August 21, 2020, by Leah Sharpe
Be prepared for game-based assessments
By Peter Thornton, UoN graduate and Graduates First Consultant
Employer assessments often seem mysterious and quite simply difficult to get right. No more is this true than for game-based assessments, now used by 10% of employers. Companies such as PwC, Deloitte, P&G, Unilever, Coca Cola and many more are increasingly looking to harness game technology in their recruitment processes. As such, it has become vital that you are ready when you undoubtedly face one.
What is a game-based assessment?
Game-based assessments use gaming technology to help assist employer decisions during the hiring process. Are you a suitable candidate for the role and company? Game-based assessments can refer to standalone games assessing a specific skill (or skills), such as the balloons game in the image above. This is like PwC’s balloons game, designed to assess if you are risk averse. You’re asked to pump the balloon and bank your money before it bursts. As well as being more enjoyable, this has utility for assessors. Based on your performance, you are placed on a scale of emotionality. This ranges from those who pay attention to detail but can be more anxious, to those who are relaxed decision makers but can be disorganised.
Other assessments may measure things such as your memory, attention, teamwork, and reaction times. Although less common, longer, scenario-based games also exist. These measure sets of skills and give you a taste of work tasks.
Why do employers use game-based assessments?
1. To engage candidates
They provide a more engaging candidate experience, which translates to a more positive perception of the company as a whole. Companies worry that a poor experience will translate to a poor company in the eyes of a candidate.
2. To find the right employees
Using these tests, employers get an overview of a candidate’s personality and their technical ability, as well as indicating how they may behave on the job.
How can you prepare for game-based assessments?
Preparation (before the real assessment):
1. Practise and practise again
Ensure that your unfamiliarity does not affect your score. As a University of Nottingham student or alumni, you can register for free with Graduates First using your University email, where you can practise game-based assessments such as the balloon game as used by PwC.
2. Read articles about game-based assessments
Does your job application require a game-based assessment? If yes, try to identify what types of games they use. Start by reviewing specific employer profiles on Graduates First for detailed assessment process descriptions.
During the real assessment:
3. Check your internet connection beforehand
Often, you only get one chance to complete game-based assessments. Checking will eliminate risk of the game running slowly, or connection being lost half way through.
4. Carefully read the instructions
This may sound obvious, but surprisingly many people overlook these either out of over-confidence or forgetfulness. Be clear on the controls for the assessment and understand the objective.
5. Identify what is being measured
Through practice, you may come to understand what is being measured and how. For example, a game that wants you to remember certain items, is clearly assessing your memory. Apply this insider knowledge to all the game-based assessments to identify what skill you must focus on and how to score well.
6. Remain positive throughout
Game-based assessments measure both your actual behaviour and interactions with the game. It is best to react positively even if you think that you have performed poorly on the previous task. This is because, as well as your actual ‘score’, assessors will see if you were able to maintain performance despite any previous slips in concentration.
7. Use a computer or laptop
While you may practise game-based assessments on your mobile, it is advisable to use your computer or laptop for the real thing. This will likely be clearer, easier to use, and better for eliminating distractions such as a phone call midway through the assessment.
Have a go at playing the gamification examples on Graduates First so you know what sort of thing to expect. Good luck gamers!
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