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Old 12-02-2008, 12:12 AM   #1
Mariol
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Default Phone interview advice anyone?

I've recently been told I've been selected for a phone interview for a games company ( ) But, I've only ever had one telephone interview before and that wasn't games related at all.

I was wondering has anyone had any experience with this or can offer any advice to what I should do/say?

Thanks
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Old 12-02-2008, 12:34 AM   #2
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What role is it for? Phone interviews are usually just to confirm details of your application and your experience, before they company brings you to the office for a full interview. If it's for soemthing like a programming position you may be asked some test questions, so it's a good idea to have a pen and notepad next to you. Also make sure you've got your CV/resume with you, since they'll most likely be going through that and asking you about it.

Other than that try to stay calm, talk with a friendly voice (try to sound enthusiastic about the role), and above all speak clearly. It's also a good idea to find somewhere private to take the call, and make sure that anyone who lives with you knows to not interrupt. Good luck!
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Old 12-02-2008, 04:33 AM   #3
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Congratulations!

Yes, do have a copy of your resume in front of you before you answer the phone!

Also, try to schedule the call on a land line phone rather than on a mobile phone.

Finally, be sure to have read some information about the company. Jot down a few notes so you remember names of games it has made, names of company founders, and other essential information. It's also a good idea to jot down a few cursory question so that when you're asked, "Do you have any questions," you can fire away. (A few good ones to ask are, "How long is the typical development cycle?" and, "What is the collaboration structure like in the company and for this position? How often are meetings? How autonomous is the work?")
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Old 12-02-2008, 05:16 AM   #4
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All of that is perfect advice. What position are you going for? If programming make sure to know OOP principles. Just go to wikipedia and read all of the articles on OOP they will help a lot. Generally phone interviews are just to make sure you are who you say you are on your resume before spending the money to fly you out.
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Old 12-02-2008, 06:54 AM   #5
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Thanks!

The advice from everyone has been great. It’s a junior designer role so I REALLY don’t want to mess it up.

I guess whatever happens it will be good experience.
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Old 12-02-2008, 07:10 AM   #6
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For Designer roles. Make sure to reference lots of games. If they ask you a question use specific examples of the designs you want to implement. An question I have had in design interviews (phone and non) is "What are your thoughts on introducing new gameplay elements to players?" One way is to just say "Slowly adding new elements every level. etc." This is an ok answer but the one I would look for would use more of an existing game example like; "Slowly adding new elements with each level. Like in Portal how they used the narrative to slowly introduce new ways to use the portal gun."

With design interviews make sure to show you have knowledge of games. Also knowing what kind of games the studio makes (more importantly the one that you would be working on) is important. Then you can cater your answers more to that genre of games.
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Old 12-05-2008, 11:00 AM   #7
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So... how did the interview go? Has it happened yet?
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Old 12-06-2008, 11:25 AM   #8
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Not yet sadly. It'll be this coming week. But even if I'm not successful I'll be asking for feedback and the posibility of re-applying later next year.

Gotta be persistent!
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Old 12-10-2008, 01:03 PM   #9
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I remember being so nervous the day I was supposed to get my first call.

They actually didn't call me that day, and I was incredibly depressed. I assumed they found someone for the position. A lady called me the next day and said "Hey! I'm sorry I didn't call you yesterday my daughter was sick and I had to leave work to pick her up."

It was then that I came to a few realizations. I'm short on time, so I'll post one for now.

1. The other end of that phone call lies a human being. Do not be afraid of this creature, they are generally friendly and will attempt to be helpful.

While waiting for your call, eliminate any thought of this big, amazing company trying to call you in some cold manner as they shuffle through the 9,999 other applicants. A real person will call you and genuinely care about what you have to say. This is your chance to impress them by being yourself, so have the confidence you owe yourself and prove to them that you deserve a closer look. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to get that junior designer role. There are a few basic things that are important, which are listed all over this website (portfolio, resume, knowledge of company, basic conversational skills, etc), but if you're hovering over the phone like I was, you already have what they want. You just need to show them.

It's my opinion that talent is a learned skill within this industry. If they don't think you have what it takes to meet their needs, then work harder! Don't ever let a failed interview stop you.

Yes, I trailed off a bit. It's the end of my work day and I'm a little delerious. What did you expect?
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Old 12-14-2008, 10:24 AM   #10
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Well the day finally came and I think it went well (I hope). I thought I'd leave some advice behind for anyone else seeking information on what to expect for these types of interviews. So here it is:

1. Know your CV inside and out, because you will be asked questions from it.
2. Know where you want to be in five years time. This shows that you have ambition and are focused, but don't try and say something that is clearly unobtainable.
3. Play the company's games and try and think of ways to improve their current games or add more content (depending on the genre).
4. Practice those awful 'typical interview questions', i.e. Name me a time when you had to give someone advice and they didn't want to accept it?
5. Investigate the company so you can ask a question that relates to it later.
6. Read the latest in games industry news as this may give you ideas for questions or may even be brought up by the interviewer. It always helps to show that you do more than play games.

Thanks for everyone's help and advice especially Zooch. Your post really calmed me down and made me realise that my interviewer was a person and was prone to making mistakes just like me.
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