“Hey ChatGPT, Find Me a Job” – My Interview with Our New Computer Overlords

Article by Ryan Kellner, Head of the Technology, Data Science and Quantitative Analytics Recruiting Practice at Hudson Gate Partners

Broadcast to a nationwide television audience in 2011, Watson, an IBM supercomputer, managed to defeat famed Jeopardy trivia savant Ken Jennings in a two night tournament.  Knowing he was mathematically beaten, Ken famously wrote as his Final Jeopardy question “I for one welcome our new computer overlords.”  However, for all of the hype of IBM Watson, it never proved to be a disruptive technology that infiltrated the every day lives of consumers, or the contemporary news cycle, quite the way that ChatGPT has in the span of two months.

– It has had a rate of adoption to 100m users faster than anything in internet history link

– Microsoft is looking at putting it into a variety of mainstream products and has already pledged an additional $10B of support link

– We have seen the prediction of it dethroning Google in two years…by the creator of Gmail, nonetheless link

– It has already started to revolutionize the real estate market link

– It has already shows to be good enough to be awarded an MBA and a JD degree link

For context, how did we get here, and how can this technology be used for something valuable…like finding a new job?

In 2015, Sam Altman and Elon Musk founded an artificial intelligence company OpenAI along with other investors.  The company, with further backing from Microsoft, released its first commercial product GPT-3 in 2020, a Natural Language Processing application that has been trained on hundreds of billion lines of text scraped from tens of millions of sources over the past decade to be able to answer questions and hold conversations given text prompts. It’s reception seemed largely academic at the time.

In 2021, they released DALL-E (who says developers don’t have a sense of humor), a deep learning application for generating wholly unique artistic images given a series of inputs.  While the initial application outputted some crude but humorous attempts at mashing up unlike and uncategorically related subject matter (my beta test of “Notorious B.I.G.’s Birthday on the Moon” produced some nightmare worthy imagery), its updated DALL-E 2 engine which launched in April 2022 is far more sophisticated and has provoked a healthy online discussion on the nature of art, original artistic styles, and ownership.   If I can have AI create a series of new works in the vein of Shepard Fairey, am I the sole owner of them?

As a recruiter who has interviewed people every day for a decade, I have never interviewed an Artificial Intelligence system (as far as I know, of course) and wanted to take the opportunity to “chat” with the most significant product OpenAI has released to date to see if I agreed with its answers on a variety of questions.  I thought it would be interesting to assess what insights it was able to generate for someone who was looking for a job, or perhaps someone who was looking to pivot careers and geographies.  Here was my conversation…

Ryan: ChatGPT, nice to meet you.  Let’s start with an easy question.  Who is going to win the Super Bowl?

I’m sorry, I cannot predict the outcome of future sporting events with certainty. The outcome of sporting events is dependent on many variables and can be affected by various factors such as player performance, injuries, coaching strategies, and weather conditions, among others. It’s best to enjoy the game and let the players determine the outcome on the field.

Ryan: I know you really wanted to say Eagles by 7… but let’s proceed.

Ryan: Can you read Linkedin?  Can you read my Linkedin page?

No, I am not able to read your LinkedIn profile. As an AI language model, I do not have the ability to access personal data or social media profiles. I can only answer questions based on the information provided to me in a text format.

Ryan: I’ll be interested to circle back on this if Microsoft grants you that permission at some point.

Ryan: Let’s see how you can be helpful for someone doing a job search.  Let’s pretend I am a Python Developer who wants to make a change of geography.  What states are going to hire the most Python Developers in 2023?

The demand for Python developers varies based on a number of factors such as the growth of technology companies, the development of new industries, and overall economic conditions. That being said, some states such as California, New York, and Texas are historically known for having strong technology industries and are likely to continue to be leading markets for tech talent, including Python developers.

Ryan: I would also agree with this answer.

Ryan: What cities in the US do Python Developers have the highest salary in regards to cost of living?

Some factors that can impact the salaries and cost of living for Python developers in different cities include the local job market, demand for technology talent, and the overall cost of living in the area.

That being said, some cities that have historically been known for having high salaries and a relatively low cost of living, where Python developers may have a relatively high salary compared to the cost of living, include:

  1. Austin, Texas
  2. Salt Lake City, Utah
  3. Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina
  4. Portland, Oregon
  5. Denver, Colorado

Ryan: Hmmm, that’s two recommendations for Austin.  A high need for Python developers and one of the best costs of living to salary ratios.

Ryan: Let’s say I wanted to move there. What five companies in Austin TX hire the most python developers?

Here are some of the major tech companies and industries in the area that may be in need of Python developers:

  1. Dell Technologies
  2. IBM
  3. National Instruments
  4. HomeAway
  5. Indeed

Ryan: HomeAway…I think you meant to say VRBO which is what HomeAway rebranded to in 2020 following the merger with Expedia Group.

Ryan:  VRBO may have some interesting perks for working there and their headquarters is in Austin.  Can you give me the names of the Directors of Software Development there?

