You’ve sent your CV across for what looks like a job you could do and in comes the good news – an interview request. This could either be an in-house interview, or more commonly in the current global situation, a video or telephone interview request. It’s normal to feel some nervous energy at this point, the internet is covered in tips and tricks to help you prepare for an interview and there is some great advice for getting over the nerves and giving you a good idea of what to expect. However, not all of this is games industry-specific. Here are some tips for all interview scenarios that will give you the edge over the competition.
Research the company
This is very important. An interview can be over before it has even begun if you don’t show an interest in the company or their games. Research their previous titles and the games that are in development. If you really want to stand out buy and play their most recent game, this will give you plenty to talk about in the interview and passion for their work comes across very well. If buying their game isn’t an option, you can at least look for gameplay videos on YouTube, it doesn’t take long and gives you a good idea of the project you could be working on.
Remember to mention your achievements
You could be asked to name your top achievements, if you’re not asked then it’s worth mentioning them to show your passion for the job. For developers and creative people this could be a problem that you overcame, a result that you’re proud of, or game that you worked on. For anyone on the commercial side of things you should know sales figures or business development results off by heart. The interviewer usually asks questions to get this kind of information from you, we recommend using this S.T.A.R. Interview Question Response Technique to really impress with your answers.
Research your interviewers
Check out the people who you’re interviewing with on LinkedIn. Get to know them and what they’ve done and what their interests are. This should help you connect with your interviewers on a professional personal level whilst building rapport with them during the interview.
Ask them questions
Check out what’s happening in the news relevant to the company and the people you’re interviewing with. This should help you prepare questions that are insightful to their thoughts and opinions on events happening in the industry. By asking your interviewer questions you will come across more knowledgeable and interested in the opportunity.
Remember that your character is being assessed
It’s important to show your passion for games, we’ve seen people declined because they didn’t even mention that they play games. The relationship with the interviewer can be important too. More often than not you’ll be interviewed by the person you’ll be reporting to directly and they will want to see that your values match theirs and the company’s. Expect questions about management styles, past experiences in the workplace, and hypothetical situations. When asked questions about your strengths and weaknesses, make sure you have prepared answers on how you’re aiming to improve on that, or how you can turn your weakness into an advantage.
You may be asked to take a test before or during the interview
Before starting you should read over the test more than once and try to breakdown what it is that you’re being asked to do. You may be given reference guides and it’s always good to research the styles of their previous games. Tests are there to give an indication of what you can do, if you don’t understand a part of the test it is best that you ask for some guidance. It is very important to double-check your work before you return it. On more than one occasion we’ve sent over a completed test only for the candidate to tell us they need to change something, if it’s already gone over to the company by then it’s too late.
Bring your portfolio
For creative interviews, you will more often than not talk through your portfolio of work, so it is important to take it with you plus any additional work. Potential employers like to see sketch books and other work that they have not seen before and this is always a big plus point for an interview. Remember to make sure none of your work is under a non-disclosure agreement. See our Demo Work Guide for portfolio advice.
Learn from your interviews
This is important games industry interview advice. You can’t always get the job on your first try. We once worked with a candidate that had 13 interview requests, he was turned down after completing the first ten and naturally started to doubt himself and was thinking of giving up. He must have learned something from this experience because he was offered a job from each of the remaining three interviews. Don’t feel disheartened when things don’t go well, learn from your interviews and with a bit of persistence you could land your dream job.