Bot Project  -  to Be or not to Be?



My thought process was pretty simple, “..why do it on Google Forms when I could create a ChatBot!” – that was back on Monday 19th November 2018; as I sit here typing this post, I think I’ve gone too far down the chatbot-shaped rabbit hole. In short, I think I’ve over complicated it!

The motivation behind the chatbot, was to create an interactive survey as part of my on-going research into the job interview and my attempt to answer one question – “Has the job interview format changed that much?”

Why am I interested in interviews?

The reason for this is twofold; one, there has been a proliferation of technology that has been created to support, automate and replace the ‘human element’ of the interview process. Secondly, the traditional interview focused on skills and experience are also now starting to incorporate (or be replaced) by the assessment of soft skills, behavioural and motivational drivers and, the often referenced, ‘future potential’.

In addition, I wanted the survey to be a ‘community project’ as I intend to share the results with everyone that requests a copy of the report; in short, if you’re a Hiring Manager, In-House Talent Acquisition Professional, Agency Recruiter, HR Professional or you work for an RPO, the report could inform your plans for 2019. Also, as an interviewee, this could provide you with valuable insight into the formats you might experience during the interview process next year.



Like most non-techies, I used Chatfuel to create my Bot and I started with the usual ‘Welcome message’ and choices of options for the end user basically giving them the option to start the survey, be persuaded by me to take the survey or completely opt out (see slide show below).

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Then I had used the Google Forms template to create the sections of the conversation tree and options for the person interacting with the Bot – the difference between the Forms and a Bot is that you have to put a lot more thought into the flow because you’re no longer just asking someone to ‘tick boxes’. Now you’ve reached the start of the process of constructing your ‘Groups’ and/or ‘Sequences’ which is both a wonderful option, however, I had to consider the ‘experience’ of the person now.

I think this was the point that I started to layer numerous options for two reasons; I was thinking about what possible answers and options a person might want to see, also, I was thinking about the options I’d like to see and experience.

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The survey basically aims to answer the following questions:

  • What has been your role within interviews during the course of 2018?
  • What is your industry sector or your clients industry sector?
  • What interview formats have you used in 2018?
  • What interview questions have you used in 2018?
  • What interview technology have you used in 2018?
  • What interview formats, questions and technology are you planning to use / use more of / implement in 2019?

: however, with the Bot at my fingertips, I started to expand the details of the question(s) to see if I could add more value to the survey results (the thereby, add more value for everyone who wanted a copy of the report afterwards).


This is the point I am at now….do I continue with the Bot or do I stick to the Google Forms option?


GIF courtesy of Sylvia Boomer Yang @boomeryang








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