Nailing an interview in game development can be crucial for a fresh graduate looking to make a strong entry into the industry. Here are five tips that might help:

Showcase Relevant Projects – you need a portfolio!!!

Bring a portfolio of your best work, which could include game projects you completed during school, mods, or independent games you’ve developed. Make sure each project demonstrates specific skills relevant to the job you’re applying for, such as coding, design, art, or sound design. If you portfolio is made only of your University course work… then you are going to struggle! Companies want to see what you do outside of University. In short they want to see what you do without someone telling you what to do. It can be something as simple as extending a piece of coursework, returning back to the coursework and critiquing it showcasing where you would improve and why.

Your portfolio needs to be online. In a modern day it is not suitable to not be online. https://www.artstation.com/ ArtStation is a great place for any visual developer. Show your process.

Github is a great place for the coders.

Your own website is great also because it shows you can do a bit of web dev, visuals, and showcase your work in a presentable way. It also shows that you don’t mind spending a few pennies on hosting… or use a free web hosting site and upload your videos to YouTube.

Tailor your portfolio to the company’s focus!!!! This can be on the CV, or categorised within your site.

Prepare for Technical Questions

Depending on the position, you might be asked to solve coding problems, explain game mechanics, or critique a game’s design during the interview. Practice common game development interview questions and consider doing some mock interviews with peers or mentors to build your confidence. Mock interviews by family or people not in the industry may not be good on the technical questions, but they are great for soft skills and practicing.

ChatGPT and online AI and help out a lot. Simple ask the AI for some questions to ask. I know this sounds simple, but any additional help is good and this is good practice for putting yourself into the Inteviewers shoes. If you can do this, you can imagine the questions they will ask.

With technical questions, you NEED to know your basics for any position. From the interviews, I have done (and I have done a lot while being a Senior Lecturer at Liverpool John Moores Univerisity and Director of Scenegraph), it is ok if a person does not know the answer to a technical question (be honest if you don’t know). Where an interview goes downhill fast is when you don’t know a basic answer to a basic question.

The Dot-Product is the following equation;

a = (a1, a2, a3)
b = (b1, b2, b3)

ab=a1×b1+a2×b2+a3×b3

It is ok to not remember the equation. What I look for is not whether a person remembers the equation, but where they would use it.

  1. Cosine of the Angle Between Vectors: cosine angle between 2 vectors.
  2. Projection: project 1 vector onto another.
  3. Collision Detection: Determine whether an object is moving towards or away from another object.
  4. Visibility Determination: whether a triangle face is facing towards the camera, or away.

The above use cases are great talking points… and it hits home that you understand ‘how to develop’ instead of remembering equations. The equations are already written so I truthfully do not care if you remember them.

Understand the Company’s Portfolio

Research the company thoroughly. Understand the games they’ve developed, their unique styles, and the technologies they use. This knowledge will help you tailor your responses and demonstrate genuine interest in their work.

You don’t have to do a lot, but if your CV does not mention the company you are applying for… don’t bother. Seriously, your teachers and friends will say ‘drop your CV in, you might get lucky.’ This is pointless and a waste of time… also, it will harm your personal brand by making you lazy. There are about 10 to 20 game development companies in Liverpool, so not many jobs at all, you have to WANT to work at a company, not just get a pay check.

Demonstrate Soft Skills

Teamwork and communication are as important in game development as technical skills. Be ready to discuss how you’ve worked effectively in teams, handled conflicts, or contributed to project management. Use specific examples to illustrate your points.

The term GENERALIST is being used a lot more. It was used for a person who is very good at a lot of different roles – this is mainly at Disney and Pixar where they get the best people. In reality, you will not work for Disney or Pixar, or EA, or SONY, or the top companies… but you have to demonstrate how a company can use your skills hitting the ground running.

Being able to adapt to different tasks is crucial at Scenegraph because we are such a small team. We all have our skillsets, but we all pick up the slack on different projects for 3D, code, visual dev.

You communication skills are key and working as a team is better than being the best coder. Companies are bored of team members who can’t communicate how their code is created, or people who don’t want to socialize. They would prefer a person who is 70% as good as a 100% awesome developer if they are good to work with and make the job a happier job.

One last note… get a wash!!!! I personally got a job at a company because I did not smell where the other candidate did. The other candidate had just finished his degree and got a high 1st… I was in 2nd year and almost failing university. I asked why was I given the job while the other, more professional, more talented developer didn’t… and it was because the other person smelt and the team did not want to sit next to someone smelly.

Follow Industry Trends

Show that you’re passionate about games and aware of current trends. Be prepared to discuss recent developments in gaming, new technologies, and what you think could be the future of gaming. This will portray you as a knowledgeable and enthusiastic candidate.

With the company you apply too, obviously see where they have been and where they are going, but also, have a look at where other companies are going.

The industry is going full AI, you have to understand where it can help you in a potential role.

AI-Powered Interviews

At Scenegraph, we have been building AI-powered avatars capable of interviewing you on your own job description, specifically for any industry.

Book a session through our main site – https://scenegraphstudios.com/products/interview-ai/

We are still developing this service and looking for candidates wishing to gain an advantage.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, you have gained some insight.

If you think you want to get some additional support, reach out to us and ask your questions. I would recommend to sign up to our newsletter, we will share more information on interviews and getting into the industry.