We’ve all been through the interview process, and it can be a draining, exhausting, and slightly humiliating process. You’re judged based on your appearance, presentation and the answers given to a laundry list of questions, but how can one truly determine if you’re a solid fit? Many companies provide skills tests and even personality quizzes, but an app development and research company is looking to supplement the process with a unique spin—Video Games. That sounds right up my alley :)
An app development and research company, Knack It, is attempting to reimagine how people discover their potential. While seasoned hiring managers claim to have the intuition and experience necessary to make solid hiring decisions, it’s difficult to remain absolutely objective in the face of a decision. Companies experimenting with game-based research are gaining better insight into the capabilities, behaviors, values and qualities that a potential candidate might have. These games are helping companies hire the right people.
The team that helps to design the games includes data and behavioral scientists that collect a wide range of data on hundreds of gameplay variables. This includes things like the types of moves you make, hesitation time, where you’re touching the screen, and how well you progress through a level. All of the data collected results in a series of “Knacks” which are basically the qualities of the candidate or player. One of the games, “Wasabi Waiter” has you identify the facial expressions of customers while the player controls an avatar to provide menus, run food to tables, clean dishes and other various tasks to keep customers happy… sort of like Diner Dash. The game collects data in order to tell you things such as if the candidate has empathy, can remain cool-headed under pressure, their perception abilities, ability to think quickly, etc…
Whether or not this sees some traction is unknown. There are too many questions and uncertainty: Is the data reliable? What if the person is just not naturally good at games? Will this replace the initial screenings or the entire interview process? What if you’re simply a savant when it comes to video games? In any case, it’s awesome to see the different applications of a video game and it’ll be interesting to see where this goes. In the meantime, dust off those “Brain Age” games and play a few rounds before your next interview.