Skip to 0 minutes and 1 second We have looked at how to prep for common questions and shared some of the tasks you might be asked to tackle in your interview. But one thing we haven’t really talked about yet is how to present the best version of yourself. Let’s consider some of the things about yourself that impact the impression you give to an interviewer. The first thing to remember is that if you’ve been invited to an interview, that means on paper, you’re close to what they’re looking for. They’ll want to know what it might be like to work with you. So the best advice is to be yourself.
Skip to 0 minutes and 34 seconds I know it’s easy to say, but relax, breathe, and take confidence in the fact that they wanted to meet you. The truth is that they want you to do well, not to crash and burn spectacularly. They want to fill the position with someone good that they want to work with, and that could be you. Here’s some advice from recruiters, studio founders, and lead producers on what they might be looking for from candidates. I can’t express enough how important it is that you come prepared for an interview understanding what that company is about, understanding how many studios they’ve got, what particular games they’ve worked on, what genre of games they work on.
Skip to 1 minute and 15 seconds It’s really valuable to us to see someone who has done a lot of research into the company, because it shows that not only do you really care about where you want to work. But it shows that you want to understand what that company is all about. Another good trick is also look at the hiring managers. The recruiters will generally tell you who the hiring manager is. There’s lots of information that’s available publicly. If you can find out your interviewer’s name, you can get on LinkedIn. You can get on the internet. You can find out what games they’ve made. For every role within video games, you need a different skill set.
Skip to 1 minute and 49 seconds And when you come in for an interview, it’s about presenting yourselves in the best way possible to get the message across and how you can demonstrate the talent that you’ve got, the ability with the tools that you’ve worked with. And it really is about being yourself, being comfortable, being as relaxed, and getting across the message that you want to convey. And how you present yourself is different in each discipline. But ultimately, we want to see the real you. Try and be positive. It can be difficult. You will be nervous. But try and look people in the eye. Try and shake people by the hand firmly, if you’re offered the chance.
Skip to 2 minutes and 26 seconds I would also say appearance-wise, be careful, because this is the games industry. It’s quite relaxed. So dressing in suits and shirts and ties is not usually necessary. But people will expect you to be clean. Be tidy. Make an effort, but not too much. There’s some that sit. They kind of slouch back, sort of not engaging with people around you. It’s absolutely fine to be yourself. It’s fine to engage in your true personality. We want to know who we’re hiring, not the best version of yourself. But I think too often, interviews are based around be out there. Be outspoken. Be energetic. It’s not necessary to be that. It’s just to be yourself.
Skip to 3 minutes and 0 seconds That’s the main thing and not to look like you’ve rolled out of bed. I think that can be a bit off-putting, if it looks like you’ve not put the effort to be prepared and be on time. If you’ve still got sleep in your eyes, then it says something about how you might show up to work. You might not be reliable and dependable. So we do look at other areas, which might not be a hard or soft skill to influence our decision. We do take a lot of consideration in what people do outside of either work or university, how much games development experience they’ve had, maybe doing game jams or working in small projects or working with other teams.
Skip to 3 minutes and 37 seconds And those kinds of things are really valuable for us to make informed decisions. And it just shows how passionate someone is about not only getting into Sumo, but about getting into video games, overall. An additional skill that I often look for is whether they can summarise themselves. So when they come into the interview, I will ask them, can you summarise yourself and what brought you to be sitting here in front of me today? And what I’m looking for is, do they have the ability to be– do they hear the question? Do they summarise? Can they be concise? And how do they tell their story? What is the story they’re trying to convey to me?
Skip to 4 minutes and 14 seconds As a candidate, you’ve come from your education, the passion that you want to come into games with. What have you done? What’s brought you here? How does that make your story? That’s what I want to hear. That’s the additional thing I look for, their story. It’s interesting. As long as you have the facts to back it up– again, be authentic. Don’t just say something just because you want to get noticed, you want to stand out. Do say something that you believe in. I’d much rather somebody said, I don’t know about that. I don’t have that skill yet, but I’ve been working on this. I’ve been researching this. That’s a great one, actually.
Skip to 4 minutes and 47 seconds I’d rather hear that than– Don’t be afraid of “I don’t know.” Yeah. Yeah, because we will know if you don’t know. And we won’t ask more questions about that. We’ll just move on to the next topic. It would never count against someone to ask questions in advance of the interview. And in fact, it’s something that we would actively encourage you to do. A lot of people ask questions of the recruiters before the interview. More questions, the better. Yes, I think it’s OK for candidates to ask questions. I think it depends on the question, definitely.
Skip to 5 minutes and 15 seconds So if you’re asking about accessibility or you need to understand about how the building is laid out because you need to get in because of a particular disability, then ask. Definitely ask. Or if you want to make us aware beforehand of things like dyslexia and stuff and you’re having trouble, actually, is there a way we can get you information that’s easier for you to consume than what we’ve necessarily presented as standard on a website or in a job description or something?
Skip to 5 minutes and 42 seconds If English isn’t your first language, as well, and there are certain things that you’re not sure about within the context of the job description, I’m always happy to add more context. I’m sure that’s pretty true of most people. Yeah. We’re happy to make candidates comfortable and to make sure that they have all the information to be able to present themselves in the best way. Next, everyone gets nervous. We just show it in different ways. A good interviewer will take into account that you’re probably nervous. Here’s what our experts had to say about nerves. So if someone’s really nervous, you would– I tend to make sure there’s time for them. I give them a glass of water.
Skip to 6 minutes and 20 seconds So I take them to the room. I ask them if they want something to drink, and then I will leave them so that they can settle themselves in the room to try and help them be in the best position that they want to be in the room and then come back in. And then if they’re still nervous– I’ve had people really shaking and– The voice goes– The voice goes– and just try and put them at ease. And it doesn’t impact what I think about them. I don’t think there’s any such thing as a perfect candidate. Sometimes, it just can’t be helped. And you’ve just got to go. Yeah, you just accept it.
Skip to 6 minutes and 50 seconds You generally ignore it, because it’s not their fault. It’s an instinctive body reaction. And it’s something that you can be taught and you can learn to control your nerves. And maybe they haven’t had that learning yet. And if they came to our company, then they would get that. Remember, there is no perfect candidate. And the interviewer wants you to succeed so they fill their vacancy.
Insider tips and tricks
How do you present the best version of yourself? In this video with our developers, we see some of the things that could affect the impression you give to an interviewer.
How do you feel about interviewing now that you know how the developers got on?