After graduating high school, I did what every teenager did. I threw my textbooks in the shredder, and went immediately to a night club. I was possessed by the sense of carelessness and the desire for debauchery. However, believe it or not, even this can become boring. A few months into the gap year, this desire was worn out. One day, my friend Dennis told me about an opportunity to make some quick money. He found a job on Hong Kong Teen Part Time that entailed running a few errands for Kate’s startup, HR Tech International.
I was intrigued when I first saw the #hrPOD. It has a egg-like form factor, and was lined by bright, purple LED strips, making it look like a spaceship. Immediately, I wanted to give it a try. When I first stepped inside, I was surprised about how much space there was, despite its small form factor. The speaking portion of the interview felt very weird to me at first. I have never introduced myself to a camera before without someone on the other end responding to me. However, I got used to it pretty quickly after the first question. The most challenging part of this interview was when I was asked to introduce myself in Cantonese, then Mandarin. Though I am fluent in both languages, I have never had to professionally introduce myself with them. Then came the cognitive game tests which were really fun and challenging.
During my internship with HR Tech International, I was responsible for organising the first preliminary testing round for the #hrPOD. I sent messages to all my good friends in Hong Kong and asked them, as a favor, to do an interview in the #hrPOD and give us feedback for their experience. When the first candidate arrived, I introduced the #hrPOD, and set him up inside, and told him to press “start” when he was ready. I felt extremely nervous because I wasn’t sure how they would react to it. Would the candidate understand the whole process? Were the instructions in the program clear enough? Would the SmartCV report be accurate? As more and more candidates came, I gradually became more relaxed. The candidates seemed to enjoy this novel interview experience. To my surprise, some candidates even said that they felt more relaxed in this interview than traditional ones.
Working at HR Tech International allowed me to gradually understand the point of the #hrPOD. Whilst I didn’t think it could not completely replace a face-to-face interview, it was a great tool for companies to quickly vet and assess a large quantity of candidates most efficiently. I could envision the #hrPOD being in a public indoor space - like a shopping mall or fast food restaurant - accessible by anyone who wanted to brush up on their interview skills or who is unemployed and have trouble finding a job. The value that the #hrPOD could create for society coupled with Kate and Phil’s experiences in and understandings of the recruitment space in Hong Kong made me realise that I wanted to be a part of this journey.