Using Gaming to Develop Interviewing Skills

Michelle Wang, Cooperative Education

A “game-based” learning workshop at CETLS caused me to wonder: how can I use gaming pedagogy in my work with students preparing for job interviews? Can game-based pedagogy help students improve their interviewing skills and enhance their confidence?

 

Playing games helps to develop intricate thought. BMCC has begun to place a high priority on game-based learning. President Antonio Perez, for example, emphasizes and encourages faculty to use this interactive, interdisciplinary pedagogy within classroom teaching.

 

After the CETLS workshop on games in the classroom during the summer of 2011, I assigned a group project to students in my career planning class that involved game playing.  I asked students to bring to class one game with which they were familiar and enjoyed playing. The class was divided into five groups and students showed their games to group members. After introducing and playing the games, every group selected a game for the group project and modified that into an interview format. For example, student Lynn Cham modified Monopoly into an interview game.

 

Later the student and I revised the game board together, collecting and creating interview questions for the new game, which we titled “Interview Me.” It takes 30 to 45 minutes to play and can be played by up to five people. Players roll the dice and move their token to the spaces on the game board. The game board was designed to facilitate players' practice of interview questions. Game questions include those commonly asked during interviews.  For instance, “Tell me a little about yourself.” “Why do want to work at ABC Company?” “What relevant experience do you have?” “What is your greatest strength?”

Another type of question is behavioral based, such as: “Give an example of an occasion when you used critical thinking to solve a problem.” “Give an example of a goal you reached and how you achieved that goal.”  “Give an example of how you worked effectively under pressure.”

To infuse fun and excitement into the game, we created “Playground” and “Bonus” areas. In these spaces, players experience tongue twisters, poetry reading, and image exercises. For example, “What image comes to you when you see the word ‘interview’?”

“Interview Me” is designed as money-based. Players receive play money based on how well they respond to interviewing questions according to the interview rubric. The winner of the game is the one who receives $1,000.

I demonstrated “Interview Me” to the 35 students in my career planning class. Students indicated that after playing the game, they became more knowledgeable about interviewing, had more interest in sending out resumes, and were more motivated for future interviews. I then demonstrated the game to 15 faculty members at a CETLS gaming workshop in November of 2011.  The feedback was highly positive, and included a few suggestions for change so that the game can be used for review purposes before final examinations. 

My students and I have found that “Interview Me” creates joy and excitement in classroom teaching and learning. I remember that after a half hour of playing when it was time to dismiss the class, a student shouted “No! I feel like we played only 5 minutes. I want to win!” The majority of students requested that I bring the game to the next class. Of course, we had a good time again.