What are Game-based Assessments?

Anete Vesere (1)

Anete Vesere

Content Marketer

game play starting screen with three buttons

Gamification. It is often introduced during the hiring process to provide a more pleasant and immersive experience for candidates amongst other benefits.

What is a game-based assessment?

A game-based assessment is a type of assessment or evaluation that uses game-like elements or mechanics to measure a person’s skills, knowledge, and abilities. Some key features of game-based assessments include elements such as:

  • Scoring systems
  • Feedback mechanisms
  • Time limits
  • Challenges that increase in difficulty as the assessment progresses. 


These features are designed to provide a comprehensive and accurate evaluation of a person’s abilities, while also engaging and motivating them to perform their best.

Game-based assessments can be used in various settings:

  • For example, in education, game-based assessments may be used to measure students’ understanding of a particular subject
  • In a hiring setting, game-based assessments can be used to evaluate employees’ job-related skills and competencies.
Game based assessment definition

How do game-based assessments differ from traditional assessments?

Traditional psychometric assessment format

Psychometric tests are psychological tools, which are developed and validated according to a scientific method. There are two main types of psychometric tests that are most commonly used within HR processes: Aptitude and Personality tests

Game-based assessment format

When we talk about gamification, we mean the application of game-based elements in non-game-related contexts. To put it simply, gamified assessment refers to modifying the original form of traditional assessment by adding game elements. These elements often lead to increased motivation, immersiveness and overall candidate experience .

Serious games, or games without an entertainment purpose – as in the case of candidate screening (Michael and Chen 2006), have been developed from psychometric theory.

Game-based assessment format

Why do employers use game-based assessments?

6 reasons why employers use game-based assessments

Data-backed and objective insights allowing to hiring for potential

Research has shown that games reflect true scores better than conventional tests (Miranda and Palmer 2014). As a result, allowing employers to identify the most promising candidates and hire for potential rather than just past performance. 

Results in improved organisational attractiveness

Using innovative and engaging assessment methods like game-based assessments can help organizations stand out as modern and innovative, enhancing their attractiveness to potential candidates (Constantin & Stoenescu, 2015).

Improved candidate experience and engagement

Game-based assessments can provide a more positive and engaging experience for candidates compared to traditional assessments, leading to higher engagement and a more positive perception of the employer brand. Additionally, reducing candidate drop-out rates during the application process (Lumsden, J., Edwards, et al. 2016).

Removes bias from the recruitment process

Human evaluations of candidates are influenced by our unconscious biases. Stereotyping Bias, Confirmation Bias, and dozens of other biases will result in wrongly favouring one candidate over another.

Game-based assessments purely rely upon scientific insights, limiting the interference of biases and instead providing objective data about candidates.

Improves hiring quality and reduces mishire rate

By using game-based assessments, employers can identify the most suitable candidates for a particular job role, leading to better hiring quality and a reduced mishire rate.

Helps enlarge and diversify the talent pool

Game-based assessments can help employers identify a wider and more diverse talent pool by providing a more engaging and accessible assessment method that appeals to a broad range of candidates.

What are the common types of game-based assessments?

There are several different types of game-based assessments, each designed to assess different aspects of a person’s abilities.

Cognitive games

These games are designed to test a person’s cognitive abilities, such as memory, attention, problem-solving, and decision-making. 

Example of a cognitive game

  • For a customer service representative job, a game that tests their memory, attention, and ability to task-switch efficiently.

Behavioural games

These games are designed to assess a person’s behaviour, such as communication skills, teamwork, leadership, and conflict resolution.

Example of a behavioural game

  • For a sales role, a game that tests the candidate’s negotiation and persuasion skills.

Emotional intelligence games

These games are designed to evaluate a person’s emotional intelligence, including their ability to recognize emotions in themselves and others, regulate their own emotions, and empathize with others.

Example of an emotional intelligence game:

  • For a customer-facing role, a game that tests the candidate’s ability to recognize and manage their emotions, and handle difficult customers with empathy.

Situational judgment games

These games are designed to evaluate a person’s ability to make decisions in realistic scenarios.

Example of a situational judgement game:

  • For a project manager role, a game that tests the candidate’s ability to prioritize tasks, manage stakeholders, and resolve conflicts.

Simulation games

These games are designed to simulate real-life situations and assess a person’s ability to deal with them effectively.

Example of a simulation game:

  • For the transportation industry, a game that simulates driving a vehicle and tests the candidate’s ability to react to different traffic situations


These are just a few examples, and the choice of game-based assessment will depend on the specific requirements of the job role and the competencies being evaluated.

What aspects of candidate performance do game-based assessments measure?

Gamification can be applied to anything, it’s not a concept invented to measure specific traits. Rather a concept that was created to change the world of assessments. However, game-based assessments measure two aspects most predictive of job performance:

  • Cognitive Ability/General Mental Ability (GMA), which has proven to be the most significant predictor of work performance, with a correlation of 0.65-0.74.
  • Behaviour, which has proven to be a significant predictor of work performance, with a correlation of 0.45.
(Schmidt, F. L., 2016)

These measurements provide valuable insights into someone’s competencies, behaviours and responses to certain situations they might face in the workplace.

How do game-based assessments measure candidate performance?

Game-based assessments measure candidate performance by collecting data on various aspects of the game, such as the candidate’s interactions, decisions, and outcomes. These are called objective measurements

To sum up: instead of focusing solely on the outcome, game-based assessments take into account the process of getting to the said outcome. 

The data points gathered about the candidate are then used to generate a candidate report that provides insights into the candidate’s strengths and weaknesses. 

Game-based assessments for candidates

General candidate perception of game-based assessments

The perception of game-based assessments among candidates is generally positive – gamified assessments create an environment and atmosphere that directs a person’s attention away from the feeling of being assessed, thus reducing anxiety. This makes gamified assessments more attractive to candidates and consequently more enjoyable to take part in.

Moreover, candidates indicate that they perceive an assessment to be fairer in a gamified format, rather than the traditional format. The main reason for this is that gamified assessments collect more data points and focus more on how candidates behave in a game, rather than their answers only. 

In other words: There’s more room to show what you got. And that makes it feel much fairer for candidates.

Curious? Try a game!

A visual of one of the games that is non-cheatable and measures a specific skill/personality trait.

What to take into account before starting game-based assessments

There are a few things candidates should take into account before starting game-based assessments:

  1. Ensure that the environment the assessments are being completed in allows for concentration and has little to no distractions.
  2. Game-based assessments usually can be completed both on mobile and desktop. If the candidate is completing the assessments on a desktop, it’s wise to use a mouse instead of a touchpad.
  3. Make sure there is a stable WiFi network connection.
  4. Reading instructions presented during the assessments carefully is also important.

Ready to learn more about game-based assessments?

If you’re ready to learn more about game-based assessments and how they could benefit you or your organization – reach out to us here, and we’ll gladly tell you more about it! 

There’s no pressure, we just want to share our enthusiasm for gamification with you!

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