The application process is a simple and effective way for for leaders to
filter out players who want to join their team. There are some guilds out there
which leave a giant text box and encourage applicants to fill in whatever
information they like. Others shun the application process entirely and go
straight to a 1 on 1 interview. Really laid back clans might even invite them
into the group on the spot without a formality in the first place. For the vast
majority though, applications function as the gateway to before accepting a new
While individual questions will vary and are often tailored to different types of guilds and clans, there are a few points that do remain constant.
I’ve seen guilds place their entire policies and rules on the same page as the application. I don’t advise doing this. Place a link that leads to it and then include a summary list of all the important rules. Include only what players absolutely need. Some of the common ones I’ve seen are:
- Working headset and microphone
- Minimum gear standard for MMO guilds
- Minimum kill to death ratio for FPS clans
- Positive and forward-thinking attitude
- A regular schedule of events (More on this below)
How committed are players? This is a big question you want to determine which also falls in line with the rest of your philosophy. Professional clans who compete regularly in tournaments will want stable players. They have to be able to set aside their time for practices and scrimmages. In some cases, they may even need to fly out to tournaments in a LAN setting. Casual guilds have lower barriers and don’t have as high of an expectation.
This is where your applicant gets to introduce themselves, their knowledge
and experience. Player skill is something that is picked up over time. Some
guilds are perfectly willing to work with new players who have just started the
game. Veteran organizations with far higher aspirations may look for players who
have played much longer and know the ins and outs of the game. Consider asking
for a link to any player profiles to see what their accomplishments are.
- Which raid bosses did you take down?
- What was your tournament placing?
- What is your ELO rating?
- Any notable achievements you’ve acquired in game?
Can your applicants make the scheduled times of your events? This should be placed as an actual event so that players clearly acknowledge that they are making a commitment and will do what they can to uphold (barring some emergency that takes priority). If a player can only make 2 out of the 3 scheduled days for any league or ladder matches, that means you’ll need to find another player to fill in for that day when they’re not there. If you’re not willing to make that addition, then pass on them. If you’re okay with the absence and think that the player would be a good fit, bring them onboard.
When I was a second year student, we went on a class field trip to the local police station. The recruiter was delivering a talk about the qualities that they look for in applicants. A key question that is asked during the interview process is "Why do you want to join the police force?”.
A classmate near the front yelled out, "To find drugs and shoot bad guys!”
The recruiter stopped talking and stared at him right in the eye for seconds before saying, "That is exactly the kind of answer that won’t get you hired.”
The point of this question is to figure out what drives the applicant to joining your community. You don’t want them to waste your time and resources only to find out weeks later that they’re in the wrong type of clan. Find out what their personal gaming philosophy and approach to the game is. See if their goals matches the vision you laid out for your organization. You know you have a solid recruit on your hands when their ideals match your ideals.
Do applicants need to walk through burning hot coals after they get accepted? Is there an interview process or someone they need to speak to specifically? Do they have to go through dungeons and tackle vicious monsters with other members in your guild? Compete in a few practices or scrims before being accepted with open arms? If there is a trial process involved, list everything that needs to occur before your leadership comes to a conclusion about acceptance.
Spellcheck and grammar check!
Want applicants to take your guild seriously? Make sure you run through it
once or twice and fix and spelling or grammar mistakes. I can’t stress this
enough. I know a number of players who stopped reading and decided to apply
elsewhere due to excess mistakes. If a guild can’t be bothered to take their
application seriously, then how can an applicant take a guild seriously? This is
about presenting the best face for your community and an error-free page is a
great step to making sure that happens.
These are just some of the basic things to consider when you come up with your first application form for your community. I guarantee that it will never be truly final. You might not get it perfectly right the first around but at least you'll have a solid foundation to work with to get close. The most important part is to modify and tailor the questions you ask to your own community philosophy.
Now it's your turn! What other questions or fields would you suggest for other users to add on their application form?