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  • Game Job Interview Questions And How to Answer Them

    [05.12.09]
    - Jake Simpson

  • 4. What's the best game of all time and why?

    The most important thing here is to answer relatively quickly, and back it up. One of the fallouts of this question is age. Answering "Robotron!" to a 20-something interviewer might lead to a feeling of disconnect. But sometimes that can be good. It means you have to really explain why it's the best game of all time. Can you verbally and accurately describe a game to another person who has never played it? You'll rack up some communication points if you can.

    What you shouldn't say is whatever the latest hot game is, or blatantly pick one that the company made (unless it's true and your enthusiasm is bubbling over). Be honest. Don't be too eccentric and niche, and be ready to defend your decision.

    5. What will you bring to the team? Why do we need you?

    This is a general question that applies to all interviews. There are two ways to answer: the big answer and the little answer.

    The big answer requires you to have some knowledge of how the company operates. Who does what? Your goal is to slot your experience, passion and skills (and if you are a student, your passion, skills, and desired career direction) into any holes the company may have -- and it should have some. Otherwise, why are they hiring?

    The little answer is to name some of your previous experiences and best qualities and hope that's enough.

    Care needs to be taken that a) you don't sound arrogant in assuming the company will die without you and b) you don't say negative things about the company. Statements like, "Well, you obviously can't do good Q/A. You need a good Q/A manager," are likely to go down like a lead balloon. Frame your answer to suggest that you would bring extra expertise, and therefore improvement, to something that's already in place.

     6. What's your biggest weakness? Or, if I hired you, what would I regret about it in six months?

    This is a common question in all job interviews. There are generally two kinds of responses: the brutally honest and damning one ("I get upset with people who don't carry their load"), and the sycophantic one ("I'm a perfectionist").

    What most employers are looking for is an honest answer that is followed up with an example of something you have done to work on your weakness. For example, you can say, "My workspace tends to become extremely disorganized," as long as you follow it up with, "but recently, I've put in a lot of effort to go paperless, and I'm extremely systematic in the way I manage my email inbox."

    The other secret to this question is not so much in the answer but how long you take to respond. If you answer too quickly, you might be suggesting that you already know all your worst points because they are blatantly obvious and you've been told so many times. If you take too long, it will seem as if you're searching for an answer that sounds good, doesn't make you look bad, and is something the interviewer would be happy to hear. Again, it gives the perception that you are being ingratiating rather than honest.

    By the way, the best answer I've heard is, "I don't know. What do you think I'd regret in six months if I worked here?"

    7. How do you feel about crunching?

    At smaller studios, this is the 64 million dollar question. My advice is to be 100 percent honest. If you won't crunch, say so now. It may well put you out of the running for a job, but ultimately that's a good thing. No, really, it is! If the company works a lot of overtime and you don't want to do it, then taking the job is going to be punishing for everyone.

    Having said that, the last thing any interviewer wants to hear is, "I won't do it" because that predicates a perceived lack of involvement and passion (not that passion should equal overtime, but the perception of refusing to do something before you're even in the circumstances could be the difference between getting a job offer and having the company pass you up).

    Phrase your answer in such a way that you don't sound confrontational with the interviewer. She doesn't want to get into an argument; she just wants to know where you stand. Understand that this question is meant to gauge, roughly, how you might fit into the company culture.

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