From: Robin Green
Subject: Advice to job applicants.
Date: Tuesday, July 06, 1999 9:40 AM

Been doing a load of interviews these past weeks and I've got a few pieces of advice for prospective candidates:
  • Please don't "lie" on your CV. Not even half truths.

    What happens is this: We get a pile of CVs from recruiters and direct applications. We read every CV looking for people to fit the posts we have open. On the basis of your CV, we write back and ask you to visit. You will be dragged down to our campus starting at some godaweful hour of the morning. We too as interviewers will come in early. We will go through your CV and ask you questions like whether the reference to C/C++ in your CV means "C but I once read an article about C++ in Byte" or whether you actually *know* the language. If you say you worked on a project, what areas were your responsability? So, you worked on that 2 million seller, but you did the high score table as a summer intern? You say you have "considerable knowledge of Game AI", but you haven't heard of A* or Finite State Machines? You say you "have experience in assembler" but never got beyond 8086 segmented architectures and that was 8 years ago?

    You will then go home, not get the job and have wasted your time and ours. We asked you to visit as a possible game programmer in our new market breaking thriller, you go home as a bewildered kid out of your depth and out of pocket because you "exaggerated a bit" on your CV.

  • Please keep your CV clear, truthful and up to date.

    Be prepared to defend every statement in it and be able to provide proof that you can do what you say you can do. Because, trust me, we *will* ask.

  • Please have at least one clue about the job you've applied for.

    Having a clue about the job you're being interviewed for does help, really it does. Some knowledge over and above what your mate once read in Maximum PC or Edge Magazine, some idea how games are made and how the industry works is valuable. A clue or two about gameteams, producers, alpha, beta, gold, source control, design docs, artists, file formats, basic maths and the current state of the art. That should get you through the first half hour of the interview.

    After that you should be showing us where you excel, what really excites you about programming, where you're special and why we shouldn't just say "Well, it's been great. You'll be hearing from us by the middle of next week", see you out of the door and go off for a coffee.
  • Please, please think about your CV, your application letter (those are getting rarer and rarer these days) and the job you're applying for. Don't just let the recruiter send you everywhere because, to them you are just a piece of meat with some redeemable market value. (Hi Barbara, I'm not talking about you). They will send you round the houses until you get a job and they get a fee of 10% of your starting salary for the cost of a few faxes and phone calls.

    Robin Green, Research & Development rgreen<at>
    Bullfrog Productions. tel:+44 1483 482916 These opinions are my own