with guidance and tips to help you prepare for your interview. Please let me know what type of interview you will be having and any other details that you think may be relevant.”

STEP 2: Clarify details

In this step, you will answer the question ChatGPT asks above by listing further information about your interview type and other details. I decided to on a first round Zoom interview since that is most common nowadays. I replied with “I am interviewing for a junior sales role and this is my first round interview. It will be over Zoom.”

From here, ChatGPT gave me lots of recommendations (with detailed action steps) on how to prepare for my interview. It guided me to research the company, prepare my answers to common sales interview questions, consider what experience I have in sales, what motivates me to sell, how I handle rejection and what sales techniques I use.

ChatGPT also suggested I review the job description, so I have a good understanding of the requirements and responsibilities of the role. And even though it’s a Zoom interview, it’s essential to dress appropriately so ChatGPT recommended I dress professionally, as you would for an in-person interview. It reminded me that technology isn’t always perfect, so I should make sure my internet connection, microphone, and camera are all working correctly and test them out beforehand to avoid any technical difficulties during the interview.

As a seasoned career coach and university professor who teaches interviewing to college students for a living, I can tell you these recommendations and action steps are legitimate and accurate. You can also ask ChatGPT to turn these recommendations into a checklist by saying “Can you turn these tips into a simple checklist?”. When I did this with ChatGPT it generated a very simple, easy to use list to help make sure I didn’t miss anything in my interview prep. Here’s what it gave me:

Sure, here is a simple checklist based on the tips I provided earlier:

  • Research the company
  • Prepare your answers to common sales interview questions
  • Review the job description
  • Dress appropriately
  • Test your technology
  • Practice, practice, practice
  • Show enthusiasm and passion
  • By following these steps and checking off each item on the list, you can ensure that you are fully prepared for your interview. Good luck!

STEP 3: Custom job description-specific preparation

The general recommendations ChatGPT gave for interview prep are good and accurate but are still pretty general at this point. To really feel prepared for your next interview you need to give Chat GPT the job description of the job you will be interviewing for. Here is the prompt I gave to ChatGPT next: “I am going to give you a job description for the position I am interviewing for and I want you to create interview questions specific to that job description. Do you understand?”.

In prompt engineering, it is important you ask the AI if it understands what you want it to do, especially if you have used multiple prompts already in the conversation. ChatGPT replied to my question with this: “Yes, I understand. Please provide me with the job description, and I will create interview questions that are specific to the position you are interviewing for.”

I then copied and pasted the job description into ChatGPT and it created custom questions it thought would likely be asked for that specific job description. As a career coach that does a lot of entry-level interview preparation work with clients, the questions were very accurate including the dreaded “Tell Me About Yourself” interview question.

STEP 4: Input your resume

So far, you’ve asked ChatGPT to act as your interview coach to help guide you in effective preparation practices and generate questions you’ll likely be asked in the interview you are specifically going out for using the job description. This is already leaps and bounds above what most job seekers do to interview prep! Congrats!

What’s, next? How do we elevate it from here? Your next step is to give ChatGPT your resume and ask it to create responses to the interview questions it just generated for you, BUT, instead of using general information from the internet (where ChatGPT gets it’s information from unless you tell it otherwise) you want it to use your resume content to generate responses.

Here is the prompt I gave it: “I’d like for you to answer the interview questions you just created using information I will give you from my resume in the next prompt. Do you understand?”. In response to my prompt, ChatGPT confirmed it understand me and asked for my resume content. I copied and pasted it in and ChatGPT started creating answers to the interview questions. That’s it! Super simple!

Final verdict: Is ChatGPT a good interview coach?

Simply put, yes. If you understand how prompt engineering works, have a job description and a robust resume, ChatGPT will give you all the best tips, tricks, and preparation tools you need to smash your next interview. Remember, ChatGPT is only as good as the information and prompts you give it, so take your time iterating and learning how to use ChatGPT to get the best possible answers for the task you are wanting it to do. And don’t be afraid to start completely over with a new chat! Sometimes, the AI gets confused (and so do we humans) if we use too many prompts in the same conversation, so starting a new chat might be your best option if you aren’t getting answers you want.

But what about ChatGPT as an interview partner?

Interviewing is a learned skill. Preparing and practicing for interviews before you have the real deal version with an employer is crucial to not only building confidence in yourself but in delivering quality answers that get you hired. So, how does ChatGPT standup as an interview partner?

I recently helped four Information Technology students use ChatGPT in their interview preparation and it worked well. They knew the questions I was going to ask, they had answers prepared. I then did a mock interview with the students and all four students had a hard time verbally articulating their skills and abilities, talking about themselves personally and delivering content in a communicative manner that seemed natural, i.e., like a human being.

ChatGPT can help you prepare for an interview just as well as a career coach but when it comes down to actually practicing your interview skills, you need to consider a human partner. Remember, human beings hire human beings. Being able to humanly, socially, authentically, and empathetically connect with your interviewer is an absolute must. A lot of hiring is still done on “gut feelings”.

I work with a lot of employers who hire students saying, “I know they don’t have a high GPA or don’t know a ton in our field yet, but they were prepared and eager to learn, I just have a good feeling about them”. So, how do you practice convincing people to take a chance on you? Or help get a “good feeling” about you? You need to connect with them on a human-to-human level.

For that reason, you should consider interview practice with other human beings and specifically, humans in your field, so they can guide you on the do’s and don’ts of your specific industry. Consider doing some Informational Interviews to not only practice interviewing but also gain networking connections who can serve as interview practice partners later on in your job search!