Did you hear about the virtual Job Fair on Second Life (SL) last August? Did you participate?
A number of big name companies decided to break the mold and try virtual interviewing. Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, and Verizon, to name a few, found it less expensive than holding face-to-face interviews. Many applauded the idea because of the worldwide ease of accessibility. However, there were a few lessons learned.
Next time, if you are considering using SL as an HR office, take these lessons learned into account before you interview or conduct interviews.
Practice Makes Perfect
Many job seekers that are new to SL will need to get their “feet wet” using the interface and their avatars. One person said they spent 6 hours just learning how to get around. Others found themselves floating during interviews and one even stood on his virtual head.
If you’re applying for the circus or as a super hero, these are wonderful attributes. As a potential employee, take the time to learn the environment. Be sure to allow yourself plenty of time to become acclimated with creating your character and moving around the virtual world.
Looks Can Be Deceiving
Take care as you create your character. You certainly want to represent yourself but like in a real interview, how you look can effect how you’re accepted. A bright orange mohawk may be suitable for some interviews but not for others. If in doubt, ask well before the interview what the average dress-code is and is not. Tailor your character to the position and company you are applying for.
Time Will Tell
Another lesson learned was the difference in timezones. Because the interview schedule is based in real time, make sure you get the correct time for your session. Many can miss their appointments because they get the time wrong.
Make sure you are aware of the requirements to run SL on your computer. Sometimes, having other applications open during a session can slow things down. Make sure you have had some time successfully experimenting with SL before your interview.
Over all, the event from last August was seen as innovative and as a fresh way to acquire employees on a global scale. For some, the event may have been too innovative.
Be aware, that Virtual Reality (VR) interviewing will miss many of the cues you get when conducting a Real Life (RL) interview. Reading body language and verbal intonations are completely lacking.
While this kind of technology usage is certainly cost effective, it does have it’s limitations (as mentioned above). It is recommended that VR Job Fairs be a supplement to your regular recruiting regimen. Try it out and see if it is for you and your organization.