Preparing for your interview: using gamification

Anthony Haynes writes: An article carried by the San Francisco Chronicle relates how one candidate, Jon Guerrera, prepared for a job interview at Google. He based his preparation on the principles of gamification. For example:

  1. he tracked his preparation time (using a stopwatch);
  2. he identified milestones;
  3. he gave himself rewards for reaching milestones;
  4. the rewards were variable and partly determined by chance (the flipping of a coin);
  5. he introduced alternative options to refresh his routine.

As a result, Guerrera arrived at the interview feeling “incredibly well prepared”.

We like this story for two reasons.

First, preparation pays off. As anyone who has conducted a number of recruitment interviews will know, you can tell when candidates have done their homework. And the very fact that they have done so makes a positive impression — quite apart from the benefit it provides in terms of better answers.

Second, the idea of structuring your preparation as a game — or, at least, using gaming elements — seems to me to have legs. Up to now, I’ve always thought the best metaphor for preparation is that of a campaign. The notion of a campaign implies seriousness, scale, and meticulousness.

Now I prefer to think in terms of campaign + game. Bringing in the sense of a game surely sustains motivation and makes for stamina.

We’d welcome further suggestions for using elements of gamification for career development…

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