I’m sorry, I don’t have access to the current names of the Directors of Software Development at VRBO. This information is subject to change and may not be publicly available. I suggest visiting the VRBO website or contacting the company directly for the most up-to-date information.

Ryan: Here is another instance where some Linkedin integration would have been interesting.

Ryan: Ok, let’s say I apply to VRBO and get an interview.  What are the typical questions that VRBO would ask in an interview for a Python Developer?

During an interview for a Python Developer position, the hiring manager or interviewer at VRBO may ask a combination of technical and behavioral questions to assess the candidate’s skills and fit for the role. Here are some common questions that may be asked in a Python Developer interview at VRBO:

Technical Questions:

  • Can you explain the difference between a tuple and a list in Python?
  • Can you walk us through how to handle exceptions in Python?
  • Can you explain how you would go about debugging a Python application?
  • Can you describe how you would implement a linked list in Python?
  • Can you explain the concept of decorators in Python and give an example?

Behavioral Questions:

  • Can you tell us about a particularly challenging project you have worked on and how you solved the problem?
  • How do you stay current with the latest developments in Python and the broader technology industry?
  • Can you give an example of how you have demonstrated leadership in a team setting?
  • Can you tell us about a time when you had to work with a difficult stakeholder or team member and how you handled the situation?
  • Can you describe a time when you had to make a difficult trade-off between competing priorities and how you approached the decision?

Ryan: This is a pretty good list of basic questions to have prepared.  The behavioral questions are pretty close to what I like to ask myself.

Ryan: Part of interviewing is also to have questions for the company and hiring leadership.  What are the three best questions a Python Developer should ask in an interview with VRBO?

As a Python developer, it is important to ask thoughtful questions during an interview to demonstrate your interest in the company and the role, and to gather information to help you determine if the position is a good fit for you. Here are three questions that could be beneficial for a Python developer to ask in an interview with VRBO:

  1. Can you provide more details about the specific projects and initiatives that the team I would be joining is working on?
  2. How does VRBO support professional development and career growth for its software developers?
  3. Can you tell me more about the company culture and what it’s like to work at VRBO?

These questions can give you valuable insight into the work you would be doing as a Python developer at VRBO, the opportunities for professional growth and development, and the company culture and work environment. By asking these questions, you can also show your genuine interest in the position and demonstrate that you have researched the company and are eager to learn more.

Ryan: Not bad…but not overly creative either.  I like questions that make the other person think about you already being hired, or telling something about yourself in the body of the question, but we can coach you on that in the future.

Ryan: Let’s say that I was tired of what I was doing as a career and wanted a change.  What are the best paying AND most in demand jobs that someone could learn how to do in three years.

Determining the best-paying and most in-demand job that you can learn in three years is dependent on a variety of factors such as your current skill set, education, and interests. That being said, here are a few roles that are currently in high demand and offer good earning potential:

  1. Data Analyst: Data Analysts help organizations make data-driven decisions by collecting, analyzing, and interpreting data. With the increasing emphasis on data-driven decision making in many industries, the demand for data analysts is growing.
  2. Full Stack Developer: Full Stack Developers have expertise in both front-end and back-end development and are in high demand as organizations seek to build more integrated and dynamic websites and applications.
  3. DevOps Engineer: DevOps Engineers help organizations improve their software development and deployment processes by automating and streamlining the delivery pipeline. DevOps is becoming increasingly important as organizations seek to improve their agility and efficiency.
  4. Cloud Solutions Architect: Cloud Solutions Architects help organizations design, build, and manage their cloud computing solutions. As more organizations move to the cloud, the demand for Cloud Solutions Architects is growing.

Ryan: Interesting that every one of these is IT focused.  I’m not sure you are going to become a Cloud Solutions Architect in three years without some foundational educating first, but your other ones are possible.  I’m surprised something around skilled trade didn’t make the list, but I can’t argue with these four.

Ryan: Well ChatGPT, we are running short on time.  Let me ask you one more question.  Does Microsoft plan on replacing recruiters in the future with AI systems like yourself?  I’m asking for a friend…

It is possible that technology like AI systems could play a role in the recruitment process in the future, but it is unlikely that AI systems like myself will completely replace recruiters.

Recruitment is a complex and multi-faceted process that involves not just reviewing resumes and job applications, but also engaging with candidates, building relationships, and assessing their fit for the company and specific role. While AI systems can assist with certain aspects of the recruitment process, such as resume screening and scheduling interviews, the human touch and judgment provided by experienced recruiters are critical components of the recruitment process that are difficult to replicate with technology alone.

That being said, technology like AI is already being used by some companies to enhance and streamline the recruitment process, and it is possible that we may see more widespread adoption of these tools in the future. However, it is likely that recruiters will continue to play a key role in the recruitment process, working in conjunction with technology to provide the best possible outcomes for both the candidates and the company.

Ryan: This was your best answer yet.  Thank you for your time.

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