Have you ever felt completely hopeless and frustrated when applying for a job? Resumes, cover letters, countless rounds of interviews, we have definitely all been there. Some say the process allows qualified applicants to fall through the cracks.

Guy Halfteck the founder and CEO of a company called Knack.it. And he has developed games to help employers evaluate candidates beyond the traditional measures. He joins us now from our studios in New York.

Guy, thanks so much for being with us.

GUY HALFTECK: Thanks for having me.

MARTIN: So one of these games, I actually looked into this, tried to play it. It was simulating kind of a restaurant situation. And the player is taking on the persona of a server and trying to attend to the needs of the customer in a restaurant.

HALFTECK: That's right.

MARTIN: Can you walk me through how that game works and how an employer can use that information, to make a good assessment as to whether or not they want to hire this person?

HALFTECK: Of course. The game is an experience in which lots of information gets revealed. In the context of the game that you just mentioned, "Wasabi Waiter," the player has to engage in multiple micro-decisions, think about prioritizing, about sequence of taking actions, about persisting when the game becomes more challenging. The game collects all the data points about the entirety of the behavior of the player during the game. And then we analyze that data to extract insight into the intellectual and the personal makeup of that person.

MARTIN: So you're saying that playing a videogame can be a better representation of who you are and your skill sets, than actually a one-on-one personal conversation?

HALFTECK: Absolutely. But I think that as people, we make many decisions that are biased, whether it's consciously or subconsciously. And we have no good tools to assess and evaluate and let alone predict what one's potential is. The result is a real crisis in terms of matching people to the right jobs.

MARTIN: So a game like "Wasabi Waiter," is this something that can be useful to employers in a variety of industries?

HALFTECK: The experience we have so far, working with a number of companies, shows that the answer is yes. We have used "Wasabi Waiter" and another game with a number of companies, including the energy company Shell, NYU Medical Center and others. And we've seen that both "Wasabi Waiter" and the other games we have can very accurately and insightfully gain understanding of what makes someone capable of achieving high level of success at that particular job.

MARTIN: Guy Halfteck, he is the CEO and founder of a company called Knack.it. The company is developing games to help employers evaluate job candidates.

Guy, thanks so much for talking with us.

HALFTECK: Thank you.

Copyright © 2013 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio.



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor

Support comes from