JOBS IN GAMES: What NOT to do in a job interview

As our Jobs In Games special, in association with OPM, draws to a close, we turn our attention to the ever-intimidating job interview.

There are countless guides out there on what to do, how to act, and how to prepare. But it’s far more important to be aware of the things youshouldn’t do, as leading recruitment agency OPM points out.

byNadja Lindacher, OPM

Here are a few pointers with regards to the dos and don’ts at interviews – some of these are rather obvious but some candidates still jeopardise their chances by not paying heed:

Be on time
Arriving late, in a state and probably perspiring” due to having run from the station / where you parked the car is not the best first impression to give. Plan your journey, allow plenty of time. End of.

Dress appropriately
Our industry, especially on the development side, is maybe more relaxed than others but the minimum should be smart / clean (!) trousers or jeans with a shirt. Whilst there is rarely the need to go suited and booted”, some of the external facing / management roles require a smarter look. In all cases, it is a mark of respect for the interviewers and represents your interest in the role.

Personal Hygiene
OK, this may sound like a painfully obvious one, but you’d be surprised – trying to cover a lack of showering with tons of body-spray may unfortunately have the opposite of the Lynx Effect. Oh, and make sure you have brushed your teeth.

Stay away from your phone after arriving for your interview
No checking messages, Facebook, making calls, etc. You should be / appear focused on the meeting even whilst waiting for this to start – having your attention diverted may make you seem dis-interested in the environment and you may miss the chance to interact with some of your prospective colleagues or maybe even your future boss. (Oh, and it goes without saying that your phone should be switched off before you go into the interview. Again, it seems obvious but….)

Don’t interrupt the interviewer!
Even if you think you get where they’re going and have the most brilliant answer ever to their interview question, this is one of the most annoying things you can do. Let them finish, think about the question and your answer – which leads me onto the next point…

Don’t assume you know what they want to hear!
Do listen to the question all the way and try to avoid racing ahead in your mind half-way through forming your answer in your head – you may miss the point of the question and go off on a tangent.

Don’t enquire about annual leave and sickness policy in first interviews
It doesn’t give the best impression if you are already planning your absence from the job before you are even hired.

Curb your ambition
If the question comes up where do you see yourself in five years’ time – please don’t answer it with in your job”. Even if this is what you are aiming for, think of other ways of describing it than seemingly threatening your interviewer’s position.

Do your research
Not knowing what the company does, how long it has been established, what their main products are and so on will hardly indicate enthusiasm for the position. Check out their background, main competitors, previous games catalogue, news items regarding future strategy. Also research the people you will be meeting via LinkedIn or other networking sites. It adds the personal touch to ask something about their background and shows that you bothered doing your homework.

Social Etiquette
If invited out to the pub / the company’s annual summer party or Christmas celebrations – don’t – whatever you do – get drunk! A few alcoholic beverages are fine (in some companies tea-totals may be eyed with some suspicion) but please, please, please do remember that you are still in an interview situation and that people will judge your every move.

Most candidates navigate this scenario with grace and common sense but sometimes things go terribly awry… we have had a candidate so excited about an offer made to him that he took the celebrations at the following company do too far: he ended up immersing his face in the bosoms of various female staff, cracking onto the GM’s wife (in front of him!) and rejecting advice from his future boss that he may have had enough by stalking over to the bar to defiantly order more drinks. He intended to continue the party on his own in a nearby bar afterwards but was refused entry, after which he tried to gain access by climbing through a window in the Men’s toilets. He was last seen being chased down the road by the bouncers of said bar at 3.30am.

The job offer was retracted the next morning.

For other mind-boggling, funny and in some cases simply bizarre interview scenarios, feel free to click the below link. We, at times, were close to tears with laughter…

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