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n e i l

interview advice

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hi, i''ve got an interview coming up next week for a position as a junior programmer. I''m desperate to get into the industry and I REALLY want to work for this company. So does anyone have any useful advice about what I should expect and what they might be looking for? Thanks in advance. Neil ----------------------------- www.3dPool.co.uk -----------------------------

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1. Answer the question and just the question. -
keep your answer short and to the point. Don''t ramble or go into a lengthy explanation unless they ask.

2. Be positive -
if asked what you think of a particular game do not dump on it. You might find the interviewer worked on it. If you liked it say why, if not say that you prefer X game and again say why.

If they ask if you have done work in a particular field (AI for example) that you have not just say that you did not because, as time is limited you chose to focus on X, Y or Z. You have said "no" but made it clear that you have been doing other stuff. In this way you are steering them to ask questions about those things, which hopefully you know more about.

3. Pay attention to what the interviewer likes -
If they say "X was one of my favorite games, what sort do you like" you now know a bit about what they like. The smart answer would be "yea X was great because (give reason) and I also like Y (give reason)".

4. Know the company -
make sure you know the history of the company and the games they are working on.

If they specialise in a particular game or you are applying for a job working on a particular game spend time thinking about it. What makes a good raceing/beat-em-up/adventure.

5. Don''t grovel, beg or lie -
"I just need a chance" isn''t a phrase to use in an interview. Game companies are not in the business of giving chances. It makes you sound weak.
Likewise "I will work for less money" makes you sound worthless and "I know I can do it" (when you never have) also makes a bad impression.

6. Impossible questions -
Don''t panic if they toss an impossible question at you. Stop and think. "How would you do X?" (something they are pretty sure you know nothing about) should be answered with "That isn''t something I know anything about so I would need to talk through it with my team leader".
Whatever the topic of the question think about where you would find the answer. You are admiting that you don''t know but showing that you would be able to find out the answer.

Dan Marchant
Obscure Productions

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