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View Full Version : job interview, 2-3 hours, why so long?


kakikukeko
11-11-2008, 05:49 AM
Hi guys, I have a job interview in two weeks , and I've been told it would take around 2-3 hours..

I am really wondering if we will only talk or if there will be some kind of tests too (they didn't ask me to do any art test)..

Did you have such an experience before?

Rick Stirling
11-11-2008, 05:52 AM
Codemasters?

[HP]
11-11-2008, 06:00 AM
eh eh, it depends really. But some companies do make some really long job interviews.
Valve's interviews tend to last for about 6 hours, and no i don't think they'll make you do any art test. You'll probably be presented with the project they are working on, you'll be asked what do you think of what you saw and played, and what would you change.

And trust me, 2/3 ours will flee!

Snowfly
11-11-2008, 06:02 AM
Might be you'll be meeting folks from different departments...

Vailias
11-11-2008, 06:10 AM
I had one with Crystal Dynamics the other year that lasted I think about that long, maybe a bit longer.

They had multiple people interview me, in several different waves. First was some of the art guys, next was a couple of higher-ups, then was a project manager. Overall took several hours to go through all the questions and group switches.

Wahlgren
11-11-2008, 06:34 AM
;867461']eh eh, it depends really. But some companies do make some really long job interviews.
Valve's interviews tend to last for about 6 hours, and no i don't think they'll make you do any art test. You'll probably be presented with the project they are working on, you'll be asked what do you think of what you saw and played, and what would you change.

And trust me, 2/3 ours will flee!

Oh man 6 hour interviews. That would be sweeeeeet. I think my interview took more or less 2-3 hours. Not sure... but anyway. Being able to truly check out a place and get a good understanding of it, the people and the project is gold.

Wouldnt want it any other way to be honest. 30min in and out would leave me pretty unsure if i wanted to work at the place.

MoP
11-11-2008, 06:45 AM
Our interviews usually last 1-2 hours, although it really depends on the person and how good they are at responding to questions and coming up with questions of their own.

Kevin Albers
11-11-2008, 06:47 AM
Yeah they probably intend to have you meet a bunch of folks, and maybe spend time sort of just hanging out during a long lunch, to get a good feel for you. This is a probably a good thing...they are taking interviews seriously. Or it's a bad thing...a sign that there is a bunch of funky office politics there and everyone who is not an intern demands to interview every applicant.

It's probably good. Have fun :)

Parnell
11-11-2008, 06:49 AM
2/3 hours is average I'd say. Some companies go a lot longer, like 6-8 hour interviews where you might meet and sit down with every team member. Don't forget, you will be spending A LOT of time with these people if you do get hired. Most likely they want to know if you'll gel with the team, and make sure you aren't a jackass.
B

Mongrelman
11-11-2008, 07:12 AM
Blitz have a second interview where you work there for two days (doing an art test), put you up in a B&B if necessary. I thought it was a good idea.

I wouldn't imagine the 2-3 hours will be non-stap questions in the same room, probably much of it will just be getting shown around and discussing projects I think.

Mark Dygert
11-11-2008, 07:12 AM
That's average. I had to do 4 interviews total to get my current job.
2 Phone (Director of Production & Art Director) 45min & 1hr
2 Sit down ( Creative Director, Met the team and the AD) 3hrs each

I also interviewed at two other places 2hrs per interview and walked out of there knowing I didn't want the job. I probably would have caused a scene if they tried to keep me for 8hrs...

My interview for my first industry job officially took 10min and the rest was a 2hr lunch.
Tech support is easy to get into if you don't blink in the first 10min.

At HI they never hired someone without a degree and 95% of them came from the AI of Seattle. What really helped was that I picked a scene from one of their games and out did it. Turns out the AD worked on that scene and that's what impressed him. It's paid off nicely too.

Anywho... yea that's average, so are art tests.

