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Old 04-01-2009, 11:28 AM   #1
Glasses
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Default Producer interview questions?

I have an interview for an assistant producer position at a developer coming up, and I'm really trying to prepare for this. To anyone who has conducted these sorts of interviews, or been interviewed for this sort of position, I'd love to hear some good questions you've been asked, be they tricky or common. During interviews I sometimes tend to get nervous and stumble when I'm caught completely off guard by something, so my goal is to cover as many bases as possible during my preparation.
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Old 04-01-2009, 08:51 PM   #2
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I've been on one interview for that position. Didn't get the job, been kicking myself in the backside ever since. Mostly because I made one dumb mistake (which I'll keep to myself).

In a small room with two Producers, and the art and technical directors (founders of the young company), I was nervous. I feel my performance was pretty good, but I should have been more confident. The interview isn't that much different than from many other interviews I've been on. But a Producer is a leader, so you need to exude confidence and leadership. But not ****iness.. Yeah, it's tricky..

Some good general questions are:
Describe your strongest moment.
Describe your weakest moment. What was the cost of any mistakes you made?
Why do you want to be a Producer?
Be able to describe why you want to make games, what makes a good game, a list of some of your favorite titles, genres, etc.
Be able to describe some on-the-job experiences you've had that either you learned a valuable lesson from, or showed great poise or leadership.

If (when) you do get surprised by a question, pause. Interviewers are happy to give you a moment to collect and organize your thoughts. Don't think about what they might want to hear; rather, find your honest answer, and think of the best way to phrase it.

Realize that your resume got you to this interview, so they like you on paper. They think you're qualified for the position, you have to believe you are as well.

If you have the time, and haven't been on any interviews lately, get an interview elsewhere first. This will get you back to being comfortable with being grilled by someone you don't know. I'd recommend just going to a temp agency. It's less intense, but you can usually get an interview with little notice. Honestly, it helps to have been on some sort of interview recently.
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Old 04-02-2009, 12:03 AM   #3
Mariol
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crewwolfy View Post
I've been on one interview for that position. Didn't get the job, been kicking myself in the backside ever since. Mostly because I made one dumb mistake (which I'll keep to myself).
I think it would be really beneficial if you share what you think you did wrong (it may have not been this) as it could possibly help any others applying for production roles, especially as these interviews are (in my opinion) quite difficult to prepare for.

Crewwolfy makes good points. But also remember that they are looking for some sort of experience within a management role because a producers main job is to manage people correctly in order to achieve your project objectives. Also any examples demonstrating great (not good) communication skills will be useful.

Good luck Glasses!
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Old 04-02-2009, 08:00 AM   #4
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I made the dumb mistake of saying the wrong company name.

I had two interviews for two different development companies in the same week, and I started off the interview's first question by calling them a competing company's name.

The rest of the interview went really well, but I should've just got up and walked out at that point. What an icebreaker.
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Old 04-02-2009, 09:01 AM   #5
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It shows resolve that you stayed, and look you learned a lot from it! So it wasn't all bad, but yea that is a killer to an interview.
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Old 04-02-2009, 10:45 AM   #6
Glasses
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Thanks for the tips Mariol and Crewwolfy. Those are definitely great examples you gave of things to think about. To add something, I think I think it helps to have a really solid understanding of what goes on at all points in the general production process of a game. If you're applying for a position like this, chances are you already have a good understanding of the production process and have likely participated to some degree. But I think it's good to have this really down pat, because I once made some stupid errors in describing the process during an interview-- stuff that I shouldn't have gotten wrong, it's just I hadn't thought about the entire interconnected production cycle as much as I should have.
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Old 04-02-2009, 08:41 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zooch View Post
I made the dumb mistake of saying the wrong company name.
Did this in a cold call letter. Not as embarrassing as doing it in an interview, but I agree with you, in a bit of a harsh reality, when you say it probably cost you the job.

Crewwolfy's comments are good.

My major piece of advice would be to appear confident, but not arrogant, and show a willingness to learn rather than show-off. Simple advice useful for all interviews, but probably moreso with a producer where you will be leading a team and thus personality is 50% of the job, learnability is 40% and current skills are 10%.
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Old 04-03-2009, 12:13 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bittman View Post
My major piece of advice would be to appear confident, but not arrogant, and show a willingness to learn rather than show-off.
Easier said than done, especially when you're under the pressure of an interview.
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Old 04-03-2009, 06:29 AM   #9
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Yes it's easier said than done, but practice will greatly help you in these situations. Most of the nervousness coming from people during interviews is because they're in a foreign environment being asked questions they don't typically answer every day (questions that require thoughtful responses too).

I remember going to interviews - I can look back now and see all the stress I caused myself by simply not being pro-active. A lot of times before the interview I would have to pray I understood the directions correctly. I had to get there on-time or early so I was always rushing. I also had to make sure I had all the materials I needed and that I looked and smelled fine. I was worried during the interview that I was smiling or talking too much. Wondering how I could sit and speak to a panel of 5 interviewers and address them all accurately. None of the stress actually came from answering the questions!
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