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I’ve interviewed 100’s of Designers, and game devs of all levels. Some are 30min chats, others are grueling singular, or multiple day affairs. I’ve got some tips and insights for you….a thread.
My Take Be aware that this is my take, and hiring managers work very differently across the industry. With that being said, these points are broad and general enough, that they'd be useful when engaging with most any company, at any level.
Company Research Developers like it when you’re engaged, and genuinely interested in joining their company. Look them up, gain some information, and weave that knowledge into your conversation. There’s also a high chance they’ll ask “Why us?”…you’ll be ready 😊
First Impressions As with all initial social engagements, your introduction is key. Check body language, be positive, confident, and present yourself as a person YOU'd want to work with. I love people who know their stuff, but are also playful, enthusiasm & fun to chat with.
Negativty Don’t insult past employees. EVER. It isn’t professional, and begins to shape the way interviewees perceive you. It’s ok to talk about company issues, but do it with tact and decency. They’ll fill in gaps and understand your position.
Hobbies Having a “spare time” pursuit, shows that you’re self-driven & motivated in creative endeavors. Even better, that you apply those learnings back into game development. Example: You do photography, and it has helped you frame, and guide players’ in your level design.
Ask Questions Asking Questions shows that you’re engaged and want to know more. Have a pool of prepared questions, some specific to the company, some that are relevant to every company, to save yourself some time.
Ask The Right Questions Focus on the role you’re interviewing for, and the team surrounding you. Examples; what's the team structure, current hurdles in or connected to the role, who’d you be working with, what does success look like, what does the team need etc.
Portfolios & Websites I always look for portfolios and websites on a designers resume. I will trawl every page, so be aware of the content you have there. Make sure you show your best work, and always explain your process!
Confidence We love confidence, but don’t let it boil over into arrogance.
1/5 - The 3 Tenants There’s many ways to break down the hiring of a candidate, such as team/social impact, quality bar increase, specific expertise etc. I tend to use just three. 1 – Experience 2 – Personality 3 – Skill
2/5 - Experience The amount of time, and range of roles a person has had in game development. Time does not equate to quality, but it generally helps people to identify, and potentially, negate and present methods to overcome problems.
3/5 - Personality How a person interacts, talks and “plays” with others. This is a crucial component for me, as this helps with the building blocks of good culture. I tend to pass on people who will taint the team, irrelevant of skill or experience. The cost is too high.
4/5 - Skill This is all about how good a person is at their craft. It's how they explain their process, show the results of their choices, and how deep they understand the field. High skill people are generally casual when talking about their craft, due to familiarly.
5/5 - The Order Question I like to ask candidates how they'd order Experience, Personality and Skill from 1 to 3. 1 being the highest priority. It gives me good insight into how they think, and what's important to them. Personally it's 1) Personality 2) Skill 3) Experience
Social Media I never search the social media footprint of candidates, but it wouldn’t surprise me if others do. Be aware of how you conduct yourself online, it’s a small industry, and word gets around. Keep your social element consistent with YOU.
LinkedIn Linkedin is a place most employers will review your full profile. It's the be-all, end-all, but it's the best option we current have to review people. Keep it current, and display recommendations if you have them. If not, reach out and get some!
Honesty Be transparent about your experience, what you’ve contributed to, and how you go about things. This applies to everything from your resume, website & social presence. There's a good chance somebody at a company, knows somebody who has worked with, or knows of you.
A Quote My design team, and probably most people at BSG are probably sick of this quote, but I love it. "How you do anything, is how you do everything" Use that simple quote to assess yourselves and others. It works.
THANKS! Go out there an interview like a TITAN! Good luck. H

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Haydn Dalton

Pro Curator

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