Ping-pong, a group puzzle in an escape room or an online video game. Games increasingly are a complementary tool in job interviews. Like to join us? Play!

Possibly every HR advisor you meet in your career will like to learn about your drive in work and life. What really makes you tick? Your answers in a job interview will enable the advisor to create a deeper insight and lead you to the just company, department or job. Do you fit the culture? Or not?

Employee intelligence

Matching the right Einstein to the right position is a growing challenge to companies. Why? A great job interview and a superb CV do not always lead the to best candidate for the job. So recruiters are actively seeking new ways to identify behavioural characteristics. By playing a game of ping-pong or from online game data: employee intelligence.

To make certain that a candidate will fit their corporate DNA, Dutch companies like Yonego and Technisch Nederland recently have introduced ‘the game’ as a complementary HR selection tool during interviews. Both companies believe using a recruitment game will enhance the quality of their matching process.

‘A candidate may have a great solution for a puzzle, but we also want to see that this person is listening to co-players,’ says Steven Duinhouwer of Technisch Nederland. In their game experiment a group of candidates were placed in an escape room. They had to solve a puzzle in order to escape. ‘We were extra keen on cooperative skills.’

Pros and cons

‘The advantage of a game is that it will show authentic behaviour of a candidate in practice’, says Johan Siebert of Summum, the Dutch trade organization for recruitment agencies. ‘In a game you will be thrown back to primal behaviour. Especially when you can actually win something’. He believes ‘gamification of recruitment’ is just starting. 

Prof. dr. Rob Meijer, Professor of Psychometric and Statistical Techniques at the University of Groningen, expresses the possible flipside of the gamificated job interview in a story in The Volkskrant this August: ‘The thought to create a loose atmosphere with the use of a game is not bad. But there is a danger that several variables will play roles that are not relevant for the ultimate performance.’

Wasabi Waiter 

A game of darts with your boss-to-be in the lunchroom? Sure. But you may also expect a personalized HR computer game that reveals your personal talents traits and skills on your cell. Thanks to Big Data, it may well be the next standard in recruiting global talent. And it is already there.

In 2013 the U.S. Company Knack introduced the Wasabi Waiter recruitment game. The app and web community allow you to discover personal strengths.

During the games you earn ‘Knacks’ on several recruitment topics. Behaviour is monitored every millisecond. So your game activity ultimately is delivering insight into your potential, behaviour, values and qualities.

To top this new generation of personality games Knack will enable you to connect to an online network of matching employers. They find you.   

Ping-pong, darts, Mario. Expect the unexpected. The recruitment game is on. Staffing in times of lower birth rates and an ageing workforce is moving towards an international job dating game, using your personal game data as a psychometric test. Imagine a job interview with a diving game in the Oosterschelde or the Wadden Sea? We can.


(sources: Forbes, NRC, De Volkskrant, HR Base, HR Trend Institute, CBS)