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confusedcoder

I think I got pidgeonholed

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I've been an entry level software developer outside of the industry for 2 years, but I've always wanted to be in games. I've been throwing my hat into the ring at game development studios for the past 3 years or so, but I'd resigned to the fact that my hat was being thrown into a black void somewhere, as I hadn't ever seen or heard any response on the applications.

I recently finally got a response. I had applied for a "project scheduler." Based on the job description, it seems like an assistant to the production team.

"BUT WAIT," you say, "Didn't you just tell me that you were an entry level software developer? Like a programmer?"

Yes. But my actual current position is a dev support position. I haven't been coding full time for the entire 2 years. It's outside of the normal development, and I perform many support tasks, and I coordinate other support tasks. I do more coordinating than actual developing. I would like to get out of a coding position. I enjoy the coordinating more than the development.

Then I saw the project scheduler position and thought "hey I'll take a shot, why not." I got the phone call to setup a phone interview, along with the names of my two interviewers. I was super excited. The void speaks!

Google is a powerful thing, and I quickly found out that both of my interviewers are from the programming team. Now, either this particular company does things very differently, or I'm about to get interviewed for a programming job that I don't even have the description for, didn't apply to, and wasn't aware was even open.

A small part of me is irritated because I'm not being interviewed for the job I applied for, something that no one actually told me. A bigger part of me figures I'm lucky to even be considered for any position, and so I should interview for whatever programming job they have, take it if they offer, and like it, because it's an industry job. Does this happen often? What should I do?

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You don't know for sure though. Programmers might be interviewing you, but that doesn't automatically mean that they will ask programming related stuff. Maybe as the main developers, they just want to know if the new project scheduler is going to be a fit to the team?

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I'm definitely participating in the interview. But how do I prepare for an interview when I'm not even sure of the position?

I'm sorry I didn't mention this before, but the reason I think its for a programming position is because earlier I was turned down for a similar programming position (which i also didnt apply for) from the same company's satellite office.

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Does this happen often? What should I do?

 
Does what happen often -- you mean actually getting a callback for an interview? Yes. It happens often. Or you saying "But Wait"? I can't tell you if that happens often. wink.png
What you should do is read this forum's FAQs. http://www.gamedev.net/page/reference/faq.php/_/breaking-into-the-industry-r16 (You can also get there by backing out to the forum topics listings and clicking the link in the Getting Started box.)

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Tom, I had already read your FAQs. Some of them more than once. I think they are full of good information.

None of them (that I saw; correct me if I'm wrong) mention applying for one job and getting interviewed for another in a different field.

 

By "this" I mean:

 

Is it often that someone applies for a job in one field and gets surprise interviewed for a job in a different field?

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Is it often that someone applies for a job in one field and gets surprise interviewed for a job in a different field?

 

I'm going to assume that I could reword your question as: "Is it often that someone applies for one job and gets invited to interview for a different job?"

To which I would say, "not exactly often, perhaps, but it certainly can happen."

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By "this" I mean: 
Is it often that someone applies for a job in one field and gets surprise interviewed for a job in a different field?

This leads me to wonder a few things.

Did you see the advertisement on the company's web site? Was it a current listing (posted within the last few weeks) or was it older?

Sometimes companies with many openings will pay for job listings on external sites and leave them up even after a position is filled because they still have other, similar positions open. It is cheaper to leave the ads up and still get candidates than to pay for a new listing.

Or maybe it was an older, expired job listing and new positions were available.

Or maybe some new, unexpected need has appeared and through a bit of luck you are a good candidate before it becomes advertised.

Or maybe the person in HR was doing their job and correctly testing candidates against all the needs the company has rather than just the one in the application.

All of those things happen fairly frequently. Perhaps not daily, but frequently enough that I'm not surprised to hear a programmer is getting a programming interview after applying for a non-programming job.

It could be any of those, or something else. It may not happen frequently, but does that matter? As an analogy: do you question the odds of winning an unexpected lottery? What are the odds that someone's school paper transforms an industry? What are the odds that someone wins the genetic lottery and gains immunities or other benefits? What are the odds a single offhand observation makes a difference in someone's life? Who cares! It happens sometimes, and that should be enough.

It looks like you are getting a job interview for something you might enjoy, and that is always a good thing.

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Most of the time though, they'll tell you that they intend to interview you for a position other than the one you applied for. They can't realistically expect you to turn up and suddenly be surprised when you're being interviewed for a completely different role, and if this were the case, I would immediately decline the position.

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This interview you're getting "irritated" by hasn't even happened, relax. You don't even know and you're talking like if it already happened.

 

I seriously doubt you can't see what is wrong with that line of thinking.

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