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Game-based assessments

Game-based assessments

Kat C-W


This application cycle, I did my first game-based assessment! It was a fun way of testing skills and I was intrigued to find out a bit more about what is being tested and what some of the rationale is behind these tests. They are used by graduate recruitment teams at Taylor Wessing, PWC and a handful of financial service companies such as Citi and RBS. 

Before I did the assessment, I went online and found comments from people who had done it on what to expect and what scores they got. Although interesting to see, I actually don’t think the score in this particular game matters too much and it is not particularly useful to compare yourself to others on the score. The one used at the moment by Taylor Wessing and PWC is ‘Skyrise City’. It is formed of several ‘mini-games’ that test different personality traits and how you react to things.

Treat it like an assessment 

Find yourself a quiet place where you won’t be distracted for a while. You need a good internet connection and plenty of battery on your phone. The game is quite long - it took me around 30 minutes to complete. However, there is an opportunity for a break within it. There isn’t really any more preparation that I can think to suggest! The instructions for the games are really simple and you can read and re-read them as much as you like before starting. I found some of the games took some serious concentration, so make sure distractions are minimal. 

Approaching the games

The point of these games is actually to see how you perform in certain situations naturally. The problem with some assessments is that you make assumptions on what you think the employer is looking for and it does not reflect your true character. It is pretty difficult to make assumptions on what is being tested here as the games do, in part, seem a little random. This seemed to be a general criticism that you might come across for this style of assessment, but I don’t think it is necessarily a fair one. After my assessment, I was emailed a personality report that sorted my characteristics into five areas: 

  • personal style;
  • cognition;
  •  drive;
  •  interpersonal style; and
  • thinking style; 

These are not things you can particularly fluke or influence during the test, and you won’t know which game is testing which area. Some of the characteristics that I got back are very much things I would agree with. 

Overall, I think that game-based assessment is a good way to test elements of skills and traits, and is one that puts candidates far more at ease than the traditional tests. I, without fail, perform badly on the Watson Glaser unless I’ve done multiple practice tests beforehand, by which point the words are merging into one and my brain cells are melting. I felt far more comfortable with this style. Also, because points aren’t everything with this assessment, there is no benchmark to compare yourself to and no beating yourself up about the score after. The scores often get looked at with your application rather than being used as a filtering mechanism to get a more holistic view of who you are.

Something quite sensible I found out about these games is that you could produce a completely different skill report to another candidate, but both still get hired. Because it is testing personality points, firms don’t want to hire candidates that have exactly the same report - this will mean hiring people with quite similar personalities or styles, something that firms are actually keen to avoid!