Video Game Tester Job Interview Tips

This article will explain how to prepare for your interview with a video game developing company, for the video game tester job. The most important thing to remember is to honest. You should prepare for your interview and during the interview demonstrate to the interviewer who you really are. You do not want to pretend to be anyone else because you will not be able to keep that up for too long.

The Preparation

To prepare for your interview, you should familiarize yourself with all the latest games on the major platforms, especially the ones the company you will interview with creates games for. Rent at least three separate titles for each console and review them, making sure to take detailed notes of your experiences with the controls, graphics, sound design and execution. Type these reviews up professionally and bring copies for your interviewer. Try to avoid writing these in an informal, “blog” style of writing, instead write them in a professional format. Familiarize yourself with the games your interviewer’s company has recently put out, noting your likes and dislikes along the way.

The Interview

Again, a key component in any interview is to be honest. Also, keep your answers short and to the point; if your interviewer wants you to expand upon your answer, they will ask. Here are some sample questions you should expect and be prepared for, as well as tips on how to answer them:

  • Question: What game consoles are you familiar with? Give them a short list of consoles you’ve played extensively and are familiar with. Only specify a favorite if they ask.
  •  What is your favorite genre of game? Choose from the pre-approved list of genre names, such as RPG, FPS, RTS, etc. Again, do not expound upon your choice unless they ask, which they probably will.
  •  What are some of your favorite games? Why? This is one of the few areas you can go into detail on without causing yourself damage. Give them a short list, two or three games, with succinct but passionate descriptions of why they are your favorites.
  •  Have you played (Game Title)? If so, what were your impressions? Unlike the question about your favorite games, here you can also give negative criticism about a game (assuming you’ve played it). Give short, specific points, whether good or bad, but don’t overdo the details. Again, wait for a signal that it’s okay to be longwinded.
  •  What do you think of our (the developers) latest game? This is a tricky one. The interviewer is definitely been made aware of any negative feedback from the gaming community about specific problems with their game, which means that if you sugar-coat the whole review, they’ll know you’re being dishonest. Dishonest reviewers do not get hired, period. Stick to the truth on this one more than any other; don’t gloss over problems with the game, but don’t be aggressive or insulting, either. Address the entire game, from positives to problems, honestly and succinctly.
  •  Are you familiar with gaming terminology such as frame rates, lag, texture “popping”, clipping, AI and HUD, l33t, etc.?  If you’re even thinking about applying for a position as a video game tester, you had better be aware of these terms and more. If you’re not, start brushing up immediately. There are innumerable terminology guides online that list gaming terms, their definitions and common usages, and etymologies.

 Remember, being honest and being prepared are the two best things you can do to make yourself a valuable addition to a game developer's team.