Rob Galanakis
11-11-2008, 07:17 AM
Everyone does all-day (about 6 hour) interviews here at Bio Austin. IIRC (haven't hired anyone new in a while), it was: 9am start: .5 hour recruiter, .5 hour team, .5 hour art directory, .5 hour other people, 2 hour lunch, .5 hour studio heads, .5 hour recruiter again, 1 hour show around/tour. I was shocked it was an all-day interview since it was my first in-person game job interview (hired over the phone at my last job), but I really liked the format and length... actually, mine ran an hour over I think. I also remember lunch at noon instead of 11am but I can't remember what comes before it...

Kevin Johnstone
11-11-2008, 07:29 AM
Ours usually take about 8 hours in office, then out to the pub and lunch inbetween and after!

Wahlgren
11-11-2008, 07:36 AM
Just to see how well you get along with the people drunk?

Either way. We have a winner.

JO420
11-11-2008, 07:47 AM
Sounds normal to me,thats about the length of my last interview i had. Half was discussing all aspects of my experience (i imagine to make sure i wasnt a fake) and the last part was making sure i was a likeable person and could work well in the team.

JDinges
11-11-2008, 07:49 AM
I had an 8 hour on-site interview once, it was horrible. By the end of it I knew I didn't want to work there.

And then I've had 4 hour interviews also, both of those were great.

Mark Dygert
11-11-2008, 07:54 AM
Also keep in mind the longer the interview the more chance they'll see the real you, and you'll see the real them. Both very important especially if you can get booze involved =)

Wells
11-11-2008, 08:08 AM
2-3 hours isn't bad, all things considered.

I've had an 8 hour one before - grueling

Matabus
11-11-2008, 08:22 AM
I had a 6 hour interview once, and yes they gave an on-site art test. Complete with higher ups standing behind me with clipboards.

Kovac
11-11-2008, 08:44 AM
Ours are around 4-5 hours and some lunchin/pub action if necessary. Since we're a smaller group we try to get a good feeling of company culture and see how well they jive with the various leads throughout the day.

danr
11-11-2008, 08:52 AM
it's not a proper interview if it doesn't end at 4am in a stripclub

Kovac
11-11-2008, 09:07 AM
it's not a proper interview if it doesn't end at 4am in a stripclub

Hahah bounch's ended exactly that way... but he bailed as we were goin to the club :(.

kakikukeko
11-11-2008, 09:23 AM
Thx for sharing your experiences, yeah it seems there will be two members of the team to interview me..
Unfortunately, I will fly back before the stripclub time.. :poly121:
finally compared to 6-8 hours, 2-3 is not too long :poly124:, I'm sure it will flee..

I'll keep you informed of how it'll go!
Cheers!

kwakkie
11-11-2008, 09:28 AM
I had a 24 hour interview once, I had to sleep in the office and if I didn't steal anything and was still there next morning when the boss arrived I'd get hired... Didn't get the job but at least I have some good xbox 360 devkits at home now :)

danr
11-11-2008, 10:04 AM
yeah, dunno if they do it any more, but the old Interactive/Blitz interview was a 2 day affair, with the second day conducted under the pressure of an extreme hangover coupled with the black mood around the office as the game you're interviewing to work on gets canned that very day.

Although that last part might have just been me.

Gav
11-11-2008, 11:52 AM
Yep, I think that's a reasonable amount of time. For my current job, I had a phone interview that lasted about half an hour, then went in shortly after that for an in person chat. That took about 2.5 hours. I talked to HR, signing the forms and stuff like that, then talked to 2 groups of people including leads, project managers and senior artists. It'll go by quick, just do a little research on the company first and ask some questions :)

Good Luck!
-Gav

HandSandwich
11-11-2008, 12:10 PM
2 to 3 hours isn't that bad. We usually have applicants in here for 6 hours or so. We have teams of 2-4 people go in for about 45 minutes to an hour and interview the candidate. When I was first interviewed, I was here for about 8 hours.

PaK
11-11-2008, 12:12 PM
Our interviews last all day.

Each person meets with any lead that might have a vested interested in that position, and some other trusted individuals the hiring manager might want to chime in.

