9 months ago

How to Interview in the Game Business


WHAT IS A RECRUITER? A recruiter is the person who facilitates a studio’s ability to hire new additions to its team. The recruiter ensures that the process happens in a way that is both productive to studio deadlines and also facilitates the onboarding of new members. Most importantly, recruiters are focused on acquiring the best talent possible for the studio. The recruiter’s role in a game studio is important. Because talent pools are limited, a recruiter can be a force multiplier for the entire studio. A recruiter can dramatically affect a game studio by helping the hiring managers find exactly the right talent to contribute to the game team and help the studio work towards a big success. A recruiter can also be a huge boost to the career of a game artist. What Does A Recruiter Want? A recruiter’s job is to find the next generation’s amazing superstar artists. A recruiter is looking for the ones that somebody just needs to believe inthe artists who will be able to grow within the studio and then become something amazing. A recruiter also wants someone who will not only grow into a great talent but will also work well with a team. A top candidate will fit in with the studio and team cultures, be willing to acclimate to new tools, workflows and pipelines, and constructively apply feedback. Recruiters also want someone who will be able to fill a void in the team. For example, if a team has a strong knowledge of science, but is unable to execute a task technically, or vice versa, a recruiter will hire a person who fills the team’s need and helps the team to become better as a whole. WHAT HAPPENS IF I’M NERVOUS? This happens to everyone. Even people who have interviewed for their entire lives – people whom you might consider expert interviewers – still get butterflies in their stomachs right before the interview. As a recruiter, Alejandro has seen some people break down and cry. “I can’t deal with this right now,” they’ve said. “It’s too much pressure.” And they just break down. All their worst demons seem to come out at the same time. 14

Practice, Practice, Practice Practice your interview beforehand. Don’t just go in and try to wing it. In many ways, interviewing is a lot like acting. You are under the spotlight for a limited window and you want to make sure you represent yourself well while you have the chance. There are things you want to share about yourself and you want to be as clear as possible while doing so. You want to talk about your artistic process and express your passion for your work and what you do. Stand in front of a mirror and practice what you want to say. Do this over and over again. This way, it becomes muscle memory. During the interview, if you panic, get stuck or tense up, you can relax knowing that you already know what you are going to say. Enjoy The Conversation Most game studios don’t expect you to be 120% superstar during your interview. At Microsoft, for example, they don’t want you to spend the whole time trying to prove to them that you are the best. They are more interested in having a conversation with you during the interview. After all, you have been called in to interview for a reason. You can rest assured that, once you made it beyond initial calls and the art test, you are really good. The studio has confidence in your art skills. The interview is the hiring team’s opportunity to determine if you fit the studio’s culture and are compatible to work with. Use the opportunity to ask questions and get to the know the studio and whether you think the studio is a fit for you. Be Honest If you are having a hard time, don’t be afraid to say, “Hey, I’m really nervous.” The interviewer will probably respond with, “That’s okay. Can you explain to me in a different way?” The interviewer might also rephrase the question to steer you in the direction they want to. At a studio like ArenaNet, it’s okay to be nervous. You can be really nervous and bomb some questions and it will still be okay. They will still try to understand you and where 15

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