I've already looked at some examples from StackOverflow, but I'd like to know if any of you could show concrete examples of job interview questions... Are they different with a job related to game development?
The context of the questions might change, but not really; if you are looking to program, you will still be asked questions that apply to Computer Science in general, including, but not limited to:
- Programming Syntax
- Programming Methodology
At least, I was. My programming methodology question was phrased in terms of game related terms, such as
bullets, but it was really a design question and a math question.
Am I a bad person because I think of these?
- What do you do for fun? (Translation: Do you have a social life that will interfere with putting in 60 hour weeks normally, 100+ hour weeks in crunch?)
- How do you balance your personal life with work? (Translation: Have you had experience with a normal job that you put in a day at and then go home from when you're done, or can we format your brain with the insane expectations that make us money?)
- Where do you see yourself in five years? (Translation: Do we have a reasonable shot at keeping you in the same code monkey role for several product cycles?)
Disclaimer: Please note that this answer contains a high quotient of bitterness and cynicism, and that its contents reflect a worst-case scenario that the gaming industry is unfortunately notorious for. There are many ethical and benignly-motivated people performing hiring and management in the industry, and being asked any of these questions does not automatically mean that the "translations" apply.
From my experience being interviewed:
Expect some technical questions relating to your specialty (i.e. if you're trying for a graphics programmer position, expect some questions about what graphics libraries you've worked with and some of the more prominent graphics algorithms)
Some companies give you programming tests, of the "write code to do X" variety. This might happen at your interview in real-time, or they might ask you to do this ahead of time and send it in with your application. Expect to struggle red-faced through the embarrassment of having to correctly identify the bugs in your own code.
You may have some questions about other fields, such as audio, visual art, production and game design, or questions about your ability to play nicely with people in those fields. You don't need to be expert in non-programming fields, but you do need to be able to communicate effectively with non-programmers. (My favorite question: "Describe [polymorphism / A* / quaternions / whatever] to me in terms my technophobic grandmother would understand.")
Since game dev is so team-oriented, expect lots of non-programming questions that are trying to find team fit: questions about how you handle stressful situations, disagreements with superiors, eleventh-hour requests from publishers, impossible-to-implement specs from designers, and just generally if you're the kind of person that other people would like to spend more time with than they spend with their families.
Every company's interview process is different, of course, but I think you'll find more similarities than differences between game industry programming, and greater software industry programming, in terms of what the interview is like. The biggest difference is that in the game industry, the person interviewing you probably won't be wearing a suit :)
Of course, there are the standard interview questions (programming, personal, etc.). But then there are also the games-related questions, for example:
- What kinds of games do you like/play?
- What is your favorite game?
- Are you okay with working on genre X?
Furthermore, they might ask you about specific technologies/APIs/SDKs and what your specialization is (graphics? physics? audio?).
For the question like this there is great website: glassdoor.com. It is specialized mostly on inteviews and also offesr some other things about companies. Membership is free (or was a half of year ago) if you after some time you spend there fill yours interview in your company. Propably you will find lots of people attending on similar position at similar company.
And for me as a computer graphics engineer
- Describe graphic pipeline on gpu (not just programmable part, but how it really work)
- How would you do ... something related to the game engines (mine was shadows for omni-directional light.)
- shadow mapping, environment mapping, shading models, ambient occlusion ...
You didn't specify a discipline, but for programming almost every game company test I've seen has included:
- A question about virtual destructors in C++. What they do, when are they needed, etc.
- A question about dot products and cross products, what they do, how they're used, possibly how they're derived.
There is no other answer that is also not a good answer.
Programming Tests: Generally want to see what you are capable with and what your turn around times are.. Just remember that a Wrong answer is never a good one so do not rush these in order to make it look like you can turn them around quick. Just do a google search for programming tests. Also, take a look at the Sucker Punch programming test.. that one is Infamous and has been around forever (hundreds of forum posts generated from trying to get a good solution to it).
Over the phone: These will generally be light tech questions and mostly personal questions. Why do you want to make video games, why do you want to make Their video games.. etc so on and so forth.
In Person: Usually the final stage.. Making video games is VERY stressful.. you need to show you can be accommodating, interact with the person you are interviewing with and I can almost guarantee you will be shown around to a few other key members of the team. Also, some hands on tech questions can be brought up here... I have however been very successful in avoiding receiving them... Might be something to do with telling Them what their code/script is doing with out them asking me to write something ;)
Please note though, as mentioned at the start.. No other answer here is a bad answer, the questions will be wide and many.. Mostly game or game object oriented, but programming is programming.. video games just have to do it 60 times a second :)
EDIT: Cached link to an old Sucker Punch Job Listing w/ Programming Test referenced at the bottom.