Longer interviews tell me the hiring company cares about who they let in, and sets a better impression with me.

-R

BoBo_the_seal
11-11-2008, 05:50 PM
My Interview at Ensemble was two days long. They had me interview with EVERYONE at the studio. Was a bit overkill but it was cool that everyone had a say. Still odd to interview with IT for an Art position. :)

My Interview at Vigil was all day. I got to really got a since of the company and the projects.

Oddest interview was for 38 Studios. I was invited out to Curt Schillings house and it was just me talking to a Baseball Player about games. :)

- BoBo

monkeyboy_garth
11-11-2008, 06:05 PM
I'd say a company would have to be pretty serious about employing someone if they're going to spend a day to interview them, wouldn't they? I'm guessing they don't have a very long list of other applicants at this point.

Just wondering.

Flynny
11-12-2008, 07:04 AM
Id assume that too MonkeyBoy, besides if theres more than a handfull having these long interviews i think it would be quite disruptive to the studio.

On another note, its cool to hear how everyones interview went.

Ghostscape
11-12-2008, 11:13 AM
I had a day long interview here at Volition. Basically spent about an hour with 4-5 groups of artists, talked about workflow, asked about the place, got shown both projects, would have gone out to lunch but we were having a studio art lunch whre everyone gets in a conference room and someone gives a demo (chimed in with a correction about Max's RTT during that :) ), and spent time talking to the HR guy about benefits, etc. I got a very good picture of the company and I think they got a pretty solid picture of myself, as well.

Geezus
11-12-2008, 11:18 AM
Only 2-3 hours? PFFFT!
My interview here at RedStorm was 8 hours long, and I sat down with....10(maybe more?) people total. I actually had a great time. I got to meet several leads from all departments, producers, and regular ol' grunts. It gave me a good feel for the people that worked here, and it helped them get a better feel for me.

Most of the time, if you're sitting down for a face to face, the studio has already decided they want you, based on your work. The face time is usually to just make sure you're not a complete turd in person.

pliang
11-12-2008, 11:21 AM
When I had my interview with Blue Castle Games a long time ago, it was after an hour of phone interview and then I had two separate in person chat with the senior artists, as well as the upper management. There was just one but due to circumstances I made it two and altogether took 2.5 hours altogether. I treated it like any conversation where they try to grill me and I ask them as many educated questions as I can (Without lunch/alcohol) and liked what I was getting.

Personally I think if it's a little longer, during busy times, it may be a good sign that they're interested and want to talk you seriously. If you get a panel interview, then I suggest to take it a little longer if you really, really want to work there.

Other than formal interviews, it never hurts to do a little research and invite people you know from the company and have some informational interview. It shows that you know the company and want to make the extra effort. Helps turn the conversation to your favor.

2-3 hours = pretty ok.

Rick Stirling
11-12-2008, 05:09 PM
20 minutes.

If you offer an interview, it's because you've seen the portfolio. The interview is to gauge the person and attempt to figure out if they are a cock or not.

Some people are great to work with and are rubbish at interviews, and grilling them for several hours serves no-one any purpose. It's a waste of everyones time. Trying to get to know people in an interview is pointless, because people have their interview face on - the interviewers as much as the interviewees. Making the interview last for 3 or 5 or 8 ours just prolongs the fake process and puts everyone on edge.

I last 20 minutes. 30 with foreplay.

danr
11-13-2008, 01:03 AM
20 minutes.

If you offer an interview, it's because you've seen the portfolio. The interview is to gauge the person and attempt to figure out if they are a cock or not.

Some people are great to work with and are rubbish at interviews, and grilling them for several hours serves no-one any purpose. It's a waste of everyones time. Trying to get to know people in an interview is pointless, because people have their interview face on - the interviewers as much as the interviewees. Making the interview last for 3 or 5 or 8 ours just prolongs the fake process and puts everyone on edge.

I last 20 minutes. 30 with foreplay.

men

TWilson
11-13-2008, 01:36 AM
I'm kind of with Rick on this one.

