Surviving a Game Development Job Interview

The recent demise downfall of Free Radical brought back some fond memories of when I was trying to get a real programmer job in the Game Development industry. Sad to say, I didn’t make it – but then again after second thoughts, I kind of figured it wasn’t the best career path for me anyway.

Still, I learnt quite a lot about what is expected from a game development job interview. And I thought i’d list my top 3 points here, which are general enough to apply to any game development profession:

1) Bring a laptop to show off how good you are

This is perhaps the most important point. You cannot rely on thumb drives, cd’s, or the internet.

There is a high probability that your demos will not load properly on your interviewers systems. So be sure to show them on one that you know does work – yours.

In addition, the very fact that your demos are on your own hardware gives that extra inclination that you made them yourself.

2) Brush up on common knowledge pertaining to your profession.

Chances are that you will be given some form of test, either on paper or through meticulous quizzing. The aim of this is to weed out clueless candidates. Make sure you are not clueless.

3) Have something to say, questions to ask.

If you find that the interviewer is talking more than you are, then chances are they are more interested in themselves rather than who they should be interested in – you.

Have something well-formed to talk about. Don’t let the interviewer get carried away talking about some obscure technical concept.

The focus should be on you.

So after waffling on with the usual interview talk, your interviewer will usually ask “Any more questions?”. At this point, if you answer “No” then chances are you will fail the interview.

Why? Well, remember that there are two parties being interviewed. You and your interviewer. They are giving the reins over to you, in a sense.

So now is your last chance to stand out from the crowd (if you haven’t done so already). If you do not take it, then there will be little to distinguish yourself from the rest of the candidates.

To conclude

Anyone else have any more suggestions? Feel free to comment below!