So they found you somehow and they’re interested. It’s time to go on a short date with the company. Like dates, you can botch this whole process up like I have in the past(both real dates and interviews), or be smart and ready. First be yourself. Of course you want to put your best foot forward here, but don’t change your entire personality. Each company have different cultures and they look for people who can fit in that culture. Some like more quirky, some of them prefer more laid back, and some of them prefer you be aggressive. Unless you’re a Oscar winning actor/actress, I suggest you be yourself. Most companies have interviewed people so much, they’re really good at seeing through the bullcrap. Second, be optimistic and positive. Nobody likes a downer. If you are a downer, work on that issue because nobody will enjoy working with you and rumors travel through the gaming industry. Since we got the basics covered, let’s go into more details.
The company is basically filtering out all the candidates they do not want. They saw what you can do, now they want to first know, did you really do it? They’ll probably have you go through some of the process you went through on some of your work to make sure it was you that did it. Lesson to be learned here, don’t use other people’s work in your portfolio. It’s really shitty and I’ve seen some people do this trying to get into a company. Seriously, if you’re even thinking about doing this, don’t. It’s not a cool thing to do and people will remember. Second thing they’re looking at is, “Is this person crazy?”. They want to know if you can handle the social aspect of working together with other people. Third is to see if they like your personality to see if other team members will like you. If you hit red on any of these aspects, highly likely they will not be calling you after. Build yourself in a way so you’re strong on all these aspects and you’ll do great.
I’ve seen couple people who came to interview try to sell themselves to me like a salesmen. ABORT! ABORT! ABORT! DO NOT HIRE! Listen, they brought you all the way out there because they already like your work. There’s no need to sell it anymore. Now they just want to see if they can trust you as a person to get work done in a team environment. Relax and be yourself while politely answering all the questions they’re asking you. Being nervous is normal and it’s fine if you stutter. Let them know you’re a bit nervous if you are. They’ve been at your situation too before so they’ll understand. RELAX.
Prepare to Answer Questions
So why did you decide to be a (Insert position here)? What drives to do keep doing this? How was your past experience like? Explain to me your workflow. What’s your strongest suit? What’s your weakest? These type of questions will be flying to you from left to right. Be sure to have answers to them. If you’ve never done any interviews, find a friend and do a fake one. This helps you shave off that nervous feeling and be more prepared to answer questions they might be asking. They’ll hit you with your past, present, future. They’ll ask technical questions of your job. They’ll dig in to your personality by asking you how you would handle a situation. You can never predict what they’ll ask, but it’s good to be more ready than not.
Prepare to Ask Questions
They won’t be the ones that are asking all the questions. You’ll ask them too and they’re curious to see what you want to know. This is usually during the end of the interview process, or if you go to lunch with some of their employees. My first questions would be, “What’s the culture like here?”. To me, the most important thing is that I work with people that have similar personality as me. So I’ll dig in to see if I would enjoy working here. “What type of projects are you working on?” Pretty important to know what the team is doing. “How are your work hours like?” It’s important to me I don’t work at a company that runs like a sweatshop. I want to know if they’re going to whip me around to work overtime everyday. “What do you guys do for fun?” “Do you enjoy working here?” “What’s the best thing about this place? What’s the worst?”. Lots of questions you can ask and have them answer so keep them in mind. They’ll like the fact that you’re curious.
A little bit of humor is great thing to have during an interview. It helps break down the awkwardness, but don’t try to be a comedian and joke your way into a company. When they’re asking you a serious question, answer them in a serious way. Filter yourself as you go. Don’t say dumb shit. Yeah, that was me at the interviews. I still wake up with nightmares… don’t be like me. Like I said, be yourself… kind of. Try to think and filter out your answers before you talk. It’s okay to say the wrong thing then correct yourself after in a polite manner. Treat everyone in a friendly manner. “Thank you” if people hold the door for you. “Excuse me…” All those proper etiquette will help you be more professional.
/DadMode on. PLEASE SHOWER AND CLEAN YOURSELF UP. The game community has a reputation for bad hygiene and rightfully so. I’m going to start a revolution of cleaning up this bad reputation for us gamers damn it! No one likes to work with people who smell bad and/or look like a complete mess. STOP IT! If you don’t shower almost every day, please get in the habit of that TODAY! Also don’t forget to GROOM yourself. Not just a fresh haircut once in a while but cutting your nails so I don’t have to see Doritos cheese filled finger nails when you type on my keyboard to show me something. Brush your damned teeth and tongue at least 2 times a day so I don’t vomit while you explain something to me. Cut your long ass nose hairs so I don’t see it when you smile. DO YOUR LAUNDRY. Clean clothes means less smell and you look better. Clean, clean, clean from head to toe ladies and gentlemen! You look good, you feel good.
The Waiting Game
This is the hard part because you have no control over this. After the interview, they have to decide if they want you or not. You go home and wait, and wait and wait. Wow this is starting to sound like my past dating life (Creepy?). Here what to keep in mind. You’ve done your part. All you have to do is just continue with your life. There’s no need to worry about calling them about what their decision is. There’s no need for stressing about what their decision might be. Only reason to call is if you have another offer on the table that needs answering to right away. Other than that, keep your mind off it. I would give it a week or two before doing a follow up call. Some places take longer than others. Like I said before, relax and continue with your life.
If they decide not to go through with you, as much as it sucks, there’s more opportunity out there. Rather than bumming yourself out, take it as motivation to improve yourself so they have no reasons to say no. A good move would be to ask them why they thought you weren’t a good fit. I’ve had a company reject me, and they told me that I was too negative in the interview. They were right because I kind of vented about the art school I went to. I’ve failed many interviews and that’s fine. It helped me get rid of the anxiety. After couple failures… *Cough* Dreamworks *Cough* Highmoon *Cough* Airtight *Cough* I started becoming really good at them. Meaning I was more relaxed and was able to just be myself without the negativity and nonsense. So learn from it and don’t make the mistakes you did the first time. It’s fine. There’s always another chance.
If they decided to go with you, great job! Soak it all in! This is probably where the negotiation phase kicks in. Get that phase taken care of then start planning!
*Above image is owned by CD Projekt RED “Witcher 3”