Your next job interview could involve playing video games

Companies like Knack and ConnectCube use games to assess job applicants.

Your gaming experience might serve you well at your next job interview, as more companies are using video games to assess potential hires.

"There is a huge amount of money to be made in matching people to their careers better," an economist at M.I.T. Erik Brynjolfsson told The New York Times in a report on this increasingly popular practice.

Brynjolfsson is also an advisory at Knack, a start-up company that uses video games as a screening device. It previously provided its services to companies like Shell and a lot of medical employers. Supposedly, the games should help companies better determine applicants' skills, giving them information on how creative, cautions, adept at multitasking, or easily distracted they are.

In Knack's Wasabi Waiter, for example, players are tasked with serving sushi at a restaurant and must figure out what dishes to recommend to customers. ConnectCube, a company that offers a similar service, has a few memory games, rapid-fire quizzes, and special reasoning tests (which you can demo on its website) that can be administered to potential employees.

"We want to build on the power of games to help people discover what makes them unique: their talents, their traits, their true potential," Knack's website explains. "We believe Knack is the ultimate way to discover your talent and potential. It's more powerful, more authentic, more engaging, and more accessible."

As The Times' article points out, while these games might help companies collect a lot of data on potential hires, the companies using these services also need to worry about applicants gaming the system, and human beings are still better than computers at assessing important "soft skills," like empathy.

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emanuelmaiberg

Emanuel Maiberg

Emanuel Maiberg is a freelance writer in search of the Citizen Kane of burritos.
68 comments
daikkenaurora12
daikkenaurora12

Cant wait for the modders to mod these stupid games.  lol

midagedgamerguy
midagedgamerguy

As a longtime gamer and gaming blogger I can say this with absolute authority...


BAD IDEA


I love gaming as much as anyone but to use it as a yardstick to judge potential candidates for something entirely unrelated is nothing more than a lazy HR shortcut.  What if the potential hire doesn't play games?  What if they're bad at them? 

Does that mean they can be eliminated based on nothing more than how well they can handle an Xbox controller?  


I'd hate to lose out on a job because I play on a PC instead of an Xbox...  Games can be great tools but they should never be used to judge ability or character outside of their own context.  That goes double for the context of employment.

rad8045
rad8045

I suppose the mafia will follow suit and make any new recruit play GTA 5 and see how good the are evading the police.

Hurvl
Hurvl

The above image makes that game look like a simple facebook/mobile game and the description doesn't make it better, but I doubt I'll apply for a job where such a game is used.

sigmact
sigmact

- it says here your skill in alchemy its +600? thats impressive compared to the harvard guy


RandomAvatar
RandomAvatar

I know you're with the thieves guild, Erik BRYNJOLFsson, and so do the other guards.

Samparksh
Samparksh

Now all I have to do is to decide where I should apply for the job of a CEO.......

therealone717
therealone717

dance monkey slave dance! ah employers... they are getting more and more ridiculous.  All this power has gone to their heads and made them insanely stupid.  What a world this is becoming.  

Barighm
Barighm

Pfft. Top all the quizzes and tests you want, the boss will still hire a family member or buddy over you 9 times out of 10.


Frankly, I hate these kinds of tests. They often tell you to do something you have absolutely no interest in.

Upat3am
Upat3am

Is that sustainable sushi?

wexorian
wexorian

Sign me in I'l work every day include weekends np

trackles
trackles

Cool i would be a CEO in no time at all.

Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

Now, as silly as this new screening step seems to be, I, for one, am aware that employers want to have as many techniques to screen applicants as possible.

After all, candidates are strangers - and if they are not, someone has been pulling some strings (read: undue influence) to bypass procedures.

GreenvaleXYZ
GreenvaleXYZ

Well I hope they don't ask to see my Karma in Fallout 3.

Flamewolf75
Flamewolf75

Jesus Christ, I just realized Eddie Makuch hasn't written an article in a long time! Was he replaced or something?

hadlee73
hadlee73

Watch the film "Cube" and you'll know that the tests ConnectCube are doing are only the beginning... :P

KBABZ
KBABZ

So will Knack allow me to play Knack?

---Cipher---
---Cipher---

I want to do some MMA fighting, here's some highlights from me playing Mortal Kombat.

fredwv
fredwv

I'd have no problem working overtime if I played games for a living.  

J_Dangerously
J_Dangerously

"...and then no Korean was ever unemployed ever again.  The End."

forneverbdocked
forneverbdocked

You really shouldn't be allowed in a kitchen unless you've aced Cook, Serve, Delicious!

vduong942
vduong942

Imagine companies using Call of Duty to test patience and teamwork. 

korvus
korvus moderator

Back when I was a programmer all they asked me to do at the computer on a job interview was programming something quick for them to check out my skills; how outdated. I'm sure if I had played video games instead they would have hired me with higher pay...

skipper847
skipper847

I got to play leisure suit larry for my job interview

bobbetybob
bobbetybob

@midagedgamerguy  These aren't games though they sound like the kind of tests you'd get at a job anyway. If anything the fact it's a game would make someone more relaxed and likely to perform at a more realistic level, instead of worrying about "oh no a test!"


It's not like they're going to sit you down and make you play Halo or something.

games2525
games2525

@Samparksh Ha! I knew that someday all these hours of gaming would finally pay off!!!

plaintomato
plaintomato

@trackles Is that what happens if you can shoot all the sushi customers under the time limit?

Demanufactur3
Demanufactur3

@GreenvaleXYZ 

Blew it up as well didn't you...?

See you in hell brother (:

---Cipher---
---Cipher---

@Flamewolf75I know, real journalism on Gamespot for once.


I would love to know what the title of this article would be if written by him...

Hurvl
Hurvl

@KBABZThat's what I thought as well "isn't that the name of that PS4 exclusive?". Obviously, the similarity between a video game title and the name of a company using video games to test job applicants isn't large enough to get the lawyer blood hounds to howl.

digitm64
digitm64

@vduong942 Then I would know that company would have me working for years with the same repetition, with no changes to the workflow whatsoever.  That company would never look at expanding outwards. 

VenkmanPHD
VenkmanPHD

@vduong942If a company pulled up call of duty during my interview I would tell them I don't take kindly to being insulted and I am not interested in working with them.

deadpen
deadpen

@001011000101101 Don't say that, all those people that play cod and think their stats matter in the real world are counting on this. DO NOT CRUSH THEIR DREAM....or at least let them get to the interview so the guy can look at their resume (which will state their k/d ratio) then look them strait in the eye and say "You are fucking stupid!" LOL

GreenvaleXYZ
GreenvaleXYZ

@Demanufactur3@GreenvaleXYZ Haha, actually for me the bad behavior started a bit later..  Remember that collar gun or whatever that you get from one of the slavers?  I don't know if I was using it correctly or incorrectly, but I'm pretty sure the moral stance on what I did is pretty clear-cut.

deadpen
deadpen

@VenkmanPHD @vduong942 It would depend which CoD for me, if it was before they started selling out aka repeating/refurbishing their games (MW 2 on) then I'd give it a try after that I agree with venkman.

deadpen
deadpen

@tinyname @deadpen @001011000101101 Oh just for shits and giggles, go to google.com and type in "Call of duty is" and look at the suggestions they give you. Then to rub salt in that wound type in "Battlefield is" and look at those suggestions LMFAO. 

deadpen
deadpen

@tinyname @deadpen @001011000101101 Cute, your on the level of the maturity seen from cod players. keep dreaming about this article being true, just don't burn my fries while you are daydreaming about your k/d ratio meaning anything to anyone other than you.