Chat-based interviews reliably predict job fit

To find out how to improve candidate experience using Recruitment Automation, we also have a great eBook on candidate experience.


A major study has validated the ability of AI-powered, chat-based interviews to assess personality traits and job fit.

The analysis of Sapia’s model, which uses text-based communication to interview candidates, has been published in peer-reviewed journal IEEE Access.

The researchers used data from more than 46,000 job applicants who completed an online chat interview and a questionnaire based on the six-factor HEXACO personality model. The HEXACO traits are honesty-humility, emotionality, extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, and openness to experience.

Personality models such as the Big Five and HEXACO are based on the ‘lexical hypothesis’. That is personality characteristics are encoded in language, showing the foundational impact of language in defining identifiable personality traits, the researchers say.

After the applicants’ personality traits were assessed they were asked to provide feedback on the accuracy of how they were described. Also, the researchers found 87.8% of the participants agreed with the description given for each of the six traits.

Behavioural questions

To avoid focusing on hypothetical scenarios that create potential for candidates to give similar answers to others. Also, the interviews are oriented towards behavioural, not situational questions, Sapia CEO Barbara Hyman tells Shortlist.

Candidates can likely work out what trait is being assessed by each question. However, they can’t “game” their responses with pre-rehearsed scenarios, she says.

Examples of the questions used in the interviews include:

  • Which of our values do you really connect with, and why?
  • Explain to us the one thing you really want to learn from someone else that you work with and why?
  • What is a goal that you’ve set for yourself and what did you learn from achieving it (or not)?
  • Sometimes things don’t always go to plan. Describe a time when you failed to meet a deadline or personal commitment. What did you do? How did that make you feel?
  • What motivates you? What are you passionate about?
  • Not everyone agrees all the time. Have you had a peer, teammate or friend disagree with you? What did you do?
  • In sales, thinking fast is critical. What qualifies you for this? Provide an example.
  • Would you rather win, or be happy? Explain your answer.
  • Tell us about a time when you went above and beyond to do something for someone; how did that make you feel?

Sapia: Making recruitment easy!

Candidates respond to the assessment questions with a noticeable sense of intimacy and authenticity, even including emojis in their answers. “The same way they would respond to a friend”, says Hyman.

Finally, she adds that a text-based approach leaves less room for recruiter partiality compared to CVs, psychometric assessments, and video interviews.

Predicting personality using answers to open-ended interview questions, IEEE, June 2020


Source: Shortlist.net.au | Wednesday 15 July 2020 9:21am


Sign up to our newsletter