This Copywriter Built a Bot to Handle Job Interviews, So She Won’t Have To

Hello, HireEliBot

Headshot of Angela Natividad

Here’s a spiel we all know well: It’s hard getting work. Recruiters are often dead ends, and you have to do something creative—sometimes something crazy—to prove your value or simply to be seen at all.

Copywriter Elizabeth Nieves just moved to Chicago. She’s been talking to recruiters, to no avail. And she’s tired of repeating herself. So she’s outsourced the job … to a Facebook Messenger Bot.

HireEliBot‘s job is to manage all that interview repetition for her, while hopefully attracting a pool of newly interested recruiters.

“Bots are getting more popular every day, so I thought that if I used one to promote myself, it would show I’m up to date with where technology, brands and creativity are,” Nieves tells AdFreak. “But also I wanted it to be fun and engaging to represent who I am.”

So we tried it. This is how it went.

To start, HireEliBot’s got some GIF savvy.

From this we gather it’s pretty efficient at basic questions. Sometimes it gets confused, but it quickly and readily admits mistakes, turning them into a positive—an excellent quality in a job candidate!

We rephrase, and this time HireEliBot nails it—without even having to say much (it’s perhaps just as averse to repetition as its mistress):

We ran into a little more trouble asking for Eli’s contact details, but reducing our question to just one word got this little AI assistant back on track:

HireEliBot does its job, but isn’t perfect. Before you knock that, though, Nieves points out, “I didn’t know how bots worked until I came up with the idea, and learning how to make it a reality was a very satisfactory part of the process. This knowledge is something that’s never going to go away.”

It’s her first run. That means things only get better from here—and it’s not easy putting yourself out there with what is essentially a playful experiment.

In form, the project is a lot like designer Cassondra Bazelow’s Responsive Recruiter Bot, also the fruit of frustrated job hunting. The Responsive Recruiter encouraged creatives having trouble getting callbacks by showering them with compliments. But it was also bait for Cassondra herself, who built her own (quite chatty) bot to entice employers.

It’s not a big deal that Nieves wasn’t the first. Lots of people are going to build bots, and the cool thing is that they can reflect as many personalities, humors and quirks as the many creators who’ll spawn them.

“This approach reveals who I am—a creative tech enthusiast that loves to see things happen, and is hungry to learn and create,” Nieves says.

Lastly, this represents a change in her career focus.

“When I first started in the industry, I was an account executive—which gives me an edge in knowing how to present ideas and to always put the client’s needs first. I’m also glad there have been movements promoting female creative talent, like the 3% Conference, because it encouraged me to feel I can actually fit in a creative role.”

In terms of an ideal gig, Nieves muses, “There’s so many cool agencies, and even cooler people out there. But I’ve been geeking a lot for what Wieden + Kennedy did for Verizon and Minecraft, so I would definitely love to work with the team that made that happen. That campaign really blew my mind.”

Hear that, W+K?

To get in contact with Nieves directly, email her: elizabeth (dot) nieves90 (at) gmail (dot) com—or you can always give the bot a go.

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@luckthelady Angela Natividad is a frequent contributor to Adweek's creativity blog, AdFreak. She is also the author of Generation Creation and co-founder of Hurrah, an esports agency. She lives in Paris and when she isn't writing, she can be found picking food off your plate.