• International Journal of Technology (IJTech)
  • Vol 13, No 2 (2022)

Interview Bot Development with Natural Language Processing and Machine Learning

Interview Bot Development with Natural Language Processing and Machine Learning

Title: Interview Bot Development with Natural Language Processing and Machine Learning
Joko Siswanto, Sinung Suakanto, Made Andriani, Margareta Hardiyanti, Tien Febriyanti Kusumasari

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Cite this article as:
Siswanto, J., Suakanto, S., Andriani, M., Hardiyanti, M., Kusumasari, T.F., 2022. Interview Bot Development with Natural Language Processing and Machine Learning. International Journal of Technology. Volume 13(2), pp. 274-285

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Joko Siswanto Industrial Management Research Group, Industrial Technology Faculty, Bandung Institute of Technology, Jl. Ganesa 10, Bandung 40132, Indonesia
Sinung Suakanto Cybernetics Research Group, Telkom University, Jl. Telekomunikasi No.1, Kab. Bandung 40257, Indonesia
Made Andriani Industrial Management Research Group, Industrial Technology Faculty, Bandung Institute of Technology, Jl. Ganesa 10, Bandung 40132, Indonesia
Margareta Hardiyanti Cybernetics Research Group, Telkom University, Jl. Telekomunikasi No.1, Kab. Bandung 40257, Indonesia
Tien Febriyanti Kusumasari Cybernetics Research Group, Telkom University, Jl. Telekomunikasi No.1, Kab. Bandung 40257, Indonesia
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Abstract
Interview Bot Development with Natural Language Processing and Machine Learning

Interview for competency assessment takes essential roles in Human Resource Management practices. However, the traditional competency interview process needs considerable time and costs and often requires face-to-face meetings that may endanger both interviewers and interviewees during a pandemic. This study aims to present the development of an interview bot for identifying competency based on the Behavioural Event Interview method by using artificial intelligence technology. It is an automation of the interview process to explore a person’s competencies levels based on past behavioural experiences. The development of the interview bot involved two main activities. The first is the data training process to develop learning models to determine competency levels based on provided valid participant’s responses. The second is the testing and evaluation model for assessment to determine competency levels.  We found that our method can predict a person's competence levels based on their responses. Our approach can make predictions with acceptable accuracy. The interview bot is a valuable and reliable tool to conduct online interviews and support the assessment centre process, especially with conditions of physical and social distancing constraints. It provides flexibility in terms of time and place for participants, and its process is delivered in Indonesia's Language. The interview bot is more cost efficient than traditional interviews with the same behavioural event interview methods, and it would also be preferable for millennials.

Artificial intelligence; Behavioural event interview; Chat bot; Interview bot; Machine learning

Introduction

Recognizing the importance of competencies for competitive advantages, the Government of Indonesia (GOI), as a policymaker, issued regulations that encourage both governmental and private business organizations to increase employee competencies. One of the government’s regulations is the Decree of the Employment Minister of the Republic of Indonesia, Number 2 of 2016, concerning the National Work Competency Standardization System. The statute contains a comprehensive and synergic arrangement of national work competency standards intended to improve Indonesian human resources competencies. With the issuance of the regulation, Indonesian workers must meet the established competency standards to be able to work in an organization. Therefore, organizations must regularly conduct competency assessments.

One of the techniques that organizations can use to perform competency assessments is a behavioural event interview (BEI). BEI is a systematic interviewing method that is carried out in five stages: introducing and explaining the interview process, extracting information about job responsibilities, extracting information about behavioural events, exploring the characteristics required for the job, and finally, drawing conclusions and summaries. In contrast to ordinary interviews, which are considered less reliable in predicting candidates who will perform well, BEIs can reveal detailed behavioural descriptions of how someone does their job and thus overcome the ineffectiveness of typical interviews. However, although BEI is a suitable method for measuring competencies, it also has some weaknesses. For example, the interview process takes longer, requires many certified interviewers—trained experts are still limited in number—requires high organizing costs, and introduces potential interviewer bias in the assessment. Meanwhile, the need for conducting competency assessment increases in line with the growing awareness of conducting competency assessment in companies and organizations.

In conducting BEIs, interviewers look for clues about the interviewee’s past experiences. In English, these can be identified from past-tense responses. However, Indonesian grammar is simple in the sense that it has no past-tense pattern. Instead, it uses keywords that indicate the time or frequency of one’s actions. Therefore, developing an interview bot that “speaks” Indonesian presents a different challenge and requires a different approach. The fourth Industrial Revolution has impacted automation technology development in various fields, and technological advances are being integrated in every aspect of our lives (Berawi, 2018). Artificial intelligence (AI) facilitates decision-making, creates integrative systems, and simplifies complex mechanisms though automation (Berawi, 2020). There are AI applications in many fields, including human resource management systems. AI refers to machines’ ability to perform tasks usually associated with human thinking, especially by using computer systems. AI allows computers to learn from and make decisions or recommend actions based on available data and helps to solve complex problems. AI applications can support repetitive or patterned processes.

