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How did you feel before the interview?

Junior developers from Square Enix and Sumo Digital discuss how their interviews went for the first jobs they got in games development.
Everyone gets nervous about interviews. Here’s how some of our developers felt before their first interview. For my current job, this was one of many interviews that I’d done while I’ve been trying to get a job in industry. So I was very much used to the process and meeting people, understanding what sort of questions they’re going to ask, understanding what sort of environment it was going to be. I felt quite prepared for it because at that point, I think I’d done at least 10 interviews or something around there, anyway. It’s been quite a while. But yeah, I was pretty confident that I knew what I was doing. But I think that just comes with time and practise.
I expected the interview to be a lot more binary, in terms of I was either going to get questions right, or I was going to get them wrong. I did a lot of research around more technical aspects of game development. I wanted to have a lot of terminology nailed down. And I wanted to feel like I already knew how to be a producer and that I knew the right way to do it so that if they asked me how, I could give the right answers. I expected, firstly, them to talk about my previous experience– so my portfolio and CV and perhaps my previous internships that I’d done– and then also technical questions– so my programming, C++.
So I mostly prepared in that I hadn’t done much C++ for a little while. So I went and read a C++ book, which was very helpful. And then it was just going over kind of stuff I’d done at university and then also thinking about my experiences and what I’d put on my portfolio and CV and making sure I could talk about each one and reference those back to the skills that I have, professional skills and technical skills.
I made sure that I did lots of research, like looking online, checking what games that they’d worked on, making sure that I matched the job description– so all of the requirements and responsibilities– making sure I was basically the perfect person for that role and knowing enough about the company to be able to turn up and answer any questions that they had. I knew I wasn’t going to be able to produce a game ahead of this interview to be able to show them I had those skills. But I could do research into the company’s methods of producing games. I’ve got the internet available to me.
I could buy books on Amazon, and I could start to understand some of the principles that they were using. And then for my own team in HR that I worked in or maybe for a personal project at home, like I’m planning for an event, I could start using those principles so that I felt more comfortable with them. And I could give real examples of how to achieve those processes. Although I was an internal applicant for the role that I had, which meant I did have a huge advantage of understanding the company and its culture, all I was given for the interview was a job description, the same as all external candidates were.
I did have the advantage, again, of speaking to producers within the company about, what’s the role like? What do you do on a day-to-day basis? But it so varied from team to team that that actually kind of mystified it more for me. Essentially, it’s kind of like matching up what they’re expecting of you to your experiences. So it’s kind of like, oh, well, they’re wanting a person who’s really good at doing paper-level design. Then I’ll figure out, where have I done that in the past and how can I apply that?
So it’s more about figuring out exactly what they want and what you have and trying to put those two together to try and fit the criteria– make sure you’re the best person for the job.

In this step, you’ll hear the developers reflect on how they felt ahead of their interview.

Can you guess what actually happened?

Were their predictions accurate?

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How To Start Your Career In Games Development

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