I've had my fair share of long interviews and fly out interviews where you're stuck with em for a day or two. You usually know everything you can learn in the first hour if you didn't already do your research and learn everything before.

As many of us have, I've been on the other side too... Usually teamed up with someone else. So many interviewers want to talk about themselves more than they want to interview. It's a silly process. And of course HR with their text book questions and responses they'd like.

Ultimately both sides have to trust their instincts and make an educated guess. So if I were to offer any advice to either side it would be to please, trust your instincts. Don't hire solely based on resume or forget about personality when interviewing someone with a great portfolio. As someone looking at a company, our goal should always be to be in the position to say no. Part of success is our ability to say no to the wrong people and to wait for the right ones.

Super
11-13-2008, 04:02 AM
20 minutes.

If you offer an interview, it's because you've seen the portfolio. The interview is to gauge the person and attempt to figure out if they are a cock or not.

Some people are great to work with and are rubbish at interviews, and grilling them for several hours serves no-one any purpose. It's a waste of everyones time. Trying to get to know people in an interview is pointless, because people have their interview face on - the interviewers as much as the interviewees. Making the interview last for 3 or 5 or 8 ours just prolongs the fake process and puts everyone on edge.

I last 20 minutes. 30 with foreplay.

Sense.

So come on, how long are they at your place? 8 hour interviews.. even 2-3 hours seems nuts. What the hell do you talk about? I can understand if it's 30min or so chatting about you and the company then the rest of the time walking around and checking out workflows and just casually meeting the staff but if you're sitting opposite 3 people over table for that time whilst they grill you I'm not sure I'd want the job.

vj_box
11-13-2008, 04:12 AM
At mine,the interviews last for almost the whole day,as all the candidates appearing for the interview are required to take up an art test.
This is roughly around 8 hours.and by the way,i'm in a studio based in india.

killingpeople
11-13-2008, 05:08 AM
In my experience interviews on average will take about this long. Typically they rotate you around to talk to different people and normally will take you to lunch to talk more. They just want to get to know you better.

It's great to be prepared and bring plenty of your artwork you can share with the team and have some questions for them prepared. Ask questions that will help you get an idea of what your normal work day will be like, after all, you need to make sure this company is right for you - it goes both ways so take the time to properly interview them.

I have heard of companies giving on-site tests, but it isn't very normal for an art position. I'd expect that type of thing for a programmer or level designer - also I wouldn't expect a company to spring it on you last minute. From my experience, if there is a test, it will be in the form of an Art Test before an in-person interview.

Good luck!

Mr.Wednesday
04-30-2011, 11:03 PM
In my experience interviews on average will take about this long. Typically they rotate you around to talk to different people and normally will take you to lunch to talk more. They just want to get to know you better.

It's great to be prepared and bring plenty of your artwork you can share with the team and have some questions for them prepared. Ask questions that will help you get an idea of what your normal work day will be like, after all, you need to make sure this company is right for you - it goes both ways so take the time to properly interview them.

I have heard of companies giving on-site tests, but it isn't very normal for an art position. I'd expect that type of thing for a programmer or level designer - also I wouldn't expect a company to spring it on you last minute. From my experience, if there is a test, it will be in the form of an Art Test before an in-person interview.

Good luck!

Thanks for the tips man. I am going to my first interview and it's for a company i really would love to work with but I am really nervous, wodering about an art test and everything...

Autocon
05-01-2011, 03:04 AM
After the brutal Naughty Dog art test I had a hour and a half phone interview with the 3 lead artists there. Actually was going to be just a half hour but we kept on talking as we were really seeming to click :)

Then had a 5ish hour onsite interview the next week. Went over lots of stuff with HR, studio tour, final interview with the art team to go over my test again, talk about what was good what was horrible and areas I extreamly need to work on. Talked about working on Halo and what my experiance was like there and junk. Went out to lunch with them and then came back to be shown the project more in depth. Was shown all there tools and how they make there games fucking awesome.

