Whether it’s a video interview or one conducted in person, we’ve got professional tips and tricks to get you fully prepared to wow the hiring manager waiting to meet you. From being punctual, to actively engaging with the studio and what they do, these tips will allow you to ace the interview itself and stay memorable!
Have Questions Prepared: Even just one question shows that you have a level of engagement and interest in the role and company that far outstrips the standard applicant. You could ask what a typical day looks like within the studio or why those hiring you like working for the company. An interview is a two-way process and don’t feel like you can’t ask questions too. You need to get to know them just like they need to get to know you.
Know the Studio/Company: Make sure you have played at least the last game that this studio has worked on. A familiarity with their properties and products will stand you in good stead and will prevent you from being tripped up during the interview if these questions arise. You don’t need to be an out and out fan of everything that they’ve ever done, but actively seeking out and consuming what they do will benefit you and show you have an active interest in the studio.
Be Prepared: In a similar vein to getting to know their back catalogue, getting to know the company as an organisation is very important. Key details to remember is how the studio was founded (and what date it was), as well as the initiatives they’re involved in within the industry. This will impress the hiring manager and show you’ve taken the effort to at least read their ‘About Us’ page. Those that come without any information in their arsenal will be written off as seeing this vacancy as ‘just another job’.
Give Off the Right Signals: Interviews can be high pressure situations, especially if you suffer from anxiety. Try to make yourself comfortable and don’t feel like you have to decline the offer of a drink when you arrive (because you don’t want to be a bother). As long as you’re engaged, make eye contact, and speak clearly, you won’t come off as being disinterested. Slouching, mumbling and generally bumbling your way through won’t bode well. You'll be memorable for all the wrong reasons, especially if you are unable to adequately answer their questions.
Be Punctual: Not being late to your interview should go without saying, but cutting it close and getting there just on time is almost as bad. Get to the studio at least ten minutes before. It allows the employer to know you’re serious about the position and that can be depended upon to be punctual if you’re fortunate enough to get the role. Developers are busy people, getting there early might mean that they can get you in quicker, and they’ll appreciate you freeing up some of their day.
Dress Appropriately: Make sure to ask beforehand, if it isn’t clear throughout the process, what attire is expected during your in-person interview. If no guidance is given, go with smart. Don’t assume smart casual or casual is the default. Sometimes the studio will leave it up to you to decide, and this is a test in itself. If you're in doubt, go with smart casual and don't be afraid to give it a personal flair that says something about you. You need to make the right impression, and this even extends to video interviews. Throwing a passable jumper over PJs won’t fool anyone. If you’re serious about the job, you’ll need to make the effort.
Lead by Example: Don’t assume they’ll automatically know your skills from the roles you’ve done in the past. Back up your claims with clear examples from your working experience. Take time before the interview to go through your CV and think of two or three examples that can be used as evergreen examples of your suitability for this specific role. Was there a time that you helped a colleague meet a deadline? Have you obtained an accolade such as Employee of the Month in a similar role? Have you generally exceeded all expectations placed on you before?
Keep Positive: You might have had bad experiences in the past, from toxic work cultures to poor progression opportunities. Regardless of these, avoid speaking too negatively about previous employers. It might be warranted, but the interviewer is only hearing one side of the story and has no evidence to back up your claims. Focusing too much on the negative of your career might highlight you as someone who could be a problem to manage.
Be Personable: If the company does something you’re interested in, talk about that. Discuss your hobbies and interests (where appropriate). They will want to get to know you as a person. At this early stage they can even begin to see how you’ll fit within their current studio culture and who within the team you’ll gel with. If you pass a statue or something interesting on the way to the interview room, remark on that and solicit the thoughts of your chaperone. This rapport will help them to remember you once it comes to decision time.