Interview in the gamedev industry

    Although an article about an interview in Zingu was already slipping on the hub , I want to talk about how the interviews are held in gamedev programmers and how to prepare for them. Interviews are very different, and what is asked at interviews in Sweden, in Canada or in Russia can vary markedly. So, first things first.


    Programming interviews are useful even if you are not looking for a new job. Firstly, you can find out your weaknesses. Secondly (if successful), find out your value. Thirdly, practice before the skill becomes useful. Unfortunately, no one has yet come up with a perfect way to interview programmers, so the skill of passing an interview does not always correlate with the real skill.


    So, you decided to go through an interview and even roughly imagine where. Excellent! What are the ways to get interviewed?
    • The company’s internal eychar wrote to you. One of the best options is that in order to achieve this, you need to have a company profile and paint it in detail on linkedIn
    • Wrote an external eychar. A good option, has its pros and cons, see below;
    • There is a friend in the company. This friend passes the resume to the internal eychar (receiving a bonus if successful), then (if there is a vacancy) see paragraph 1;
    • Fill out a form on the site / apply for a job on the bulletin board / write an email, etc. Once a year, and the stick shoots. I shot a couple of times.


    So, returning to point 2, what are the good and bad external eychars? Let's start with the pros.

    Firstly, he has connections within the company, which means that the resume will not fall into spam, but will fall into the eyes of eycharu. Secondly, in the case of procrastination, he will kick someone he needs, and the interview will not hang for weeks (months). Thirdly, he can forward you to several companies and try to arrange interviews so that you have time to compare offers. Fourthly, through it you can often get tips on what to expect at an interview - because his former colleague works as an eychar, he already hired someone, etc. Finally, in the case of a feil, he can try to get a feedback In all other cases, Western companies NEVER give out feedback in order to avoid risks. It is sometimes more comfortable to bargain through it, and it can often tell you what to ask and what not to.

    Minuses? Obviously, the company pays such a recruiter, and a lot. Therefore, ceteris paribus, a candidate who came in a different way (internal referral, through sending a resume, themselves hacked, etc.) will cost less. But, usually external recruiters are attracted precisely for hard-to-fill positions, so there will not be a large queue. Secondly, if you have already sent your resume to the office, the recruiter will not work with you - there is a law in this market according to which you “belong” to the one who first registered you. You can consult with a recruiter, but keep your eyes open - an external eychar is interested in placing you in a company as soon as possible on any conditions.

    Questions, suggestions, wishes in the comments, as always, are welcome. Well, your experience, of course.


    So, your resume liked the specialists in the office, the office theoretically agrees to do your relaxation (apply for a visa, if necessary, pay for the move, etc.), and you are called for an interview. What will happen next?

    If the office is western, there will certainly be several telephone screenings. The goal is simple - to weed out unsuitable candidates as quickly as possible, spending as little money / time as possible. In Russia, for some reason, this form is often neglected - but in vain.

    The first screening will always be with eychar. Flashing it is very difficult. Usually, they will ask about the experience as a whole, the reasons for the desire to change jobs (even if they contacted you), when you can start the possibility of moving. There may be slightly exotic questions: at an interview from Montreal I was asked how I feel about the fact that they speak French here. Obviously, everything must be answered positively. In gamedev, purely technical questions are rarely asked even by technical eychars.

    If successful, screening occurs with technical experts. There may be several screenings, as well as several specialists. They last from 15 minutes to an hour and a half. What questions are there to expect?
    • Technical, requiring a clear answer. A good list is here . In principle, this is the upper bound, more difficult, as a rule, they do not ask;
    • Code in an online notebook - usually tasks that can be easily solved in 5 minutes;
    • Questions on the subject area - obviously, without any particular details, which require a pen and paper. For example, what are the GI methods, if the position of a graphic programmer;
    • How did this and that from the one indicated in the resume - with about the same details as the previous paragraph.

    Sometimes, instead of / along with technical screening, a test happens. It happens of the following types:
    • Write a small program (function) for a limited time (an example is on the link from the previous list);
    • Write a game (space invaders) / optimize something in the framework / write a system utility (for example, a memory manager) / small application for a week (maximum two). It is very important to understand what they want to see. Usually, it’s better not to wind up virtual functions and features - but write as clean, simple and optimal code as possible;
    • Time test. There is a list of questions and a fixed time (from 45 minutes to 2 hours) for which you need to send the test back / fill out the form online. Questions are divided into sections (C ++, algorithms, hardware, specialty, etc.) - you need to answer at least the question from the section. Often (but not always) the test is designed so that there is not enough time on purpose to answer all questions (even if you immediately print from your head). Obviously, you must first answer the simplest. Quite often, questions can be google / compiled - but this is entirely up to you. Sometimes a similar test is given for a week - usually, then the questions are more complicated / require a more detailed answer.

    If you successfully complete these steps, you will usually (but not always) be called to onsite. But about this - in the next issue, the respectable public will be interested.

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