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How to choose the best Candidate for a job in gamedev?

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Pick a gamedev candidate who seems to be more passionate about the role

And here you can ask, “ok 8Bit team – but how can I even tell if the person sitting next to me is passionate about the job I’m offering them?”

Engage with your Candidate in an honest conversation about what it’s like to work at your gaming studio. If you encounter a person who asks many insightful questions and seems to be enthusiastic to be here – you have your perfect Candidate for the job.

The best Interviews should feel like really cool conversations.

A Passionate Candidate will hop on the topic right from the start. They will show curiosity about the scope of responsibilities, culture, and team. Right from the bat will ask about the structure they hopefully will be working in.

Dealing with the opposite will be easy to spot. You’ll feel like this person feels like it’s been interrogated. It’ll be a person who carries themselves with a “meh” attitude. You might get the impression that this person is here by mistake and does not really know where it is rn.

No curiosity whatsoever, no questions.

This kind of person will be focused only on salary and benefits. But you need to ask yourself whether you want someone who cares about what you do or is there just for the paycheck. This is the dilemma you need to answer before hiring decision.

Choose the Candidate who has a clear vision for their growth and has set goals

Imagine hiring process for a specific position, and the GameDev Candidate applies. Even though this person ticks most of the boxes out of the Job Description, it seems that they’re in this place of their professional development and are unsure if they want to pursue this career path.

Even worse if they easily discredit their entire career. “Oh, I did that, but I dunno why I ended up in this department” or “Frankly, I didn’t have any interest in pursuing that path, but they offered it to me, so I said yes.”

This person is on the lookout. You hire someone unsure risk that this person would not be fulfilled in your structure either.

It’s better to pick someone whose goals align with what your company can offer them in mutual growth. Someone who fits well with your company culture.

If a Candidate has set up goals, meeting them halfway and offering them a way to level up within your company’s structure will be much easier. If not, they would still feel that they’re unfulfilled. Still looking for the best possible option, they will resign as soon as possible.

Ready to change the game and create something extraordinary?

Choose the Candidate who can admit that they don’t know something

This is often shocking for people who are starting to hire people and for the job Candidates as well.

Both parties often think that hiring process is something like a pop quiz. And that to get hired you need to sing all the correct answers in the job interview. If you won’t, it’s “Beep!” and “Thank you for coming. We’ll call you later.”

Or if you don’t know something – you should pretend that it’s not the case. And that you know the exact answer right from the bat.

This causes a lot of unnecessary stress.

There’re no people who know everything, even the top talent in the field. And that’s just a fact. You, as a Hiring Manager, don’t know everything. Sometimes you need to look something up. And that’s completely fine. That’s human.

What makes a difference, though, is how your potential co-workers will approach stressful situations like having to admit that they don’t know something.

If a GameDev Candidate speaks truthfully – that they’re not very experienced in one field? That’s fine! At least you know that you can expect truth and transparency from the new employee. This person has the guts to acknowledge and even share with the stranger that they don’t know something. Building a team based on important values like trust is fundamental.

Pick a Candidate that is willing to learn and grow

In the last paragraph, we covered a situation where a qualified Candidate has no problem in admitting that they don’t know something, but what’s kinda related to that is what they will do afterward.

Look for a reaction. Did this Candidate express their will to learn things if they lack some skills? Or maybe they dismiss the idea of working on their weaknesses from the start?

If you want to build your team on such strong fundaments as a growth mindset. You might want to lean toward people who want to grow together and motivate each other.

Pick a Candidate who knows how to explain their achievements and insights

You might want to take a closer look at a person who can explain the key points in their career. If they can explain their contribution to the project in a detailed way, you can be sure that you’re dealing with the person who did some heavy lifting.

It’s good to ask about the most challenging parts of the project. You can easily assess if the person is able to spot their weaknesses. It’s also good practice to ask about how the person handled it. You will have an answer if the person can learn from their mistakes.

We all make mistakes. Expecting your GameDev Candidate to be different would just not be fair, right?

Pick a GameDev Candidate who can discuss serious matters professionally

Last, we’re covering the infamous “Why did you leave your previous Employer?” interview questions.

We won’t sugarcoat the reality. We know that sometimes breaking up the relationship with a former Employer is a traumatic experience. Unfortunately, there’re still places that need to learn how to treat employees with respect.

As a hiring Manager, you probably heard about some Nightmarish experiences, so there’s also a chance that a person in front of you didn’t have it easy either. And it’s okay to say that the previous cooperation didn’t go well.

But what makes a difference that makes a Candidate a great one is a way this person addresses such difficult topics.

It’s ok if the Candidate mentions problems. *It can also be a great way to define if you are struggling with some similar issues. You might consider it as a way to grow as a company.*

But such delicate matters should be discussed in a professional tone.

Suppose your Candidate just goes on and on in an endless rant smearing their previous Employer. While you might sympathize with this person, it’s not a good sign for future cooperation.

This Candidate might have the tendency to exaggerate facts and lose their poise when something tense happens (and since it’s a professional environment, it’s not uncommon). That’s not a perfect candidate.

You might end up as a target of their endless rant in the next place they will apply.

That’s a wrap on our game industry candidate selection guide. Remember, 8Bit’s here to level up your hiring game!