Looking for a job? You may soon need to master these VR games

A virtual reality game could assess intelligence and processing capacity.
Sejal Sharma
Representative image of a man playing a VR game.
Representative image of a man playing a VR game.

katleho Seisa/iStock 

The job application process isn’t easy. There’s the never-ending round of interviews. And if the applicant somehow manages to clear all of them and comes out of that nerve-wracking stage alive, they have to then give several assessment tests to prove their mettle.

On top of that, the applicant is also competing with a large number of equally suitable candidates.

Getting to the end of this tunnel with tedious tasks sometimes takes months. It’s a real fight.

But wouldn’t it be amazing to skip all of the above?

A recent study says that virtual reality games can help companies assess and predict the job performance of applicants. Judging by who finished the game faster, the applicants’ intelligence and processing capacity can be measured.

Be it at the place of work, education, or everyday life, intelligence is undoubtedly one of the most critical parameters in testing human performance. The study says that the video games specifically test for intelligence and can help employers see how a candidate interacts with a problem to solve it.

The researchers had a sample size of 103 college-going students

All participants played a game called ‘Job Simulator,’ which had different simulations with tasks at different difficulty levels. The participants were also made to take the Berlin Intelligence Structure (BIS-4) test, which measures general intelligence.

Comparing the results of the game and the test, the researchers found that those who finished the game faster had higher scores in the general intelligence test.

The study also suggested that more and more companies look out for gamers when hiring. Games often test and hone people’s managerial, organizational, and multitasking skills. 

In 2017, Lloyds Banking Group tested graduates seeking a place in their leadership programs using VR. At the same time, Accenture uses an Egyptian-style puzzle game as a virtual reality exercise to assess graduates applying for a technology role.

While the researchers intend to continue their research on the potential of this study, they also acknowledge its limitations -  one of which is that a video game can lose its ability to indicate intelligence when players become familiar with the game.

This resulted from a study by the University of Cologne, the University of Liechtenstein, and Vorarlberg University of Applied Sciences. The study “Intelligence at play: game-based assessment using a virtual-reality application” by Markus Weinmann of the University of Cologne and his fellow scientists was published in the journal Virtual Reality.

Study Abstract:

Several studies have shown that video games may indicate or even develop intellectual and cognitive abilities. As intelligence is one of the most widely used predictors of job performance, video games could thus have potential for personnel assessment. However, few studies have investigated whether and how virtual reality (VR) games can be used to make inferences about intelligence, even though companies increasingly use VR technology to recruit candidates. This proof-of-concept study contributes to bridging this gap between research and practice. Under controlled laboratory conditions, 103 participants played the commercial VR game Job Simulator and took the short version of the intelligence test BIS-4. Correlation and regression analysis reveal that, on average, participants who completed the game more quickly than others had higher levels of general intelligence and processing capacity, suggesting that VR games may provide useful supplementary tools in the prediction of job performance. Still, our results also indicate that game-based assessments have limitations that deserve researchers’ attention, which lead us to discuss directions for future research.

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