How to Identify Generative AI in Candidate Assessments Or Cover Letters


    How to Identify Generative AI in Candidate Assessments Or Cover Letters

    In the evolving landscape of recruitment, discerning the influence of generative AI in candidate evaluations is crucial. We've gathered insights from CEOs and founders, among other experts, to share their strategies. From asking for creative short-form responses to employing plagiarism detection tools, explore these seven expert tips for identifying AI influence in candidate assessments.

    • Ask for Creative Short-Form Responses
    • Focus on Candidate Fit Over AI Use
    • Trust Human Intuition Over Technology
    • Combine AI-Detection Software with Interviews
    • Look for Lack of Human Touch
    • Analyze for Overly Polished Language
    • Employ Plagiarism Detection Tools

    Ask for Creative Short-Form Responses

    A great method to detect AI-generated content in candidate assessments or cover letters is to ask candidates to provide specific, short-form written responses to unusual or complex questions during the application process. These questions should be designed to require creative or critical thinking that goes beyond generic responses. By analyzing these responses, you can look for depth of thought, understanding of subtle nuances, and personal anecdotes that are less likely to be convincingly generated by AI.

    Scott Foley
    Scott FoleyCareer Change Coach, Scott Foley Coaching

    Focus on Candidate Fit Over AI Use

    As a recruiter, I've tried pretty much all the AI detection software available. The truth is, it's not useful. These programs highlight so many words and phrases, it's a nearly 100% catch rate. But when I look at the same cover letters, I only see well-written and polished documents.

    My tip is to worry less about the use of generative AI, and instead, evaluate cover letters as you normally would. Stilted or robotic text can be a sign of AI... or simply a punctilious worker.

    The result should be the same in any case. Choose candidates whose culture and working style match the existing tone of your office. Some work lends itself to automation, and an employee utilizing such a tool is actually a positive.

    Linn Atiyeh
    Linn AtiyehCEO, Bemana

    Trust Human Intuition Over Technology

    We rely on a simple yet effective tool for identifying the use of generative AI in candidate assessments or cover letters—good old-fashioned human intuition.

    While technology can certainly aid in the screening process, there's no substitute for a keen eye and gut feeling when it comes to evaluating the authenticity and quality of a candidate's application. By staying attuned to subtle cues and inconsistencies in language and content, we're able to separate the genuine from the generated with ease.

    Trust your instincts; they're often the best tool in your arsenal when it comes to spotting AI-generated content.

    Alex Stasiak
    Alex StasiakCEO & Founder, Startup House

    Combine AI-Detection Software with Interviews

    One of the most useful tools is the use of AI-detection software like GPTZero or Copyleaks, developed to identify content emanating from AI.

    These tools work on the text for patterns and inconsistencies made by AI-generated writing. For instance, they are tested for unusually high levels of coherence, the lack of personal stories, and the style and structures of language that pervade the text, which really don't appear completely human. Passing candidate submissions through this detector allows us to flag likely instances of AI use for closer review.

    Apart from the use of software tools, another practical tip is to carry out follow-up interviews with questions directly tied to the content of the cover letter or assessment articulated by the candidate. This will help set the frame on how well the candidate reaches the depth of the subject matter being discussed.

    At the same time, we can check how deeply the candidate can go into detail to explain, in an elaborate manner, their written responses. If somebody cannot elaborate any further on what they wrote, it could hint at them using generative AI tools.

    The integrity of the recruitment process shall be upheld through the combination of AI-detection software and strategic follow-up interviews that ensure the authenticity of the assessments of the candidate.

    Alex Cornici
    Alex CorniciSEO Manager at, Awesome Hibachi

    Look for Lack of Human Touch

    One important piece of advice to recognize content produced with AI is to look for a lack of human touch. Although AI can produce outstanding descriptions, it frequently struggles to capture the more minute details of original literature. Check for excessive accuracy in grammar, abstract wording, and inadequate use of first-hand narrative or concrete experiences.

    Does the writing seem impersonal and automated? Sounds like something that would be appropriate for any job description, doesn't it? It may be time to delve slightly further to explore the prospect of artificial intelligence (AI) assistance, if the candidate has flawless grades, but lacks an authentic demeanor or distinctive skills.

    Faizan Khan
    Faizan KhanPublic Relations and Content Marketing Specialist, Ubuy Australia

    Analyze for Overly Polished Language

    One effective tool we use for identifying the use of generative AI in candidate assessments or cover letters at our legal process outsourcing company is to analyze the language and content for signs of unnatural or overly polished writing.

    For instance, during a recent hiring process, we received a cover letter that seemed exceptionally generic and devoid of personalization, leading us to suspect it might have been generated by AI.

    Upon closer examination, we discovered that certain phrases and expressions were repeated verbatim across multiple applications, suggesting a lack of genuine human input.

    This experience taught us the importance of scrutinizing the authenticity and originality of candidates' submissions, prompting us to implement more thorough screening processes to ensure that we are engaging with genuinely qualified and motivated individuals.

    Aseem Jha
    Aseem JhaFounder, Legal Consulting Pro

    Employ Plagiarism Detection Tools

    I use plagiarism detection software to identify the use of AI in candidate cover letters. These tools analyze the text for similarities with existing content across the web. They help to identify potential instances of AI-generated content.

    Additionally, I pay attention to inconsistencies in writing style, language proficiency, or overly generic responses. These can also be indications of AI-generated text. By leveraging these tools and strategies, I can ensure the authenticity and originality of candidate submissions. This allows me to be more fair and accurate when I assess their qualifications and suitability for the role.

    Perry Zheng
    Perry ZhengFounder and CEO, Pallas