Likewise, human resource management (HRM) is a viable field in which to implement automation technology, for example, in chatbots as part of the interview process. The weaknesses of BEI could be minimized by developing an interview bot as a substitute for or accompaniment to interviewers or appraisers. Moreover, such bots could conduct interviews remotely, reducing interview costs and increasing time flexibility.

Eubanks (2017) reported that experimenting with short message service (SMS)-based interactions aids in interview scheduling provided benefits. Further, the process was undertaken by a bot, not a person. It has also been found that candidates primarily interact with the interview bots outside of regular office hours. Thus, the recruiters do not have to work overtime, as parts of the interview process could be taken over by bots. In a typical automatic talent acquisition process, the candidates interact with an interview bot, allowing the recruiters to engage in other activities simultaneously. Recruitment chatbots cannot respond to questions that are not expected. This could be handled by a program that sends the questions directly to the staff responsible for answering them. Hence, the way in which AI is used today in the recruitment process is intended to leverage the benefits of implementing bots in various ways.

The interview bot application for assessing competency levels is a further development of chatbot technology. A chatbot is a computer system that operates as an interface between human users and software applications, using natural written and oral language to communicate. Some examples of chatbots that have been developed are Siri, IBM Watson, and Google Assistant. A chatbot has several advantages, including ease of access, efficiency, availability, scalability, cost, and insight. Chatbot technology has been applied in various fields, such as handling e-commerce queries (Pricilla et al., 2018), web shopping helpers, hotel reservation agents, and FAQ agents (Siddig & Hines, 2019), and various digital consumers (Rese et al., 2020). However, chatbot applications for supporting HRM practices remain underdeveloped.

A chatbot architecture can be further developed to have an information retrieval function and interactively “generate” questions by applying AI technology. This may work in two ways and can support artificial interviews (Suakanto et al., 2021). AI technology includes machine learning, deep learning, neural networks, and natural language processing (NLP). Cowgill (2018) used machine learning for hiring white-collar workers. The challenge of developing AI and machine learning for HRM is related to the number of data sets, which tends to be relatively small by data science standards (Tambe et al., 2019). As a branch of AI, NLP has been employed in human interview systems. An interactive interview bot system based on NLP was developed to conduct interviews and generate results automatically (Yakkundi et al., 2019). One of the critical benefits of NLP is its ability to process and understand unstructured text data automatically.

Conducting competency assessments using interview bots provides many advantages. The interview process is conducted with prospective job applicants or employees, who will be assessed for competencies by bots that have been designed to present adaptive multilevel interview questions and have the ability to analyse the initial competency level from the answers given. It is expected that an interview bot will consistently assess competency levels to reduce interviewers’ subjective bias. Interview bots may also provide a suitable interface for millennials, who prefer to interact with the help of intelligent computer applications. Moreover, during the pandemic, in which face-to-face interviews need to be avoided or at least minimized, interview bots will substantially contribute to preventing the spread of viruses through face-to-face interview processes. In addition, interview bots will allow companies to increase their assessment capacity and reduce interview costs. This study presents an interview bot application using the BEI method for interview text in the Indonesian language that helps organizations and companies assess competency levels more accurately and efficiently. This research focuses on developing a text-based interview bot algorithm for competency assessment and evaluating its performance. 

Conclusion

This study has successfully developed an interview bot that uses machine learning to determine the competence level of a person. In this research, we use an Indonesian language dataset. To converse with human participants, we use NLP technology. This study demonstrated very good accuracy in various scenarios. The results of this study can be used as the basis for developing an interview bot that is closer to professional interviews. One of the important aspects of this system is datasets. With a more extensive and comprehensive dataset, it is possible that the system would be richer in information and achieve better accuracy. For future works, the system could be enhanced to use voice interaction instead of text-based chat. The frequency, types, and depth of the questions could also be made more adaptive to match the psychological aspects of the interviewee.

Supplementary Material
FilenameDescription
R1-IE-5018-20211004214556.pdf Table 1-5 pdf
R1-IE-5018-20211004214642.pdf Figure 1-7 pdf
R1-IE-5018-20211004214712.docx Table 1-5 docx
R1-IE-5018-20211004214932.docx Figure 1-7 docx
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