Meet Tengai the Swedish Robot: The Only Unbiased Interviewer in the World?

Published March 18th, 2019 - 12:05 GMT
The robot is designed to offer job seekers interviews that are free from any of the unconscious biases. (Shutterstock)
The robot is designed to offer job seekers interviews that are free from any of the unconscious biases. (Shutterstock)

By Rim ElChami

As a job seeker, how would you feel if you were interviewed by a robot? Would you feel that this is a fair interview since you’re being evaluated based on your expertise and skills only? Or would you feel that you’re being deprived from getting to know the company’s culture and environment by removing the human element from the interview?

More questions and concerns arose when the Swedish company, Furhat Robotics, released world’s first robot designed to conduct unbiased job interviews, Tengai.

The robot is designed to offer job seekers interviews that are free from any of the unconscious biases such as gender, ethnicity, voice, education, and appearance. It is programmed to ask the candidates a list of questions in an identical way, in the same tone, and typically, in the same order; without engaging with any of them in pre-interview chit-chats.

The recruiters or hiring managers are then given text transcripts of the conducted interviews which would help them in deciding if a candidate is qualified enough to move to the stage based on his/her answers solely.

One of the main reasons that motivated the Swedish tech start-up to develop Tengai is the outstanding difference between the unemployment figures of the native Swedes (around 4%), and citizens born abroad (more than 15%).

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Although the main objective of this invention is to create a fairer and more objective interview, will recruiters be able to rely entirely on a robot in deciding the competency of a candidate? And how fair would this robotic interview be for the candidate if s/he chouldn’t have the opportunity to meet the person s/he will be working with?

 


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