Preparing for an interview to get a job in the game industry is a bit different than other fields, and it’s one of the reasons I love it. Many of the common interview practices still apply, but others are completely gone. The dress code for the game industry is much more relaxed, and your appearance in the interview may influence the interviewer’s perception of whether you’ll be a good fit for the team. If you’ve reached the interview phase, it means you’ve already beaten out a lot of other applicants, so you should take the time to really prepare yourself to make sure you leave a good impression. Preparing yourself mentally, so that you handle to interview in a calm and collected manner can make a huge impact on the company’s first impression of you.
Lets start off with how you dress for an interview for a game company. First things first, ditch the suit, you don’t want to wear it. In most cases, khaki slacks and a button up shirt is the most dressing up you’ll ever do in the game industry. If you walk into the interview with a suit, you’ll probably be overdressed, which can make for an uncomfortable situation. On a related note, the well-groomed, clean-cut rules don’t apply to the game industry either. Jeans are pretty widely accepted, and you might even get away looking like you came out of the Wayne’s World movie, but don’t push it too far. You’ll find that people are much more accepting of tattoos, unique hairstyles, and full facial hair in this setting, and it can even give the hiring team a better idea of your personality. This only goes so far through… you should absolutely shower and clean yourself up, making sure that you present yourself as someone that they would like to spend time with. Actually, you might as well think of it as a casual date: you want to be comfortable, present yourself well, and you don’t want to put anyone off with excessive body odors, cologne or perfume.
Don’t think that everything you read from a list of interviewing tips is useless though, some of the common tips are just as important here. For example, knowledge of the company that’s interviewing you can be very important. If the company has a mission statement, you should read through it beforehand. You should know what products the company puts out, how long they’ve been around, and who their core audience is. The interviewer may not ask these questions, but you can emphasize how your skills and personality fit into their goals. You should also definitely practice the interview and expect the common interview questions. Get a friend or family member to ask you some interview questions. Saying your answer out loud, seeing their reaction to your answer, and being able to stay calm during questioning can be very important. These questions may include “Why are you the best candidate for this position?” or “What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?” When I was preparing for an interview, I knew how to answer what my greatest strength and weakness was, but the interviewer threw me for a loop when I was asked to list my three greatest weaknesses… I knew two right off the bat, but I hadn’t thought of a third, and so I had to genuinely think about it for a little while. Which is actually fine; if the interviewer asks you a difficult question, take a moment to think about it and prepare your answer rather than rambling on and dancing around the question while you try to think of something.
You should also make sure you know what you need in order to perform the job you’re applying for. Be prepared to answer questions about how to handle work-related tasks. You should be able to back up answers with experiences you’ve had in school or from previous jobs. If you’re interviewing for a programmer position, expect to see some code, or logic questions in the interview. If your applying for an artist position, make sure you have some samples from your portfolio, and even be prepared to do some artwork at the interview. Every company and position is different, so there are no set rules for what you will or won’t be asked during an interview, other than that it will pertain to the job you are applying for. You may be tested on your skills during an interview, or you may be judged based off your personality and how well you will fit in with the team, or they may even be testing to see how you act under pressure. Make sure you are leaving a good impression in any of those cases.
Overall, you should be as comfortable as you can in an interview. Getting to wear some casual attire should definitely put you at ease, and put you in a better mood (it did for me at least). Preparation for the interview should help in the remaining cases. Remember, if you’ve made it this far, than you’ve already given them the impression that you’re a good candidate for the position, now you just have to prove it. If you’d like to learn more about the Game Industry, you can browse through my Index of Game Industry Articles. If you have any questions for me, suggestions for articles I should write, or just want to let me know what you think, you can do so by posting a comment.