Interviews and the way they are conducted are changing. Video interviews have become normal for jobs in a pandemic world. Hiring has become more global and more employees than ever are working remotely (even without the pandemic!) which means online interviews are more common than ever. For some positions, the entire process is completed virtually while others might be a combination of video and in-person interviews. Video game jobs are global which makes video interviews far more common in this day and age.
There are two main types of virtual interviews you might be asked to complete: A live chat and a pre-recorded one. Live chats can either be with video or the traditional phone call audio interview. An “on-demand interview” is one where you need to provide recorded responses to a series of interview questions for the hiring team to view later. The job application form will often mention what type of interview they will follow.
Tips for Video Interviews
Regardless of the type of interview, these tips will help you with all job interviews. The questions will depend on the discipline and while it’s a good idea to be prepared, always remember to answer the questions they ask and not the ones you want them to ask.
A good way to be prepared is researching the company, some of the people you will potentially work with, and exactly what the position you are interviewing entails.
Gamesmith, can help you here, first by finding information about the company with our “Studios” page: https://gamesmith.com/studios and finding out about the games they have produced with our “Games” page: https://gamesmith.com/games This should help you discover some potential people you might end up working with, and the people who might make the hiring decisions, so having a professional understanding might help, and you can find that information on our “Makers” page: https://gamesmith.com/makers but do not forget the bullet points that they are looking to tick off on their posted job requirements, so have their job posting open, found at our “Jobs” page: https://gamesmith.com/jobs
What video platform(s) will you need?
There is no single platform that all companies are using for job interviews. Zoom and Skype are traditionally the most common but other options include Google Meet and Microsoft Teams could also be used for video interviews. Video game jobs and other jobs in games might also use other video platforms for interviews such as Discord. You should be told which one to download ahead of time and familiarize yourself with how they work.
For pre-recorded answer sessions, Sparkhire, HireVue and VidCruiter are popular, and these too should be made familiar as they may contain time limited answer sessions once you begin an interview.
What to Wear
A ResumeGo survey reports (https://www.resumego.net/research/virtual-job-interviews/) that video interviewers generally prefer business casual. However, 44% of respondents didn’t think it mattered. A good rule of thumb to consider is the plus one dress code, where you dress up a level compared to the everyday dress code at the studio. This is where a little research into the studio comes in helpful but as the games industry is quite casual, a clear shirt or polo type of top, kind of outfit would fit, but aim for something neutral, and definitely clean. If there’s a chance you might want to stand up or the camera shows below your waist, remember to be dressed appropriately there too!
Do the interview in a quiet space
It’s important to complete the interview in a quiet area that’s clean and neat. This means no barking dogs, cat walking all over your keyboard, no music and no children or other intrusive sounds. Turning your phone off or turning off any phone/computer alerts is also a good idea. It’s a good idea to test your microphone ahead of time to see how sensitive it is to sound as this will let you know what’s acceptable noise levels during the interview. Having a closed door really helps avoid accidental intrusions. Also have the lights on if you are having a video call and if possible, to have a light behind your laptop/phone camera so you are not in a shadow, even if it is just a desk lamp, makes a great difference.
Make Eye Contact
It’s very easy to just look at yourself or them on the computer but this isn’t making eye contact. To do this, you need to look at the camera instead. Ensure you keep the same good posture that you’d use at an in-person interview and keep the same level of professionalism.
As part of this tip, don’t make too many hand gestures during the interview. This isn’t unprofessional but remember that poor internet connections can turn hand movements into a lot of blur which looks awful. The internet connection on your side or their side could turn the video into a laggy or low-pixel mess at times and a lot of hand movement will make the problem worse.
There are a few other tips worth keeping in mind when going into a video interview. All of these will be useful to you regardless of the type of job you’re looking to get. However, not all of them are useful for those just being invited to do a voice call or telephone interview instead of a video interview.
- Have your resume/CV and application on hand to make remembering your experiences and relevant skills easier. It can be easy to forget things in the moment and having this in front of you allows you to direct the interviewer to the right place on the documents too. Load up your Gamesmith profile, to have a refresher of people you have worked with and the details of your projects to help with your timeline. It’s a small industry and the interviewers might know the people you have worked with.
- Show creativity with recorded video interviews. For example, if you’re interviewing for a video game job then recording this video while doing something related to your line of work is a good idea. For example, if you’re a video game music composer then recording the interview in your studio surrounded by instruments or equipment is good.
- Do a test set-up ahead of time to ensure the camera is good, the lighting is good and that the background looks good too. On the interview day, do another test 10 – 20 minutes before the interview to confirm everything is still good. This also works for voice calls, test the microphone!
Gamesmith is the discovery platform for the professional games industry. Discover the contacts and knowledge you need to achieve your daily goals and KPIs in games. For more information, please contact email@example.com