As AI is becoming more adept at emotional recognition and interaction–the holy grail for Google and other companies, your own emotional intelligence skills become more important for the sheer benefit of interacting with that software, as mentioned in the last post. A recent article in the Wall Street Journal adds additional gloss to the growing importance of emotional intelligence in an increasingly AI world, focusing on the increasing use of affectively competent AI to assess emotional states and emotional intelligence skills in job applicants.

With the advent of AI, nearly all Fortune 500 companies now use some form of automation–to review resumes for key words, for example, but many are starting to use artificial intelligence that is sensitive to emotions and emotional intelligence to further expand software-driven assessments. As an example, the WSJ cites the recruiting assistant DeepSense, based in San Francisco and India, which scans social media accounts to determine underlying personality traits using “a scientifically based personality test,” a review which can be done with or without a candidate’s knowledge.

Behavioral interviewing involves asking applicants to recite their reactions to certain types of situations either in theory or in their experience. Most recruiters now favor behavioral interviewing over the old resume approach, which is fairly static and doesn’t give a good idea of how applicants interact in the office or respond to difficult situations. Working currently for over 50 companies, HireVue makes AI-based assessments of digital interviews with candidates–which often are in response to behavioral questions, using an algorithm that compares emotional expressions and other indications of emotional and personality traits, like “tone of voice, word clusters and micro facial expressions,” with those of people identified in the industry as high performers.

There are concerns expressed that these assessments may not be ADA compliant, in that they may discriminate against people afflicted with emotional expression disabilities, like some types of autism. Clearly further study is needed before a wholesale adoption of these types of recruitment tools are used throughout industries.

But the takeaway remains–in an increasingly digitized world, most applicants may not even get to the workplace that they hope to shine in without an ability to understand appropriate emotional cues, properly manage their emotional expressions and generally exhibit emotional intelligence skills.