Name: Karl Neuman
Developer: EA Ghost Games
What differentiates Ghost Games from other developers?
While Electronic Arts has many studios around the world, Ghost Games is a unique instalment being one of few start-up studios within the company. Having just celebrated our one year anniversary – having been found in late 2011, we are still in the start-up phase with a team that’s constantly changing and adapting with every new hire.
We do offer the opportunity to work for a company with IPs such as Battlefield, Need for Speed, Dead Space, The Sims, Dragon Age, Mass Effect, FIFA and NHL. But while having a big company such as EA backing us up is a great foundation, the chance for our employees to help form the studio and the environment is an appealing opportunity. Being located in Sweden, the proximity with our award-winning sister-studio DICE in Stockholm makes for extraordinary opportunities to collaborate on our projects.
How many staff are you currently looking to take on?
We’re currently looking for an experienced development director with a solid background in programming, as well as software engineers skilled in C++. Our website ghostgames.com is up to date with our current vacancies; all of them are related to our unannounced project.
What perks or privileges are available to staff at your studio?
A modern studio where everyone is a new employee and eager to get to know their new colleagues while at the same time producing a triple-A game.
Being an EA studio, we’re working with the latest technology in the industry to produce a stunning product.
We’re also offering a competitive compensation and benefit package with relocation support, free massages and activities within and outside of the studio, as well as the possibility to play games; lots of games.
In addition to that, we’re also offering you the chance to live on the beautiful Swedish west coast, in the city of Gothenburg, but still next to the sea with plenty of opportunities to enjoy both city life and the nature in the area.
What should aspiring developers do with their CV to get to an interview?
Make sure to highlight their experience that is of relevance to the positions that we’re currently looking to fill, whether it is done by describing it in words or submitting a portfolio or a reel.
Candidates who only send a list of their recent positions without mentioning any details or anything about why they’re suitable for the position will not be scheduled for an interview as often. It is also worth mentioning that submitting a CV in neither the company language English – nor the local language – makes it harder to evaluate how suitable the candidate is.
Who is the best interviewee you have ever had you?
I’m always impressed and happy when candidates – especially international candidates that we bring to the studio for interviews – have done their research and do not only reply to the questions that we have, but when they’ve also looked up the interviewers history and are interested in how their story can be applied to themselves. Candidates with a genuine interest and enthusiasm are always a pleasure to interview.
And who was the worst?
I must say that there’s no candidate in particular that stands out. However, since one of the reasons of having an interview is to find out more about the candidate, it’s always helpful if the person is able to talk about what they’ve done and about any preferences that they have rather than be happy with answers consisting of one word only.
While not everyone is comfortable in the interview situation, which is understandable, it is definitely harder to be convinced that the candidate is walking away from the interview with a good understanding of the role and the studio, if they have a hard time talking about themselves and their expectations.
What advice would you give jobseekers for a successful interview at Ghost Games?
Do your research, play the games applicable for the job and have an opinion about them. At Ghost, everyone is a games maker and we want them to have opinions.
An interview is always more likely to be successful if the candidate comes prepared.
This can be shown in many ways, but the most common ones are to read up on Ghost Games and Electronic Arts, having considered what the opportunity would mean to the candidate and be able to describe his or hers experience and why that is relevant, as well as having spent some time to consider which subfields within the area of expertise that is of interest.
A general interest and understanding of games is also beneficial for the candidate. And perhaps most important of all: if we offer you an interview, there’s a pretty huge chance that you’re good at what you do.
Don’t be afraid to tell yourself that it’s still a good idea to remain humble to the fact that the interviewers have several years of experience in the industry and that they are also very good at what they do.
Also, some candidates might find the interview scary, but know that neither I nor the other people that are conducting the interviews are there to put you in a bad spot – we’re there to find out if you can be the next co-worker of ours.
If your studio has recruited talent internationally, what was the process like for your studio and for the applicant?
In the process itself, there aren’t a lot of differences in general. The same series of interviews and tests are to be held and in addition to that we’re always making sure to bring the candidate, and possibly family as well, for an on-site visit to get to meet our employees and get to know Gothenburg as a city. Anyone that makes the move to Sweden is offered an extensive relocation package in which everything that can make them feel more comfortable at Ghost and in Sweden is included.
Why should developers join when indie and self-publishing have become some much more accessible?
They are indeed more accessible, but despite that, just as larger publishing companies are not for everyone, the same goes for the indie and self-publishing scene. Being part of a larger studio working on a great project is something that attracts really talented people, which tells me that it’s definitely an attractive environment. And with talented people in one place, others will be attracted to be able to work the former.