Interviewing Droids – The Five Most Important Questions to Ask

By Robert J. Harris

July 13, 2017

For those of you early and mid-career Human Resources professionals, there will come a time in the very near future when you will likely be interviewing androids along with humans for job openings in your organization.  Below are the five most important questions to ask droids in your initial screening interviews.

  1. Please tell me a little bit about yourself –  your operating system, your enhanced sensory capabilities, battery-life, recent upgrades you’ve had, or any other specifications or functions you would like us to consider in assessing your qualifications. (Be careful not to ask a droid about its date or location of manufacture. A droid’s age and place of origin, just like its human counterparts, are protected under the law).
  2. What elements of our operations caused you to narrow your search criteria and focus on our enterprise?  (Please be reminded that if the droid you are interviewing is only capable of responding by text-screen and is not voice enabled, you cannot use this as a factor for disqualification).
  3. Please tell me about any specialized intelligence(s) you maintain in your database that functionally differentiate you from other applicants for this position. (A great follow up question to the above prompt is – Are you programmed in a fixed or variable algorithm mode?)
  4. Please use three adjectives that best describe you as an entity. (This question requires non-linear thinking. If you’re looking for a droid that is creative and can innovate, this question separates the ‘bots from the boys.’)
  5. Please tell me about a difficult encounter you had with a human in the workplace. How you handled it? What you learned? And, how in the future you would re-program your operating system to change your response pattern? (In the event that a droid has a factory-programmed response to this question (most droids do), the interviewer may need to probe more deeply to elicit an authentic answer).  

Given the ubiquity of intelligent machines in the workplace in the very near future, Human Resources professional will be known as Entity Resources Coordinators. As an ERC it will be your job to ensure that, during the interview process, droids and humans have equal access to all job opportunities within your organization. Your company may even have an initiative to increase the diversity of its workforce by hiring more droids. In order to be proactive, there is no time better than the present for HR leaders to re-examine departmental policies and procedures in areas such as harassment, workplace accommodations and even dress codes to ensure compliance in the future.

Robert J. Harris (@edudexterity) is the Founder of Edudexterity.


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