Would You Interview for Your Next Job in Virtual Reality?

MGM Resorts is now allowing job applicants to experience their potential role in virtual reality (VR) before signing up, according to a new report. 

“It can be very difficult just to verbally explain the types of positions or show a video,” MGM Resorts’ chief HR officer Laura Lee recently told Business Insider (hat tip to Engadget for the original link). MGM’s VR software will also subject applicants to difficult guest interactions, offering more insight into whether the job is truly right for them. 

“Virtual reality gives employees the opportunity to think and correct themselves without getting stressed or worried that they did something wrong,” Lee added.

Does that mean we’ll soon see more job interviews conducted in virtual reality, particularly tests? That’s an excellent question. Bill Gates breezily predicted last week that we’ll all soon take more meetings in VR, so why not job interviews? 

For starters, VR headsets aren’t nearly as ubiquitous as, say, smartphones (“Most people don’t own these [VR] tools yet, which will slow adoption somewhat,” Gates acknowledged in his blog discussing the rise of VR). Second, we’d probably need more technologists and developers building VR apps—and the pool of those creators is still relatively small. Third, most hiring managers and recruiters are perfectly fine with using video chat and other, current tools to conduct necessary interviews.

That situation could easily change, though. With Facebook investing billions of dollars in the VR-powered “metaverse,” and companies such as Microsoft exploring more business-centric VR apps for the HoloLens and other devices, there’s potentially a future where more candidates are interviewed in virtual reality, especially if companies can figure out how to simulate a particular aspect of the job. 

Fortunately, the best practices for interviewing will likely stay the same whether you’re in virtual reality or “real” reality: research the company, rehearse your talking points beforehand, prepare for any coding tests, and always follow up by sending your interviewer(s) a personalized thank-you note.