Interviewing for a video game job is a unique experience from your typical job interviews. The games industry is highly competitive and candidates are measured by their technical or creative competencies.
When preparing to interview in the games industry, it is imperative that you’ve completed the following tasks before throwing your hat into the ring.
Update Your Portfolio
It’s imperative to always display your best work to impress the interview panel. Portfolios are perhaps the single most important asset to landing a job in the games industry. If you are interviewing for an art, animation or content design position, pull together your best professional and personal work to showcase your skills in a highly organized fashion to video game recruiters. Portfolios should be displayed online on a personal website or community sites such as ArtStation.com or Behance. Engineers will benefit from showcasing their work on repositories like GitHub or on a personal website.
Do Your Research
The way you interview will determine whether you get a job offer or not. From the moment you walk in, the employer will begin evaluating you on a variety of levels including your appearance, your personality, and the way you express yourself. If you are prepared, you’ll project a positive, professional image that will give you a big advantage over the competition. Follow these suggestions to be your most effective self in face-to-face and remote video game job interviews:
- Read through the company’s website, any social media pages, and search online for press releases and articles about the company and their games. Being knowledgeable about the company and their products affirms your interest in the job and provides common topics for discussion.
- Read through the job description carefully so you know exactly what they’re looking for. This will enable you to emphasize specific and relevant areas of your background that will resonate most effectively with the hiring manager.
- Play at least one of the company’s games; read the reviews and formulate your own opinions.
- Review the background of the person(s) you’re interviewing with on LinkedIn
During The Interview
- The outcome of many interviews is often decided during the first few minutes, so starting the interview on the right foot is key. It is extremely important that you arrive on time, preferably 10-15 minutes early (…though any earlier and you may be too early), to make a good impression and to show your appreciation for the employer’s time.
- Greet the employer with eye contact, and a smile. Project an enthusiastic, professional image right from the start.
- Be honest! Never misrepresent your education or work experience. Present only the facts and remember that mostly anything can easily be fact-checked.
- Discuss the job with the employer. While you should be aware of the position you’re applying for, a good way to start the interview is to ask the employer to describe the duties and responsibilities of the position. Listen carefully and mentally note each duty mentioned, so you can relate to the employer how your experience and training would be well suited for their position.
- Be positive! A major factor in many hiring decisions is how well the employer gets along with the applicant. To develop a good rapport, speak clearly, listen closely, and show interest. Don’t complain or speak negatively about your experiences at previous jobs; employers do not want to hire a sour apple or take a chance on someone who might disrupt company morale. When the employer says something that requires an answer, comment, smile or nod — REACT!
- Answer questions by speaking in terms of the position. Emphasize what you can do for the company. Some employers ask very broad questions like “Tell me about yourself.” Instead of talking about your childhood, family or personal ambitions, mention specific accomplishments that show your abilities and determination to succeed in this job. Your answers should tell the employer why you would be an asset to the company, not why you need a job (more help on this in the following sections).
Research Potential Interview Questions
Wrapping Up The Interview
Ask meaningful questions about the position. Many employers evaluate applicants by the questions they ask. Employers like specific questions about the nature of the job, the company’s plans and goals, and the abilities considered most important for the position (again, more help on this to come!).
Discuss salary ONLY after the employer mentions a figure (if it never comes up, your DAM recruiter will help to manage this discussion on your behalf with your best interests in mind). While salary is going to be a consideration in accepting any position, you do not want to give the impression that you’re only interested in a high salary. If the employer makes a firm offer and you want the job, accept it on the spot. If you’re doubtful or undecided, ask for a day to think it over. Never refuse an offer of employment until you’ve had time to think about it and discuss it with the recruiting team at DAM.
The DAM Advantage
Since 2000, DAM’s mission has been to fuel the growth of the games industry, striving to advance careers and improve the lives of technical & creative professionals.
In partnering with DAM, candidates gain access to some of the most compelling, often under-the-radar, game jobs and the chance to dialogue with the decision-makers hiring for them.
From application to offer, you can count on our team of knowledgeable video game recruiters to guide you and advocate for your success every step of the way. So, whether you’re actively in pursuit of a new job or just want to be in the know when your dream job pops up on our radar, you’ll always be ahead of the game with DAM in your corner.
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Read through more video game resources here.