Gaming coming to the graduate job application process? For jobs in law and finance? Not just coming, it’s already here. Law firm Taylor Wessing has introduced a psychometric test in the form of a game and Clifford Chance has been running a trial. So, what’s this about? Is it a gift to the accomplished gamer? A bit of fun or something to be terrified of? Probably none of the above.
I had the chance last week to have a chat with Federica Rusmini from Arctic Shores, the developer of Taylor Wessing’s game based assessment, and she told me lots about it and even let me have a go! Here’s some key points from our conversation:
- Regular gamers are not at any advantage over those who rarely, if ever, game.
- You can’t modify your behaviour to “beat the test” and give the employer something you think it’s looking for.
- The underlying assessment will have been designed to allow employers to select on criteria relevant to their businesses. There’s no “one size fits all.”
- 90% of the people who play the assessment game report that they enjoy it. (That’s a better stat than for any of the other assessment methods I know of!)
- The assessment has been tested against different diversity groups and all evidence suggests that it largely eliminates bias and unconscious bias from the selection process. Hurrah!
So what should you expect when you play?
Cosmic event is the game based assessment being used by Taylor Wessing. You need to allow about 20-30 minutes to play although you can play for longer if you wish. Assessment of your behaviours in the game relies on a certain number of repetitions but if you exceed the number required that’s fine. You need to collect stars, and the longer you play the more stars you will amass. The assessment of your match to the employer does not turn on the number of stars you end up with!
The test is currently only available for mobile platforms so you’ll need to play on a tablet or phone. There’s not much difference although obviously things are a bit bigger on an ipad.
There is a possible break half way through. Take it! It offers you a chance to rest your eyes, I’m a bit older than most of you but I found I really needed to walk around for a few minutes.
When you have finished you get an assessment report outlining the results in a number of areas. You won’t know whether your scores are what the employer is looking for but it may give you some insights into your personality and preferences.
What did I think?
I found it really interesting. The record tells me that I played for 20 minutes and 51 seconds and during that time I apparently tapped the screen 420 times. I was definitely engaged with the process but it doesn’t feel like a twenty-first century computer game, it’s more basic than that.
The report produced is fascinating. I largely agree with the conclusions in it, they’re not significantly different than those I have received from much longer and apparently more “in depth” psychometric tests. It turns out that I am risk averse (check) and more than usually persistent and resilient (check). It won’t come as any surprise to my boss that it appears that I am more than normally prepared to work long hours. I’m thinking that I might be quite well equipped for a career as a City lawyer. Oh, I did that didn’t I?
And my advice?
- Find somewhere to do this where you are not going to be disturbed. At some points you need to focus and concentrate and react quickly.
- Don’t feel nervous, the instructions are really clear and the activities required are straightforward. As a non-gamer I wondered if I would cope and it really isn’t a problem at all.
- Don’t try to second guess the process. I did it “as me” and recognise the results. The report feels fair and in a recruitment process that’s what we should be aiming for.
- If you have a disability make sure that you declare it so that the employer can decide whether or not the test is for you.