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Maddie Smith

October 19th, 2020

Game-Based Assessments: what, why and how to succeed

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Estimated reading time: 10 minutes

Maddie Smith

October 19th, 2020

Game-Based Assessments: what, why and how to succeed

0 comments

Estimated reading time: 10 minutes

Employer assessments often seem mysterious and a puzzle to get right. Game-Based Assessments (GBAs) are no different and are now used by 10% of employers! For the most part, larger companies are the ones that are looking to harness the fresh and engaging game technology. Some of these big-name examples of those already using games in their recruitment process include PwC, Deloitte, P&G, Unilever, and Coca Cola. As such, it has become vital that you are ready when you undoubtedly face one. To make sure that you’re ready for gamified assessments, we answer the questions: what are Game-Based Assessments? Why are Game-Based Assessments used? And, how can you prepare?

What is a Game-Based Assessment?

Game-Based assessments, or GBAs, use gaming technology to help assist employer decisions during their recruitment processes. They form part of the puzzle as to how suitable you are for the role and company.

Although not as common, long, scenario-based games can be used. These measure a set of skills and may place you in a ‘day-in-the-life’ experience. More often, ‘Game-Based Assessments’ refer to standalone games assessing a specific skill (or skills). For example, PriceWaterhouseCoopers’ (PwC) ‘Balloons’ Game. This is 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 is useful for assessors. You’ll then be placed on a scale of emotionality based on how you perform. 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 time.

Why do employers use Game-Based Assessments?

There are two key reasons:

  1. They engage candidates. An engaging candidate experience helps depict a positive picture of the company, important as negative experiences when applying may even effect a company’s reputation.
  2. They help Identify the right employees. Using these tests, employers get an overview of a candidate’s personality and/or 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):

  • Practise. And more practise: Ensure that you’re familiar with how game-based assessments work.
    As an LSE 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.
  • Read Game-Based Assessment articles: Identify if your application requires a Game-Based Assessment and what this assessment will look like, as well as the end goal. You could start by looking at Graduates First’s free step-by-step employer guides for detailed assessment process descriptions.

During the actual assessment:

  • Check your internet connection: Often, you only get one chance to complete Game-Based Assessments. Checking will eliminate risk of the game running slowly, or connection being lost mid-way.
  • 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.
  • Identify the aim of the game: 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.
  • Keep positive throughout: Game-Based Assessments measure both your actual behaviour and your interactions with the game. It is best practice 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.
  • Use a computer or laptop: While you some Game-Based Assessments can be taken via 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.

Best of luck from the Graduates First team! Find out more about Graduates First and psychometric tests.

With thanks to Job Assessment Experts Peter Thornton and Abdul Wahaab from Graduates First, authors of this blog. 

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About the author

Maddie Smith

Careers Consultant, LSE Careers

Posted In: Applications | Careers skill | Psychometric test | Recruitment

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