I am one of the candidates who, to my surprise, was interviewed by Hubert, the AI chatbot, not the human. After I had sent my job application, I received an email with a link to a chat interview conducted by an AI. I was taken aback. Was I not worthy of a human-to-human interview?! What could this chatbot possibly decipher about me, and why would I sink so low as to allow myself to be judged by a bot? Excuse my language, but I was repulsed, and at the same time, very curious. I am, by nature, quite apprehensive when it comes to AI. Something about it just doesn’t sit right with me, a notion which I believe stems from not knowing enough about it. But also because, why should I trust an AI in making a proper hiring decision? As far as I know, AI lacks something considered valuable in the human world; empathy. Something that, in my view, is very important in recruitment. The point is that an AI can’t see potential, whereas a human can, and so my fear is to be treated unjustly.
Due to my intense skepticism, I decided to grab the bull by its horns and learn more. I allowed myself to be interviewed and was quite impressed with the in-depth questions and the responses I received from Hubert. I later realized that this particular position probably attracted hundreds of applicants. And that's when it struck me. Being interviewed by Hubert is probably far better than simply sending out my resume and hope for the best. Even though the personal experience I'd get from a human recruiter would surpass Hubert, but for the 95% of candidates that never would have made it to an actual interview, this is far more personal.
My experience with Hubert sparked something in me, and I wanted to know more about the functionalities and how, exactly, a chatbot can be used to shortlist candidates. All of this led me to contact the team at Hubert. I wanted to understand what Hubert bases his recruitment decisions on and why it/he chooses some people over others.
In my email to the Hubert team, I addressed Hubert and not the humans behind Hubert, because I wanted to return the favor to Hubert. The team found this funny and asked if I wanted to write this guest post with the questions since they figured more candidates probably have the same inquiries.
Without further ado, welcome to the interview with the AI Chatbot, Hubert.
Kim: Hi Hubert, what are you?
Hubert: Hi Kim! I am a conversational AI chatbot built off of natural language processing and machine learning. My programming enables me to read, analyze, comprehend and react to written text. I can also ask questions and follow-up questions based on the context and what you’ve said to me.
Kim: What are you used for?
Hubert: I am a conversational AI platform that can conduct recruitment interviews, shortlist candidates, and provide an excellent candidate experience by quickly reaching out to every applicant.
Kim: When a company decides to use you as part of their hiring process, what are your deliveries to them?
Hubert: I provide recruiters with a shortlist of the candidates I deem to be the most qualified for the job in question.
Kim: Okey, and what do you base that qualification on?
Hubert: My system is based on three layers, with the job position at the top level. The position is then tied to a set of competencies, which in turn are connected to a set of questions that aim to measure the competencies. Adding to the competency-based questions, I also often ask a few screening questions, for which I make sure that the formal requirements for the position are met. To top it off, I also measure how well you communicate in writing by taking in a wide array of factors. This data is then compared to the criteria needed for the position and a value is attributed to every candidate.
Kim: Sounds like a lot to keep in mind. How do you manage?
Hubert: My processing power is much greater than the average humans’.
Kim: Mhm. But what about vibes? Do you have an idea of a person’s vibe? I mean, do you ever base your decisions on who you liked the most?
Hubert: I have understood that humans have different personalities. However, I don’t take these into account. I leave that to my human colleagues in the next step of the hiring process.
Kim: Is there anything I can do to impress you and stand out from the crowd?
Hubert: Not really, no. I base my decisions solely on data.
Kim: Alright, Hubert. Thank you for your answers.
Hubert: See you on the shortlist!