Play the game
Prepare to undergo personality tests, scenarios, and virtual challenges to get the best jobs with the most forward-thinking companies.
By Fran Molloy
Getting a job these days isn’t always as simple as a chat with the boss. Interviews for the best jobs are often accompanied by personality tests, scenario-based problems – and games that test how you respond to virtual challenges.
So what do these look like? Are there trick questions? Do you put down the answer you think they want to hear, or should you be honest because you don’t really know what they’re testing for?
Where’s your head at?
Psychometric and personality tests are usually structured multiple choice exams which aim to measure your ability and certain aspects of your personality. Written by occupational psychologists, they often measure your comprehension and reasoning skills, motivations, working preferences and your response to team dynamics.
Most have time limits – with online tests designed to log you out when the time is up. And they are designed with more questions than most people can complete – so don’t panic if you can’t finish it.
Can you study for them? No, but like most things, if you practice you will get better at them. Try the practice tests at: https://www.practiceaptitudetests.com
What kind of team player are you?
Group problem-solving exercises are assessments that are sometimes done in small groups to assess your behaviour in the workplace and to identify different key skills. Your group is given a time limit to work together to achieve a certain challenge or team building activity.
These test how well you work as part of a team, your ability to work under pressure and how you communicate with others. Recruiters will observe your social skills and confidence, your leadership tendencies, your listening and communication skills, ability to problem-solve and your response to working under pressure and to failure or criticism…
How do you ace the group test?
Imagine you are being tested for your suitability to live on Mars with these people. The key is to remain calm and good-humoured, finding the right balance between getting your opinion across and dominating the conversation. Be confident – but also encourage your teammates to speak up and let their ideas be heard. If tension breaks out, do your best to defuse the situation.
Gamification in recruitment uses two main things. First, it uses game structures or in-game rewards – like levels, achievements, points and leaderboards – to drive and reward your behaviour. Second, it uses design techniques like following a game map or journey to keep you interested – and to get you to reveal more about yourself.
At PwC, for example, the selection game Multipoly tests candidates in a virtual reality work environment receiving missions, attending trainings, negotiating with clients, and solving business problems to earn points toward getting hired.
It helps if you’re used to online and mobile games. (See, all that time playing video games has led you to this moment – now it’s your time to shine.) The key to doing well, though, is to at all times be respectful and professional in your attitude and the decisions you make. And if you land a job at the end – you’ve won the game!
“Imagine you are being tested for your suitability to live on Mars with these people.”
1. Australia’s 50 Best Places to Work survey (of 50,000 employees from 135 companies) showed that 27% of new hires at top employers were referred by existing employees.
2. LinkedIn analysed hiring and networking data and found that 16% of new hires were already connected to someone at the company prior to joining.
3. Gartner Group predicts that 70% of global employers are adapting gamification in the workplace for things such as skills training and health improvement.
4. The Digital Australia report 2016 found that 68% of Australians play video games, and interact with them for an average of 88 minutes a day.