Many large employers and startups alike are beginning to use games based assessments in their online application process, especially for the recruitment of graduates. Coca-cola, McDonalds and Kantar have all recently began using them and given the shift to remote hiring due to Covid-19 it is reasonable to expect many more to follow suit.
Games based assessments provide an intuitive, score based way of reducing the candidate pool for hiring companies that goes beyond traditional maths, literacy and situational judgement tests but are not a replacement for technical interviews such as consulting case interviews. The games based assessments test personality traits without introducing bias. This gives employees a feel for whether a candidate has the right thinking capabilities and the right cultural fit for the role.
The score benchmarks for each company are created from a sample of current employees, so the assessments work on the assumption that companies are looking for candidates with similar traits to their current employees. The sample pool of employees all play the games and the average scores across the group create the benchmark for applying candidates.
Traits they are testing
There are two main suppliers of psychometric games, Pymetrics and Arctic Shores but both assess a similar group of personality traits to build a profile of candidates:
- Attention – Tested using pattern recognition games. An initial pattern (e.g. shapes in a line) is shown on the screen and then a candidate must tap the screen when this pattern appears
- Effort – The mechanism for testing effort is choice where candidates are presented with different scenarios that include an ‘easy’ option and a ‘hard’ option. The choices the candidate makes signal their effort levels.
- Fairness – Distribution of wealth is a real life example that is played out in the games. If you have an amount of money and others have less, how would you distribute the money ‘fairly’? – note that often the fairest way is not to give everyone the same amount of money.
- Decision Making – Given a target pattern and all the components available but in the wrong order, candidates must create the target pattern in the fewest moves.
- Emotion – Understanding of emotions is tested using cartoon faces and candidates must match the cartoon faces to the best descriptive emotion on the screen.
- Focus – Pattern irregularities are shown and the candidate must identify the irregularity, tapping the screen when they appear.
- Generosity – With a monetary amount for yourself, you are presented with a solution whereby you can keep all of the money for yourself or give a percentage of it to another person (note: the answer is not always to give it away)
- Learning – Progressive memory games that build in length and complexity that the candidate is asked to recall.
- Risk tolerance – An action that gains reward is unpredictable and the candidate must choose how far or how much of the action to take e.g. pumping up a balloon
Both Pymetrics and Arctic Shores incorporate traditional numerical and logical reasoning tests into their testing sequences if the company chooses to use them.
Look and feel of the test
The tests are played on smartphone apps and have a similar feel to many other brainteaser apps. Using the touchscreen on the smartphone, candidates are able to play all of the games.
The games are different to traditional online assessments because they are played on a smartphone however, they do generate the same time pressured environment as other online assessments and because the types of questions are new to most candidates, the pressure is heightened. Although the tasks are new to most candidates, they are highly intuitive by design and so there is limited risk of candidates not understand the ask of the question.
To help you take the psychometric games assessments there are 3 top tips to ensure you are prepared:
- Quiet environment. The games take approximately 30 minutes but you have an hour to complete them. Ensuring you are taking the test in a quiet environment without distractions will ensure optimal performance in each of the games.
- Complete them in the morning. It is proven that people’s cognitive ability is higher in the morning when they are most awake and alert. For games requiring focus and attention this is particularly important and so taking the games in the morning will increase performance.
- Brain training apps. The games are based on brain training applications so downloading these and practicing on them will be directly transferable into the psychometric games.