Using game-based techniques to interview & hire great people - Let’s play Jenga
Recently I had the privilege of interviewing several agile coach candidates in consideration to join my firm. Instead of spending all of our time asking typical interview questions about past activities coaching agile teams and helping organizations transform, we asked candidates if they would be willing to coach several volunteers through a quick game of Jenga so as to see how they would perform coaching members of a simulated team. The integration of game play into interviews for positions like agile coaches, ScrumMasters or any team member for that matter can provide valuable insights into prior experiences and assess communication abilities at a much greater level of fidelity than is yielded by typical interview questions. The benefits of using games within interviews for coaching positions are analogous to the benefits gained by using a pair-programming session to assess both the technical skills and communication skills of software developers on agile teams. Moreover, these valuable insights and the opportunity to experience how a coaching candidate would interact with actual team members was gained in just over 5 minutes.
Join us at AgileGames 2015 for a Jenga session where you’ll have an opportunity to experience game-based techniques for job interviews that will allow you to gather more precise information regarding candidates under consideration in less time. During this GameJam session, participants will work in groups of 3 or 4 to go through simulated coaching interviews. These interviews will be facilitated in a round-robin manner to allow participants to experience both what it is like to facilitate a game within a job interview as an interviewer, as well as provide an opportunity to experience what it is like to be interviewed using game-based techniques as an interviewee.
Outline/structure of the Session
This NEW session is intended to be presented within the GameJam (CallForGames) at AgileGames 2015 - the intent is to allow attendees to experience what it is like to adapt and facilitate a game within a job interview for a coaching / ScrumMaster position. Timing for the session will be 60 minutes with the focus being on allow participants to experience both roles within the game (interviewers facilitating the game & the person being interviewed).
If desired, this session can be increased to a workshop (90 minutes) to allow for more-indepth discussion of the background and how to go about integrating game based techniques into coaching interviews.
A facilitation guide and notes sheet will be provided to all attendees - participants will use these to take notes during their simulated interviews for discussion in the debrief following game play.
Session Timeline (times shown below are in elapsed time):
- 0:00 - 5:00 - Welcome and review of game/session objectives
- 5:00 - 12:00 - Briefing on game setup, rules; group formation; game demonstration
- 12:00 - 19:00 - Game Session #1
- 19:00 - 26:00 - Game Session #2 (Rotate to allow another group member to be the interviewee)
- 26:00 - 33:00 - Game Session #3 (Rotate interviewee again)
- 33:00 - 40:00 - Game Session #4 (Rotate interviewee for the last time)
- 40:00 - 60:00 - Debrief & Questions
- Did you have fun?
- Did you gain insights about the person being interviewed that would have been difficult to determine through traditional questions/answer interviews?
- Will you integrate this into your future coach / ScrumMaster interviewing activities?
- Examples of specific insights that you gained from the interviewee using the technique?
- What did you like about the technique?
- What did you not like about the technique?
- What could improve the technique?
- What questions or puzzles do you have about using games within candidate interviews?
- Gain insights into how to safely integrate a game into a job interview.
- Experience how use of games within job interviews provides more precise and accurate information about candidate skills and on-the-job behavior.
- Experience how use of games within job interviews increases engagement of both the interviewers and the candidate being interviewed.
Anyone who wants to have fun and has a need to assess communication and teaming skills when interviewing job applicants
schedule Submitted 2 years ago
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