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How to Interview in the Game Business

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you’re trying to go. They will understand your experience and also where you’re coming from. Build Your Communication Skills After you reach a certain level, there will be an expectation of your ability to communicate. Some studios might even require a minimum level of communication skills. For example, you might apply for a very senior position such as an advanced or lead-level role. In these positions, you would be leading people and you will need to compose and express your thoughts in a clear way on a daily basis. You can still be nervous, but part of demonstrating you are the best fit for the job will lie in your ability to answer all of the interviewer’s questions clearly. In general, as an artist and as a person, it is really important for you to be able to communicate your thoughts clearly. COMMON QUESTIONS ASKED IN THE INTERVIEW QUESTION: Do you have any favorite games? This question is about leading you to open up about yourself. Be able to speak passionately about something. The hiring manager really wants to get to know you as a person and see what motivates you. This question can come in varying forms. For example, the hiring manager might ask, “What’s a really cool film or something visual you saw recently?” You could respond by saying, “I recently saw Shape of Water. It was beautiful and the design was out-of-this world.” Then, dive deeper. If you are a character artist, you might start talking about the anatomy of the monster. As someone who loves character, anatomy is deeply connected with your job. Go into detail. What particularities about the anatomy stood out to you? Did you notice any anomalies? Did it accentuate the personality of the water beast or did it distract from it? Were you drawn to the film because you follow the work of Mike Hill, the sculptor? 16

If you are an environment artist, perhaps you were intrigued by the many different ways water was featured in the film’s environments. What elements in the world of Shape of Water stood out to you? Why? Did you find water to be more of an asset in the film or more of a character? What are your thoughts on the bathroom and how it flooded? QUESTION: Tell me about a time when something was difficult. OR: Have you ever been in a situation in your working experience where the concept or entire pipeline was late and you were late but you had to push through to the deadline? What happened? When answering these questions, you want to be able to show your thinking. This is when a recruiter’s ears will perk up. What they hope to hear from you is that you were able to break down the problem and prioritize it. Then, they want to see that, from there, you methodically executed the solutions to the issues and, when needed, you asked for resources from other teams. They also want to know that you communicated with your lead and let your lead know what the new expectations were. You need to demonstrate your ability to think and problem solve. QUESTION: Talk me through how you got to this end result from this concept. (AKA THE PROCESS QUESTION) The process question usually comes up during the first meeting. The recruiting team may seat you with a bunch of artists with a television and ask you to walk them through your process. As you respond, you won’t know if what you are saying is right or wrong because the interviewers will maintain deadpan expressions. Even incredible artists have difficulty with this question. The answer is simple: Tell the truth. Tell them what you did and let them base their decisions on your honest response. Don’t tell them that something took you two hours when it actually took you eight. (Understand that, at the end of the day, it’s not about being super quick. It is about the quality of the work.) 17

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