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  • 8 hour interviews in US game development – a good thing?

    gdc2009interviewsI thought I knew all about interviews in game development until I went to an eye-opening GDC 2009 talk moderated by Jim Rivers of Obsidan Entertainment on “How did the interview go?”. The 3 panellists, James Schomer of Cryptic Studios, Samantha Petro of Namco Networks and Grant Shonkwiler of Merit Entertainment revealed what, to them typically, was the ‘worst day of their life’. This was their interview to get their first job in game development. It seemed that the all day interview was common place. Non stop interviewing by as many as 4 people at a time taking place all day with a merciful break for a free lunch. The ideas seemed to be to break the candidate both physically but mainly mentally to see how they would react to working in a team environment at the end of the day. The standard of questioning did not seem high with many people in the studio (14 in the case of Obsidan) asking all sorts of  sometimes bizarre and inane questions to see how the applicants would react. This approach is unheard of in Europe or the rest of the world. It strikes me that this is not the best way to test the mental tenacity of an applicant and it could even be considered abusive. Have I got this wrong or has this what the interview has now come to?

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