Home Editor's Picks Playing Games Can Be an Asset on the Job and During Hiring Interviews

Playing Games Can Be an Asset on the Job and During Hiring Interviews

Playing Games Can Be an Asset on the Job and During Hiring Interviews

By James Lint
Faculty Member, School of Business, American Military University
Senior Editor for
 In Cyber Defense and Contributor, In Homeland Security

Military recruiters and corporate hiring officials have discovered that today’s realistic computer games can also be training tools to orient new recruits and improve job performance.

First-Person Shooter Games

For example, the first-person shooter game series America’s Army, introduces potential recruits to military tactics and operations in a virtual settings.

According to the game’s website, “Players will experience the type of positional tactical training that U.S. Soldiers encounter at a real Army MOUT (Military Operations on Urban Terrain) site” set in a fictional country.

A player takes the role of an infantryman practicing combat maneuvers at a fabricated training environment. After the “training,” the player joins a reconnaissance unit that embarks on special operations missions behind enemy lines.

Survivor Games

In survivor games, players start with limited rations and few tools. That situation forces them to think how they can successfully survive.  The game manufacturer PCGamer says survival games “challenge players constantly, push them to their limits, and let them creatively solve problems and find solutions.”

The popularity of survival games is easy to understand because survival is hard-coded into our DNA, “so it makes sense that we’d become so engrossed in experiencing it in games.”

Survivor games are also useful as training tools in private enterprise because managers like employees who push themselves to the limits in knowledge and work activities.

Role-Playing Game (RPG)

X-box Wire says “Action-Roll-Playing Games (RPG) force players to make decisions in real time.” Many Action RPGs focus on combat against other elements.

In the 1990s, many RPGs transitioned to Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games, (MMORPG). MMORPGs begin like RPG games but, instead of a solitary player game, MMORPGs involve many online players, which calls for them to cooperate and work as a team.

Combat action roll playing is not a skill that most employees require. But they do look for employees with good decision-making skills who thrive on teamwork.

Real-time strategy (RTS)

Real-time strategy (RTS) are time-based video games that require players to use various resources to build units and defeat an opponent, as the Techopedia website explains.

In real-time strategy games, players attempt to expand their resources, defend their bases and launch attacks knowing that their opponents are scrambling to do the same.

These games introduce the element of pressures in addition to strategy. Players must make quick decisions that can affect their resources, equipment, funding and technology later in the game.

RTS games require many of the same decision-making and forecasting skills that senior managers need when making decisions about their company’s future.

What Is Your Favorite Game Genre?

While military recruiting might look for someone who plays first-person shooter games, or even America’s Army, most corporations are not looking for that skill set.

When you go into a job interview, you could be asked about the computer games you play. If you are not familiar with any games, do not bluff your way. That is always a way to kill a job opportunity. However, if you are familiar with some computer games, that can help your hiring prospects. Being able to articulate how and why computer games will help you for the job will increase your chances of becoming a new employee.

Getting the Job

When I was hiring intelligence analysts and sensitive security specialists, I looked for people who could explain how they looked at the long picture, the future, or made plans.  How did they handle problems, and can they make decisions?  Those that said they played Real-Time Strategy games and could explain how those games could help them in the analytical or problem-solving security job were the applicants whom I was eager to turn into employees.

About the Author

James R. Lint recently retired as the (GG-15) civilian director for intelligence and security, G2, U.S. Army Communications Electronics Command. He is an adjunct professor at AMU. James has been involved in cyberespionage events from just after the turn of the century in Korea supporting 1st Signal Brigade to the DHS Office of Intelligence and Analysis as the first government cyber intelligence analyst. He has 38 years of experience in military intelligence with the U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Army, government contracting and civil service.

Additionally, James started the Lint Center for National Security Studies, a nonprofit charity that recently awarded its 45th scholarship for national security students and professionals. James was also elected as the 2015 national vice president for the Military Intelligence Corps Association. He has also served in the Department of Energy’s S&S Security Office after his active military career in the Marine Corps for seven years and 14 years in the Army. His military assignments include South Korea, Germany and Cuba, in addition to numerous CONUS locations. In 2017, he was appointed to the position of Adjutant for The American Legion, China Post 1. James has authored a book published in 2013, “Leadership and Management Lessons Learned,” in 2016 “8 Eyes on Korea, A Travel Perspective of Seoul, Korea,” and a new book in 2017 Secrets to Getting a Federal Government Job.”