University student Cho Whi-won is applying for a programming job at one of Korea's largest IT companies.
He was surprised to discover his interviewer would not be a company official, but an artificial intelligence program.
"There's suddenly a lot more to prepare for because the computer will notice my expressions, words and even pauses. So I need to practice controlling them."
This year, around 500 companies, from retailers to engineering firms, have adopted the AI recruitment system, with about 50-thousand applicants sitting down for an automated interview.
"In the past, if 10-thousand people applied for a job, only about 300 could take an interview. But an AI-based interview gives all applicants the opportunity to take the test at a place of their choosing. It also evaluates candidates in a way that is free from the prejudices or bias a human interviewer may have."
With sixty minutes on the clock, the AI interviewer shoots out roughly 70 personal questions, logic games, random scenarios and intensive questions with limited time for preparation.
"Do you think you should win no matter what, when you're in a competition?"
Every word counts, as does every flinch or side glance, as the program detects your expression, tone, and reaction down to the millisecond.
Developers say capturing candid, reflexive responses helps determine which candidates are the best fit for the job, in terms of ability and personality.
However, experts say there are various ethical issues to consider before pushing ahead with the use of AI interviews.
It is difficult to evaluate someone's character so this should be done with caution, in a multifaceted approach -- not just relying solely on AI interviews. On the issue of impartiality, many tend to think computers are foolproof. But the program may pick up negative bias or cultural elements embedded in a company, such as male-centric values.
Meanwhile, job seekers have mixed feelings about the latest interview technology.
A recent survey shows, out of 3-thousand respondents, 51 percent said they favoured the system largely due to its fairness.
49 percent disagreed, most of them believing interviews shouldn't be standardized or conducted by machines.
Jeong says more introspection is needed, on a corporate and societal level, to decide to what extent AI programs should be used to assess a person's character and potential, and what kind of traits to look for.
Oh Soo-young, Arirang News.