With Virtual Interviews and Gamification on the Rise, Will the In-Person Interview Become Obsolete?

I had nearly forgotten about the three-martini lunch, that oh so popular ritual among the businessmen in the New York neighborhood where I grew up. Then Mad Men came along with its high-definition window on what our  fathers had been up to all day at their Manhattan offices in the sky.


Is the in-person interview destined to become as much of a nostalgic oddity as the three-martini lunch? The first whiff of an applicant’s cologne, the strength and sincerity of a handshake, and those intangible signals emitted by an applicant’s body language may soon become obsolete.

What is taking their place? Two new millennia approaches to interviewing and screening applicants are becoming more popular by the day: virtual interviews and gamification.  

 Some virtual interviews (aka online interviews) may be held live using a platform like Skype.  In other cases, the recruiter will e-mail the candidate a link to a series of pre-set questions. The applicant is recorded on a webcam as he gives his answers. According to Dave Zielinski’s SHRM article, The Virtual Interview,  “Hiring managers review and rate the video profiles, share them with co-workers for comments, and move contenders to the next round.”     Recruiters like this process because they can view the interviews at their own convenience, be it at the office during work hours or at home in the evening.

 Gamification is the process of evaluating job candidates by having them participate in video games involving tasks or simulations which test for particular behaviors, skills, and strategies.   No doubt, this selection tool delights a whole generation of gamers whose parents told them, over and over, that playing video games was a huge waste of time.

If you have never played a video game in your life, you may want to find a young person to show you the ropes.  You’ll likely be surprised by how sophisticated and educational some of the modern  games are.

Should you find yourself at the applicant-end of an online interview, check out  Dawn Dugan’s sage advice, “8 Tips for Acing Virtual Job Interviews.”  

Whether you find yourself facing a live Skype interview, a recorded virtual interview, or a challenging video game, wait until after you’ve logged off to indulge in that triple-martini.



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