Virtual Interviewing, Body Language,

Companies are taking virtual interviewing to a new level with Avatar virtual world New Life Interviewing. IT and international companies are using virtual worlds for interviewing.
Friday, September 28, 2007
First impressions, second life
I blogged last week about people working in virtual worlds. But I must admit I didn't think about how the ritual of the job interview might look in a virtual world.

In fact, global consultancy Accenture has already started using job interviews in Second Life to recruit real-life employees. That's what Darren Nicholson at Rowan University, New Jersey, US, told me. He's been studying how teams of IT workers can collaborate using virtual worlds, as an alternative to email or instant messaging.

Since May, two large job fairs attended by multi-national companies including Microsoft and Accenture have been held and, as a result, Accenture spent three days interviewing candidates inside the virtual world at the end of August.

To me, it sounds a little pointless. Unless they were using the still-buggy voice chat in Second Life, it would be much like interviewing using instant messaging. I'd consider the avatars a distraction from the content of a conversation, but Nicholson thinks they make an important contribution:
"When I prepare students for interviews with big companies I advise them how to use the behaviour recruiters are looking for. With an avatar you are even more in control. Are you wearing power red? Are you rearing dark blue? There are so many social indicators that we use in real life that are being transported into virtual universes."
But Nicholson doesn't think virtual interviewees will be able to game interviews more easily. Interviewers will be ready for it, he says. "It could work in their favour - I think you can learn a lot about people by the avatar they create and the way it acts."

Nicholson predicts the IT industry is where the practice will become common first. Teams of software developers are already work together from different parts of the world so it makes sense, he says.

The first place this will be tried on a large scale is probably Beijing. The city government did a deal in May with the producers of a virtual world called Entropia, with a view to shifting thousands of the over-crowded municipality's workers into offices in a virtual city.

Tom Simonite, online technology reporter
Labels: virtual-reality, virtual-worlds

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Patti Wood, MA, Certified Speaking Professional - The Body Language Expert. For more body language insights go to her website at Also check out the body language quiz on her YouTube Channel at