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  • Game Dev Career Night: Level Up Your Job Hunting Skills

    [04.09.19]
    - Anthony Ritchey

  • Addressing conflicts and touchy subjects within interviews:

    Keep a good attitude

    • The interviewer(s) wants nothing more than for you to succeed.
    • You're never programming or working alone.
    • "Game development is not a solo activity. You'll talk with artists and other people constantly."

    "Save your hot takes!"

    • Don't talk about or focus on negatives.
    • Never "throw people under the bus," even if you feel it may be justified.
    • Don't bring up any controversial topics or negative statements.
    • Even if you feel an opinion is universal, there could be someone in the room with a different point of view.

    Don't argue or fight any interviewer(s)

    • If you don't agree on a particular topic within the interview, remain professional by asking questions that invite collaboration, such as: "How should I approach this?" "Can you explain your perspective so I can understand it better?"
    • One of the interviewers in the room could be your future boss.
    • Many managers appreciate when their employees can look at things from different perspectives.
    • "You could be wrong" about your approach to a particular topic.

    Don't take up too much time

    • Networking during an interview is a great idea, but remember they have work that still needs attention when they leave the interview.
    • If you're scheduled to interview for one hour, try to be mindful of that time.
    • A good question to ask when asked: "Do you have any questions for [us]?" "How much time do we have for questions?"

    Answering bad questions

    • Sometimes, the interviewers don't have the skill set to ask good questions themselves.
    • Be ready to redirect questions based on how the interviewers ask their questions.
    • The people you're interviewing with are usually not professional interviewers. If an interviewer asks an illegal or unethical question about your age or other confidential information, feel free to redirect them away from that question. It could be an innocent mistake.
    • You may be more knowledgeable about current interviewing policies and practices than your interviewer(s).

    "Why did you leave [your last/this] job?"

    • This is a common question in interviews which can gauge the emotions of how a candidate might act or react in certain situations.
    • Be prepared to hold a conversation between 30 seconds and 2 minutes about the circumstances behind why you're no longer working at any job listed on your resume.
    • Keep it positive. Even if you left the job because of a conflict, keep your composure, and avoid speaking negatively about any former colleagues or managers.

    How do you prepare for "the day before" the interview?

    Do your research on the company

    • Read about the company history. Who founded the company? Who runs the company now? How many locations do they have worldwide?
    • Summarize the mission statement and relevant company values.
    • Understand the mindset of the company. "The way Bungie asks questions will be different than Microsoft."
    • "Know your audience. Know the company."

    Focus on your positives to sell your resume

    • Re-read the job description. Focus on how your accomplishments tie together with the duties for the job.
    • Be ready to talk at length about past or current project. Have a story to tell about all of your projects. Rehearse your story to ensure it flows well.
    • Can you hold a 5-minute conversation about anything that's on your resume or relevant to the interview?
    • Are there any negative points that you might accidentally mention?
    • Keep an accurate level of self-reflection of your work. Speak honestly about your faults and how you learned from them just as you would speak about positive events.

    General tips

    • Take care of yourself the evening before your interview.
    • Eat a good meal.
    • Schedule plenty of time to get a good night's rest.
    • Research the amount of time you'll need to drive or bus to the interview area. Factor in enough time in case you become lost or unforeseen factors cause you to potentially become late.
    • Set aside your interview clothes so there will be less to consider the morning of the interview.

    Additional reading

    How do you prepare for "the day of" the interview?

    General Tips

    • Eat a good breakfast. Chances are, you probably won't feel hungry, but eat something nourishing regardless.
    • Do some light exercise or stretches.
    • Listen to some upbeat comedy to get into a good mood.

    Review your relevant projects

    • Re-read your resume.
    • Review your accomplishments over the past six months to get yourself into a positive head-space. This will help iron out any conflicts or strengthen any pitches that you can talk about during the interview.
    • Try to get into the headspace of your work, like you are going to work. You won't learn anything new, but this will help prepare your mind and steel your resolve.

    Arrive early

    • Don't procrastinate leaving your residence.
    • Plan to be in the area between 15 to 30 minutes ahead of schedule. This will, again, give enough time in case you become lost or unforeseen factors cause you to potentially become late. If you arrive significantly earlier than this, you can also use this time to find a quiet place to check your email or focus on your interview.
    • Don't check into the lobby more than 15 minutes early.

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