HI-SEAS (Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation) is a NASA funded research program operating long-duration planetary surface missions to investigate crew composition and cohesion.

The primary behavioral research program is the core research performed at HI-SEAS. These studies focus on the need to identify psychological and psychosocial factors, measures, and combinations that can be used to compose highly effective teams for self-directing long-duration exploration missions.

The primary research funded by the NASA Human Factors and Behavioral Performance (HFBP) element is conducted by researchers from across the US and Europe who are at the forefront of their fields. HI-SEAS recently completed its first one-year isolation mission.

This mission places HI-SEAS in the company of a small group of analogs that are capable of operating very long-duration missions (8-months and longer) in isolated and confined environments, such as Mars500, Concordia, and most recently the International Space Station.


Given that the selection process was part of the research project, it was imperative that all participants were treated identically.

According to Dr. Pete Roma, from the Institutes for Behavior Resources and Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, who was a Co-Investigator on the HI-SEAS Project:

“Not only did Sonru allow us to rapidly collect interview data to more efficiently complete the review and recommendation process but the method is an inherently standardized procedure which is so important for scientific research.”

Replaced Live Video Conference Interview

Dr. Roma maintains that automated video interviewing was  preferable owing to:

  • Time, administrative and convenience wins;
  • Reduced Interviewer bias
  • Reliable technology

“Typically, the live video conference interview process would stretch out over several weeks, require hours of effort just co-ordinating schedules, and risk bias and workload effects with the interviewers. Sonru was simply more convenient for everyone involved and the technology was reliable.”

Team Buy-In

All members of the HI-SEAS Project Team were involved in research (Principal Investigator, Co-Investigators, Collaborators, and their qualified team members) with Dr. Roma contending that “everyone loves it [Sonru].”

With so many players involved, the real gain is enabling a wide and varied project team to keep on message:

“Sonru allowed us to consolidate the time required for the entire interview process, which allowed us to focus the Project Team’s valuable time on the critical tasks of review/evaluation and recommendations for Crew selection and composition.”

Candidate Buy-In

A 95% interview completion rate was recorded for the HI-SEAS Candidate interviews, which is significantly above the system average of 78%.

100% of HI-SEAS candidates surveyed said they were satisfied with the overall candidate experience.

100% of HI-SEAS candidates surveyed said they would complete a video interview again.

Choosing the time and overall convenience were cited as key benefits of video interviewing which is hardly surprising since candidates completed interviews from all over the world.

“It was better and less awkward than I expected. The system was easy to use and worked flawlessly.”

“It was very easy to use and convenient to work the interview into my schedule.”

“Easy, user friendly, simple interface.”

– HI-SEAS Candidates


The rapid/efficient collection of standardized interview data was Dr. Roma’s favorite benefit and having reviewed several video interviewing vendors, the easy-to-use interface and streamlining of the recruiting process were among the factors that set Sonru apart.

“Sonru was exactly what we were looking for, easy to use, and reasonably priced without any unnecessary and scientifically questionable proprietary metrics, evaluation algorithms, or other HR hocus-pocus.”