Then got to meet one of the Co-Presedents of Naughty Dog and was offered the job from him there right on the spot :) Finished up the day by picking my seat, jumping up and down outside for a little bit and then to call my mom to tell her the good news lol.


Pro Tip: Dont be yourself, yourself is probably pretty lame. Be someone else, im sure someone else is a lot cooler then you....jk but yeah just be you :)

IchII3D
05-01-2011, 03:41 AM
Remember a job interview isn't just about them asking you questions, you need to find out how they work and exactly what you will be doing when working their. The worse thing you can do is not ask enough questions and find the job you end up doing is far from what you believed it to be.

Calabi
05-01-2011, 04:50 AM
Some of these dont really sound like interviews but more like inductions. They likely wouldnt waste time showing you around if you didnt get the job.

Andreas
05-01-2011, 05:19 AM
Wow haha I had no idea interviews ran this long... what would you even say :P If it was informal it wouldn't be a problem, just chat away, but if it was a formal scenario for several hours... gruelling.

For my last two related jobs I didn't even have to interview, I didn't even show work or even apply for the job (though I'm sure they saw my work through my contacts). It was all just word of mouth.

Jackablade
05-01-2011, 05:57 AM
Interesting. I've gone through 4 jobs and been interviewed for a couple more and I don't think any of them ran for more than twenty minutes.

Actually the Creature Technology one was probably a bit longer because there was robot dinosaurs that needed to be looked at.

marks
05-01-2011, 08:20 AM
My interview at CA was about an hour at most, with art lead + principal artist and then creative director aswell when things seemed to go well. 8 hours just seems insane, I'm with Rick here.

dustinbrown
05-01-2011, 09:14 AM
I don't know any other industry where part of the interview is seeing how you conduct yourself when you're drinking. That's pretty funny.

TortillaChips
05-01-2011, 09:30 AM
Interesting. I've gone through 4 jobs and been interviewed for a couple more and I don't think any of them ran for more than twenty minutes.

Actually the Creature Technology one was probably a bit longer because there was robot dinosaurs that needed to be looked at.

That sounds pretty good to me, I imagine long interviews would be pretty nerve wracking, and phone ones would be pretty bad.

Stinger88
05-01-2011, 09:33 AM
I worked at a company that had people do an 8 hour in-house art test once. All of the prospective employees did it on the same day. Although I think the interviewees may have been paid for their time whether they got the job or not.

Pseudo
05-01-2011, 11:03 AM
There is no way you can get an accurate understanding of a workplace in 20 minutes.

Hiring is the most difficult process a team will go through and it's naive to think that anyone can make an informed decision after a half hour chat.

bejkon
05-01-2011, 11:46 AM
How long does a phone interview usually take?

Lamont
05-01-2011, 11:48 AM
Hi guys, I have a job interview in two weeks , and I've been told it would take around 2-3 hours..

I am really wondering if we will only talk or if there will be some kind of tests too (they didn't ask me to do any art test)..

Did you have such an experience before?It takes 1 hour for the body scanner to warm up. Then they will clone you and make the clone work for free.

Jonathan
05-01-2011, 11:51 AM
I think for my current job, the interview took about 7-8 hours, and I actually started to get a cramp in my jaw from all the talking towards the end of the day. :D

Obviously, the interview went well. :)

moof
05-01-2011, 12:04 PM
Man, you guys make me feel self conscious about my recent puny 45 minute interview. Jeez



In my experience, the smaller the studio, the longer the interview.

Hearing bigger companies taking long interviews is news to me, but interesting.

Judd Roy
05-01-2011, 12:07 PM
LOL, yeah, 2-3 hours will be cake, you'll do fine. Last couple I've had were at least 6hrs. Good luck Kak.

TheWinterLord
05-01-2011, 01:16 PM
I no have interview.

Calabi
05-01-2011, 01:35 PM
There is no way you can get an accurate understanding of a workplace in 20 minutes.

Hiring is the most difficult process a team will go through and it's naive to think that anyone can make an informed decision after a half hour chat.

Its naive to think you can make an informed decision after eight hours. A month, a week at the very least can you then be somewhat sure about them.

