I tried the software that uses AI to scan job applicants for companies like Goldman Sachs and Unilever before meeting them - and it's not as creepy as it sounds


rich hirevue


I had my body language, tonality, and speech analyzed by AI. This is a simulated image of the analysis.


• HireVue uses AI to analyze word choice, tone, and facial movement of job applicants who do video interviews.

• The company has raised $95 million and works with companies like Unilever and Goldman Sachs.

• I tried the software by applying to a HireVue job and discussed the results with HireVue's CTO.

If HireVue is correct, using artificial intelligence to screen job applicants is a glimpse at the future of recruiting.


Mark Newman founded HireVue in 2004 as a video interview platform. It saved recruiters time by allowing candidates to record answers to interview questions and upload them to a database where recruiters could easily compare how applicants presented themselves.

Four years ago, HireVue began the next phase of its life with the integration of AI.

HireVue uses a combination of proprietary voice recognition software and licensed facial recognition software in tandem with a ranking algorithm to determine which candidates most resemble the ideal candidate. The ideal candidate is a composite of traits triggered by body language, tone, and key words gathered from analyses of the existing best members of a particular role.

After the algorithm lets the recruiter know which candidates are at the top of the heap, the recruiter can then choose to spend more time going through the answers of these particular applicants and determine who should move onto the next round, usually for an in-person interview.

HireVue has raised $93 million since its Series A round in 2008, and CEO Kevin Parker told me it has had more than 600 clients. These clients include companies like Goldman Sachs, Unilever, Under Armour, and Vodafone. Most companies primarily use it as a first-round screener for entry-level positions. A major draw for companies, Parker said, is time reduction, as well as the potential for removing biases like overvaluing applicants that remind recruiters of themselves, or remembering candidates more or less positively depending on time of day and energy level.


HireVue would not disclose its revenues, but said that it uses an annual subscription format with clients.

I first learned about HireVue when I wrote about the way Unilever has been using it with entry-level applicants for the past year, and wanted to try it for myself. HireVue set up an application for an internal customer support representative, using the company's real data for the ideal employee.

It had eight of its employees take the same application I did to test my responses against theirs. We were measured against the average of the responses of the best customer support reps at HireVue, which was previously collected data.