Today, more and more companies are using video games as a hiring tool.An impressive résumé, a well-written cover letter and a stack of glowing recommendations can tell you a lot about a candidate, but knowing in advance how someone will really perform on the job is as hard as it’s ever been.
At times, making the right hiring decisions seems to require an interpersonal sixth sense. If only there were a way to see who you’re really getting, before you pull the trigger.
Well, there might just be – and surprisingly, it actually involves pulling a trigger. That’s right. Black Ops isn’t just about blowing away bad guys anymore. These days it’s also a way to supercharge your employee selection process. Here are five ways in-interview gaming can help your company level up.
1) Gauging Engagement. Roll out the Dance Dance Revolution mat and watch the reaction of your interviewee. Does he smile and immediately break into some pre-game stretches? Or does he appear visibly uncomfortable and suddenly fake a limp? The “gaming interview” can definitely be a curveball for many job applicants, but that’s a good thing. It won’t be the first curveball they’re thrown in their career, and how they respond really matters. So gauge the candidate’s reaction to determine if he’s the kind of employee who will go all out, all the time – even when that means busting a move to Japanese techno.
2) Multiplayer Mojo. Before you welcome someone into your workforce, it’s smart policy to have the person prove her worth in your guild, clan or squad. Why? Because when used as a hiring tool, a multiplayer game can shed light on a candidate’s collaboration style. Does she lead the charge against an enemy’s stronghold? Does she follow 10 steps behind? Does she shoot her teammates by accident? (Hey, we all make mistakes.) Or on purpose? (Red flag!) The role an applicant plays while gaming can tell you a lot about the role he or she will take in your business, making your hiring decisions even easier.
3) Beware the Rage Quit. When he gets hit with the blue shell in Mario Kart, does your candidate curse, scream or throw his controller through the nearest plate-glass window? If so, he’s likely to do very bad things when he loses a client or misses out on a promotion. Gaming has a special power: it reveals the person behind the cover letter and the freshly starched suit. Boy or man? Rage or competitive drive? Games will show you which applicants can keep their cool under pressure, plus a whole lot more.
4) Serious Play. Boosting your employee selection skills through game play only works if you stay focused on your hiring decisions right there in the heat of battle. Keep the questions rolling during your game. Watch your applicant closely, and look for the best multitasker. If an applicant needs to pause the game to answer a question, can he or she stay focused in a busy work environment? Maybe, maybe not. Be fair, because not everyone is a gamer, and unfamiliar games require focused concentration. But do look for the standouts. People who can fire off detailed answers while shooting a laser cannon are definite keepers.
5) Kicking It With The Clan. While the majority of your hiring decisions should be based on an applicant’s experience and skills, personality is incredibly important too. Gaming transforms the traditional interview into a slightly less stressful thing, and that provides a glimpse into the real person, not the guarded pose or the calculated facade. That’s really what this blog is about. When people play, they let their guard down. What could be more important to an interviewer? So while you’re busy storming the castle or ripping up the raceway, ask yourself: “Am I having fun? Would I invite this person to game with me off the clock?” If the answer is no, ask yourself why. Think about your workplace dynamic and make your call.
Making video games a part of your employee selection strategy can be a great way to break down walls and learn more about your candidates. Gaming reveals things that a traditional Q&A session just can’t. It’s not the perfect interview style for every company, but if yours is a young one and it fits with your culture, go for it. Evaluate its effectiveness. If your Mario Kart skills are improving but your employee selection skills aren’t, then hang up your controller, at least until after work. But if gaming turns out to be a one-way mirror into your candidate’s soul, we hope you’ll remember to share this blog from The Resumator with all of your HR besties.