JordanW
05-01-2011, 01:46 PM
Its naive to think you can make an informed decision after eight hours. A month, a week at the very least can you then be somewhat sure about them.

But to be reasonable, 20 min isn't enough. Of course you can find out more in a week or month but that's not really adding to the discussion here.


I don't think it's unreasonable to have interviews last a half to full day. It's not like they're interviewing with the same person. It gives them a chance to talk with everyone they would be working with when on the job.

crazyfool
05-01-2011, 02:25 PM
never had an interview go over 2 hours :( I feel so inadequate.

I got asked not too long ago for an 8 hour interview but didnt take them up on it as I already have a cool job. I do find it hard to believe that an interview would last so long though. How do you keep interviewees busy for that amount of time?

Pedro Amorim
05-01-2011, 02:47 PM
I no have interview.

ME NEITHER!!!
forever alonee :(

Jackablade
05-02-2011, 01:39 AM
In retrospect, most of my interviews were probably closer to an hour than 20 minutes. Regardless, none of them approached the full day interviews that you're discussing here. I can't imagine what one would even discuss in that kind of time period. I tend to run out of things to say after 5 minutes.

wasker
05-02-2011, 03:37 AM
Yeah me too :)
I believe my interview was around an hour and then perhaps another hour of being showed around and meet n greeting.

Calabi
05-02-2011, 04:17 AM
But to be reasonable, 20 min isn't enough. Of course you can find out more in a week or month but that's not really adding to the discussion here.


I don't think it's unreasonable to have interviews last a half to full day. It's not like they're interviewing with the same person. It gives them a chance to talk with everyone they would be working with when on the job.

Yeah, but surely you should get paid for it or some sort of compensatory thing. If you dont get it then its eight hours of your(plus there wasted time) when you could be looking for other jobs or earning or whatever.

We usually make decisions from meeting someone within the first few seconds whether we like them or not. I think all the interview advices have the line first impressions count. 20mins, eight hours, doesnt really make much of a difference.

I think these eight hour interviews are merely formalities, you guys have basically got the job, proven your worth.

metalliandy
05-02-2011, 08:35 AM
ME NEITHER!!!
forever alonee :(
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v299/metalliandy/pedrone.jpg

Pedro Amorim
05-02-2011, 11:36 AM
OLOLOLOLOLOL

metalliandy
05-02-2011, 12:03 PM
;)

monster
05-02-2011, 12:14 PM
20 minutes.

If you offer an interview, it's because you've seen the portfolio. The interview is to gauge the person and attempt to figure out if they are a cock or not.

Some people are great to work with and are rubbish at interviews, and grilling them for several hours serves no-one any purpose. It's a waste of everyones time. Trying to get to know people in an interview is pointless, because people have their interview face on - the interviewers as much as the interviewees. Making the interview last for 3 or 5 or 8 ours just prolongs the fake process and puts everyone on edge.

I last 20 minutes. 30 with foreplay.

In my opinion there is merit to spending a little more time. Remember you're interviewing the company as much as they are interviewing you. Take any extra time you get to spend with your potential employers.

I remember I interviewed for a company in California. Some of the guys asked me out for beers. When they started getting drunk, the truth about the stability of the company came out. I declined the job, and 3 months later they went under. If it was just a 20 minute interview I would have taken the job.

Honestly, these days I won't accept a job if I can't at least meet the department I'll be working in.

Habboi
05-02-2011, 02:11 PM
My interview is 3 months. No but seriously I think the best way to get to know someone is to do work experience for a few months and work alongside them. By that time you've shared stories, made assets and best of all you've been to the pub with them most days.

Justin Meisse
05-02-2011, 03:30 PM
I can't imagine what one would even discuss in that kind of time period. I tend to run out of things to say after 5 minutes.

well, you end up saying the same stuff over and over because you're meeting people in small groups.

Joshua Stubbles
05-02-2011, 07:19 PM
Interviews for fulltime positions at Microsoft are 8hrs long.