Did anyone else see the WSJ article about companies interviewing on Second Life. All I could think of was "hope my competitors read this." I mean, you have to work with these guys in real life.

Any thoughts?


edwin_park's picture

Just to clarify. I am not talking about finding leads or people on Second Life/Myspace, but actually interviewing.


bflynn's picture

I read about it. Rather than holding face to face interviews, some companies are holding them inside Second Life.



drinkcoffee's picture

This brings to mind to oft-used Mark Horstman phrase, "galactically stupid".

escuccim's picture

I don't know what to say about this. A friend of mine quit his job and is now running a company that does consulting with real businesses on how to set up a presence in Second Life. I am still shocked that he can make a living doing this.

I have tried it, but still don't understand what all the hoopla is about.

I don't see what the point of a Second Life interview would be compared to a phone interview, or an email interview. I just don't get it...

tcomeau's picture
Training Badge

[quote="escuccim"]...businesses on how to set up a presence in Second Life.

I think you've put your finger on the one case where a Second Life interview makes sense: When you're trying to hire somebody to design work in SL.

I suppose if you're never going to actually meet somebody, if you plan to do all your communication electronically, and the work is so well defined that you expect them to never be a real person to you, then SL interviews might also be helpful. I'm having trouble getting how that would work, though. And I usually "get" this kind of thing, despite being an old guy.


sklosky's picture


Some of my observations . . .

1. Second life is technically complicated. You will find mainly computer loving people who use it.
2. The adult entertainment business is very active in Second Life. (Somehow this industry is attracted to certain technologies and information services. There's something to it. I'm not sure what.)
3. The Virtual Reality technology is clearly in its infancy. I expect the quality to grow over time.
4. The link to real world money is interesting. I see a scenario where a popular job which someone is willing to pay for the opportunity to interview. This scenario is supported by SL.
5. I see a scenario where a SL interview is just part of an overall vetting process.
6. A company that does this is taking risks. Some candidates like companies that take risks.
7. SL provides an alternate channel for communications. Some candidates and companies enjoy exploring new channels. This medium is attractive to those types.

Just some thoughts.


asteriskrntt1's picture

I am guessing every one of us has seen some sort of business idea where we scratched our head and said something like "What a stupid idea. Will never make it."

I myself said a few years ago to someone at a conference "who needs MP3s? CDs are just fine. No one will invest in MP3s." And lo and behold, 5 years later, I am the proud owner of a seriously overworked iPod and roughly 1800 MP3-type files (650 podcasts, 750 songs and 300 lectures).

I also thought it was really stupid when I heard the video chains were renting TV content on DVDs. Now, they can't keep them on the shelves. Go figure

So while I don't get the Second Life interviews nor see the potential for a viable business model, I am not going to discount their ability to make it work somehow.


PS - You can add this to the ideas that at first sounded ridiculous but look at them now file...

bflynn's picture

These are not SL companies. These are Real Life companies, hiring Real Life people to do Real Life jobs.

Yeah, ok. If you want to run a business in SL and you want to hire a gold farmer on the other side of the world, then maybe an in game interview makes sense. Or maybe for a first interview, instead of a telephone call, but even that is a stretch (not to mention weird).

Otherwise, a MMOG is essentially an extended IM chat. You don't have the ability to properly evaluate someone by reading what they type. Not every "new" idea is a good one. And this is certainly not a new idea.

FWIW, I'm not a stranger to MMORPGs. I've spent more than enough time on MUDs. I've played three different graphical games since Ultima Online and beta tested about three others. I do understand the technology. These are games and still not appropriate for the serious business world. At least at any level for someone who wants to be a serious manager.

No. People are too important.


gilz's picture

The bottom line is like bflynn said: people are too important.


Look at the PR a company received just because it announced it is GOING to do that. It may be a publicity stunt, or may be actual, but it did make a buzz.
And like sklosky said, there are people that this message alone attracts them to the company.

And I'm sure they will interview them face to face later. Maybe.

RichRuh's picture
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It was a bizarre article, that's for sure.

The advantage is in the buzz- if you are a tech-saavy company trying to hire tech-saavy candidates, and want to appear cool and hip, this is a great way to do it. I'm not sure this is any worse than a phone interview.

Not following this up with an in-person interview, on the other hand, would certainly be "galactically stupid".


(p.s. Great timing- I read the WSJ yesterday for the first time in about 6 years :) )

Mark's picture
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Second Life may turn out to be huge, and I am NOT good at predicting tech trends, but...