Develop readers share their horror stories of awful CVs, terrible interviews and inexplicable portfolio art

#DevJobFail: The worst game job applications ever

This feature is part of New Year, New Job 2014, Develop’s month-long guide to games recruitment. You can read more at

We put a callout this morning for the worst job applications you’ve ever dealt with – and boy did you lot deliver.

People are still tweeting examples of poor interviewees, mistake-ridden CVs and more via the hashtag #devjobfail, but we’ve collected the best so far for your to enjoy.

A massive thanks to all who have contributed so far – and if you haven’t, send them in. If we receive enough, we’ll publish a second compilation later this month.

Let’s start with…


Stewart Gilray, Just Add Water:
We had a 2 page CV sent to us by an experienced artist. The trouble was …
a) It was graphic designed
b) There were around 8 different fonts used
c) There was a LARGE “selfie” of the person in question on it.
d) There was NO phone number.
e) There was NO email address.
f) It had the line “Don’t contact me, I’ll contact you for my start date”.

Dan Kenny, Eyesodic Games (@Dansodic):
Being threatened after telling someone we weren’t hiring is always a sure sign to not keep a cv.

Robbie Cooke, Rebellion (@RC_ephemeral):
Don’t send a genuine, thoughtful application question from a twitter profile with "Professional Pervert" as its description.

Firefly Studios (@fireflyworlds):
We once had an applicant who claimed he spoke 8 languages, had been a Senior Programmer since he was 13 & read 3-5 books a week.

Lewis Brown, EA (@InsideGamesEA):
Writing in the third person is always slightly concerning and bizarre profile pics on CV’s.

@Dannyish, Cyclosion Games:
"Had a candidate who not only used curse words on her CV but also described herself as amazeballs."

Keith Judge, Pitbull Studio (@KeefJudge):
We got a letter from asking for £25k for a coding job. The CV was full of retail work with zero programming. No homebrew coding, training or any relevant experience at all.

Richard Ogden, Red Phantom Games (@RedPhantomGames):
Came across a few like this over the years: "Hire me. I’m brilliant. You won’t regret it."

Alberto Belli, Storm In A Teacup (@eldacar79):
"Hello i’m a Junior Programmer and would like ti apply as Senior Programmer"

Tamsin Nunley, Jiggery Pokery (@nunnersT):
Headstrong once had an application from a young lady that offered her bum up for slapping among other things. Go, feminism!!

Still want more? Click here to read a truly shocking email chain between Lionhead and an aspiring artist, courtesy of JiggeryPokery’s Matthew Wiggins (@wiggo). WARNING: Contains swearing.


Sam Watts, Makemedia
I was advertising for games testers and QA specialists to work at a global MMO publisher/developer and received a number of applications.

One guy had an impressive CV, lots of experience in games QA for various companies, different genres across many years but was currently out of work (so had plenty of time to make sure his CV was top notch etc).

The trouble was that I spotted 25 mistakes in his CV, even as far as he worked in the AQ department at one company. But he had really relevant experience and I still wanted to interview him at least, so when he came in, I made sure he completed the “attention to detail” test as part of the process.

Rather than give him some text with mistakes in, I gave him his own CV, 20 minutes to find the mistakes and a pen. Unfortunately he only found 14 of them and didn’t make it through to the next round.

Oh yes, there was also the NVQ candidate who had a picture of her in her bra and knickers bent over the knee of an old man dressed as Father Christmas spanking her ass, as a Facebook profile picture (coz all good recruitment policies involve checking social media!). Yes, I did invite her in for an interview.

Michelle Senior, Ripstone
When I worked at Disney, we were interviewing for a PR Assistant, and a girl turned up at reception and asked for ‘Michelle’. She couldn’t remember my surname or what department of Disney I worked in. This was at the Disney head office in Hammersmith, which is pretty huge with a good few thousand people working there – and more than one person named Michelle.

The poor receptionist had to ring round all the Michelles in the building to find the right one (me). So the interviewee managed to annoy the receptionist, as well as everyone named Michelle in the building. And all this meant she ended up being 30 minutes late to the interview – not a good first impression!

Mastertronic Games (@Mastertronic):
"I couldn’t remember if it was at 3pm or 4pm, so I thought I’d come at 3.30pm". It was at 3pm.

Andrew Eades, Relentless (@andreweades) :
Me: “Why would you like a job here?” Interviewee: “I don’t really. My tutor told me to come.” Me: “Let me show you out.”

Luigi Fumero, Playerthree (@gigetto):
"I did not get the job at BIGPUB so I would like to work for you, get some experience and apply to BIGPUB again"

Matthew Humphries, freelance game designer (@mthwgeek):
Design interview: guy kept stating his brother was "in the London mafia" and wouldn’t be happy if he didn’t get the job (He didn’t)

James Sutherland, Sumo Digital (@JamesSutherland):
HR cockup meant I once interviewed someone for a coder job who, it turned out, was an artist. Thought it odd he had a portfolio.


Richard McClaughry, indie games designer (@PeskyDesign):
Interviewed a guy once who brought work to show. He’d copied it. I know because it was mine…

Kim Blake, UKIE (@UkieKim):
I was once sent a CD of 3D art, which was JUST images of severed female limbs… I didn’t interview him.

Manuel Correia, SixMinute (@gr9yfox):
I know someone who sent a porn video along with his portfolio …and got hired! 

Martin MacKinnon, VeeMee (@Pepsi_Punk):
"Someone applied at a studio i was once at with nothing but Nazi related work – including some very disturbing concept art."

Tim Browne, Ubisoft (@N1tch):
"Telephone interviewee "I’m a huge game player, love most games, oh but I hate racing ones. I’d never want to work on one". Of course, this was for a racing game while I was at Codemasters, who are probably best known for their racing and rallying titles.

This feature is part of New Year, New Job 2014, Develop’s month-long guide to games recruitment. You can read more at

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