Young woman sat working on her laptop with headphones on.

August 4, 2021, by indybamra1

Playing Games To Get a Job

By Saumya Surendran, MSc Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Management

We interviewed Saumya to find out about her experience with game-based assessments and how she prepared for them.

What did the games involve?

There were various different game-based assessments that tested my ability to solve problems quickly and creatively. It’s interesting as the elements of the game are similar to traditional cognitive tests and interviews but in a game-based environment. One of the games I remember was when I applied for the Tesco Technology Programme. I had to reply to a simulated text from a Tesco colleague. The game-based assessments at IBM asked me to answer numerical questions by popping the correct balloon that came on screen and another game saw me dragging and rotating puzzle pieces to create a shape. It’s important to read the instructions carefully before starting the game.

What skill areas did you cover?

I think they were testing me on skills such as my ability to work under pressure, be precise and work efficiently. These are skills that are required in the workplace especially when working with clients so I suppose the game-based assessments have to look for skills that can be found in traditional assessment methods.

How long did you have to complete the assessments?

The time often varied between companies but it ranged from 30 seconds to 2 minutes. They never gave too much time to answer because, like any game you play, it’s all about being quick and accurate. The more time you take, the more you start to overthink the answers which can lead to you picking the wrong answer.

Did you use a computer or your mobile phone?

I am lucky enough to own a touchscreen laptop so I used that. I definitely recommend that you use a device that has a touchscreen, as the time it takes you to tap with your finger is much faster than dragging and clicking with a computer mouse. However, I do recommend doing whatever you are comfortable with as everyone works differently.

How did you find the experience?

I found this method of assessment hard, because you never know what will be asked in the games. I started to panic a bit because I realised that this random game had the ability to bring me closer to my career goals. That’s why it was so important for me to remain calm and to follow my gut instinct with the questions.

Did you prepare for the games, if so, how?

Game-based assessments were one of the things that I have always dreaded so I tried to prepare for it as much as I could! Although people say you can’t prepare for it, as it’s so random, there are ways to boost your confidence before doing them! Firstly, I used the University’s Graduate First portal to really understand how psychometric tests work. This webpage has a section where you can practice various game-based assessments and get feedback. This resource is completely free and something I always recommend to students!

After this, I decided to research my desired company’s game-based process through, YouTube, and The Student Room to really understand what sort of games they offer. Following this, I went to my phone’s app store and found any games that could possibly resemble the game-based assessments. Although the phone games were definitely not the same as the ones the jobs give, they helped me develop skills such as accuracy and time management! As a result, this led me to be much more confident when it came to doing the game-based tests.

Any advice for students who may be faced with a game-based assessment?

It’s so important to try and research the company and their application process. Take a look at the job description and person specification to feel more prepared for the job that you’re interviewing for. Or try and find a similar resource to help prepare for the game-based assessment like I did with gaming apps on my phone.

Finally, always remain calm and follow your gut instinct.

Many recruiters are using game-based assessments as part of their recruitment processes. In a fun way, the games assess an applicant’s cognitive skills and behavioural preferences and depending on the job may include other skills such as abstract reasoning, numerical ability, and decision-making. You can find out more about game-based assessments here, or if you’d like to talk to a careers adviser you can book an appointment to discuss your career activities.

Posted in Applying For JobsCareers AdviceInterviews