Unbiased by Design With a Human Touch

Until now, recruiters and hiring managers have lacked tools that objectively assess soft skills and personality traits. Our AI interview robot is changing that. Tengai’s natural language processing engine and D&I software powered by 15 years of recruitment methodology provides new opportunities for recruiters and hiring managers. But how does a job interview with the social AI-robot Tengai really work? 

Tengai conducts blind, unbiased job interviews and candidate assessments. The robot’s diversity and inclusion software was originally developed by staffing and recruitment agency TNG. In collaboration with social robotics experts Furhat Robotics, who built the physical structure and software platform.

Together, the companies’ vision was to offer clients and job seekers a more fair recruitment process. Thus, the focus was on mitigating unconscious bias from the job interview. A stage also known as the most critical and biased part of the recruitment funnel. The combination of TNG’s 15 years experience in unbiased recruitment with Furhats AI-insights made it all possible.

How Tengai Works and Performs Unbiased Job Interviews

All Stages

Can be integrated into different stages of the recruitment funnel

15 Minute Interviews

Performs 15–18 minutes blind interviews

Same Questions

All candidates get the same open-ended and closed situational based questions

Assesses Soft Skills

Objectively measures soft skills and personality traits

Produces Transcripts

Produces interview transcripts with recommended candidate evaluation

Fair Scoring

Fairly scores job seekers, based only on job requirements

Data Driven

Supports data-driven hiring decisions

GDPR Compliant

Up to date regarding laws concerning personal data

Social AI robot Tengai conducts unbiased job interviews

Structured Interview Process

The interview with Tengai consists of three different phases. First, the welcome phase, followed by the job interview and completed with the thank you phase. The purpose of the first and closing phase is to increase engagement and build trust with the applicant. Tengai produces useful analytics by screening for soft skills and personality traits throughout the robot interview. The full interview takes about 15 to 18 minutes.

During the interview, Tengai is placed on top of a table directly across from the candidate she will interview. Prior to meeting Tengai, we inform the candidate about how the robot interview will work and how the results will be used and analyze. During the introduction, Tengai briefly talks about the job at hand and the interview process. She then – in a dialogue format – starts the interview. When the interview is over, Tengai will wrap-up the meeting and explain how to contact a recruiter if needed. Finally, the robot interview will end with Tengai explaining the next steps in the process.

Asks Questions and Gives Feedback

During Tengai’s interview, she always asks questions in the exact same way and in the same order. Through that, we ensure a fair interview experience for all candidates. It also creates higher reliability and consistency. Throughout the robot interview, Tengai gives “human” feedback. That includes nodding, smiling, leaning of the head or saying “mhm”. These cues encourage the candidate to give elaborate answers. If the answer is too vague, Tengai might ask the candidate to give more concrete examples.

In other words, the mimics, sounds, and facial expressions Tengai are well thought through in order to make the robot more relatable. Along the development process, the Tengai team studied and filmed several hundred interviews of diverse recruiters. Consequently, Tengai’s “human” qualities create a robot interview where job seekers feel safe, comfortable and get a state-of-the-art candidate experience.

“Tell me about a work situation when you found it difficult to work with colleagues in a team or project. And why did you find it difficult?”

An example of a question

The Interview Evaluation and Analytics

Tengai records and produces transcripts and interview analytics throughout the robot interview. This provides recruiters and hiring managers with data-based insights to make better and educated hiring decisions.

With Tengai, all applicants have the same interview experience. As a result, it is possible to measure and objectively compare candidates’ results. In order to do this, we use a Talent Quality Score Card. The score card makes it possible to evaluate each candidate’s interview answer in reference to the job requirement profile.

The analytics that interprets Tengai’s transcripts screens for two groups of datasets. First, we analyze the text for open-ended questions that measure positive and negative behavioral anchors for each required skill. Second, we look at the closed-ended questions and the behavioral science statistics for each skill. Finally, we compare the total score and score combination for soft skills and personality traits to the required skills. This also means that we don’t necessarily recommend the candidate with the highest result. Instead, we focus on which candidate is the best match. Based on what the company is looking for and the wanted competencies.

This is Tengai

  • Social AI-robot with a natural language processing engine
  • Unbiased by design with interview inclusion and diversity software
  • Wide-angle, high fidelity camera, and beamforming stereo microphones
  • Natural head movements using three degrees of freedom
  • 41 cm (16in)
  • 3,5 kg (7.7lbs)

Unbiased and Fair Candidate Experience

Tengai is unbiased by design. This means she doesn’t care about age, looks, gender or ethnicity. Equally important, she won’t judge candidates based on their tone of voice or dialect. A diverse team of recruiters and programmers trained the innovative robot. Consequently, Tengai has a fair code, capable to make objective evaluations, and fair assessments.

To meet a robot for the first time is an experience. With this in mind, we strive to make it an extraordinary experience. The Tengai team has worked extensively to understand what factors in a meeting between a human and a robot that will make the job seeker feel safe and comfortable. Therefore, we have incorporated ideas and suggestions from hundreds of test applicants. But the work is far from done. And we continuously work to evolve the robot interview. Furthermore, we aim to design a candidate experience that surprises, but also delivers value to the job seeker.