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Interview on Monday, need to relax!

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Y_M
polycounter lvl 10
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Y_M polycounter lvl 10
Got a phone interview with Valve lined up for Monday evening, this'll be my first interview (pretty much ever) and I'm getting incredibly worked up already.

How do you guys unwind and relax before an important interview?

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  • Sandro
    One does not simply relax before Valve interview :)

    im5qpd.jpg
  • EarthQuake
  • Y_M
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    Y_M polycounter lvl 10
    brb buying a shipping container of tissues
  • Swizzle
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    Swizzle polycounter lvl 14
    EQ may be joking, but it could actually be useful since it'll make you a bit sleepy.

    Other things you could do to calm down:

    - Exercise and really work up a sweat
    - Take a shower (maybe after the exercise)
    - Have a stiff drink (but not too much) or something like a beer or two
    - Meditate and use breathing exercises
    - Take a crap right before the interview
    - Do something that takes intense focus. Maybe something like working with Hammer.
    - Watch a funny movie or TV show
    - Take off your pants before the interview starts and just chill for a few minutes
  • Steve Schulze
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    Steve Schulze polycounter lvl 15
    Given you've developed two maps that have been officially released in Team Fortress 2, I don't think you have too much to worry about. Valve are clearly very impressed with your skills. As long as you don't come across as a complete loony, I can't imagine you'll have too many problems. On that note, if you follow Swizzle's advice, maybe don't make note of your lack of pants during the interview.
  • MiAlx
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    MiAlx polycounter lvl 10
    Jackablade wrote: »
    Given you've developed two maps that have been officially released in Team Fortress 2, I don't think you have too much to worry about. Valve are clearly very impressed with your skills. As long as you don't come across as a complete loony, I can't imagine you'll have too many problems. On that note, if you follow Swizzle's advice, maybe don't make note of your lack of pants during the interview.

    This.

    You've got an interview with valve. This means they are definitely impressed with what you have to offer. They looked at your portfolio and they decided they wanted to hire you. Now with the phone interview they are trying to find out why they wouldn't want to hire you. If you are yourself and don't behave in a weird way, there shouldnt be a problem at all. You'll do fine man, good luck :D
  • crazyfingers
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    crazyfingers polycounter lvl 10
    Best of luck man, looks like this interview is well earned. Like others have said just try to be confident and be yourself. You said this is your first interview, try to be professional, but don't let that get in the way of being yourself and confident. Most game companies like a little character but it's also good to show you're serious about this job.

    Considering they've already seen what you can do on your own maybe think about social skills that you have that you may need to talk about over the phone. Meeting deadlines, using spreadsheets, being organized, working with others, these are things they may touch on on the phone that you may want to think about before the interview. How did you take feedback into account while making your maps? what was your design process?

    Best of luck! Let us know how it goes.
  • fearian
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    fearian Polycount Sponsor
    interview with Valve (...) my first interview ever

    DAYMN.

    Spend the day relaxing, get yourself in a good mood. If you want to work in hammer before the interview, relax and work on something fun. Good luck man! Things sound pretty good!
  • chrisradsby
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    chrisradsby polycounter lvl 11
    Be yourself, relax and be confident but not arrogant. Confident and Humble? (if that's possible). Always smile, when you walk into the studio you smile, if you meet someone you smile! even if it's a fake one it's better than looking awkward and nervous :)

    When you sit down in a chair, make yourself comfortable and open up your body language. Let your arms rest at the sides, and gesture when you're talking.

    Remember that you're there for a reason, they are interested in you. They just want to know if they can work with you and that you're sociable and not a douchebag. So relax :) It'll be fine!

    Good luck man! Rooting for you! :)
  • r_fletch_r
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    r_fletch_r polycounter lvl 9
    - Exercise and really work up a sweat
    Nothing like a vigorous wank for that
    - Take a shower (maybe after the exercise)
    The perfect venue for said wank
    - Do something that takes intense focus. Maybe something like working with Hammer.
    or having a wank
    - Take off your pants before the interview starts and just chill for a few minutes
    Another golden opportunity to wear the prints from your fingers.

    After that have a coffee, you dont want to fall asleep in the interview.
  • Tigerfeet
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    Tigerfeet Polycount Sponsor
    I third the taking off your pants advice! Make yourself comfortable, but not enough to get sloppy. Like everyone has said, you have the interview, they are definitely interested.

    And congratulations :)
  • slipsius
    I dont know if this will help you lower your stress, or raise it. But it can definitely help you prepare yourself a little more.

    Adam did a talk here in Toronto for the local IDGA, and he talks about his interview at Valve. The whole speech is a good listen, but the Valve talk starts around 36:00 if thats what you`re looking for.

    http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/utm_campaign=synclickback&source=http://www.polycount.com/2011/10/22/toronto-igda-talk-by-adam-bromell/&medium=18026601
  • Habboi
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    Habboi sublime tool
    "Have a stiff drink (but not too much) or something like a beer or two."

    I have an interview in an hour and I'm doing just this. Just a few sips is enough to relax me and I also have a sheet of paper with all the facts written down so I can answer clearly instead of hesitating due to being nervous. There's sticky labels next to each part with a one word summary so I can quickly scrawl my eyes over it and I'll be crossing out each one so I dont look up and down like a panic'd actor reading his script.

    Good luck cause with Valve I think I'd blow my balls.

    Oh and listen to some music. I'm getting my confidence listening to some God of War music.

    edit: Just confirming that the interview went well and the beer really helped :D
  • skylebones
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    skylebones polycounter lvl 10
    That's awesome man. And good luck!

    As far as nerves go, I'm a huge supercross fan and remember an interview Jeremy McGrath gave a few years ago. He was asked if he was nervous when he had his first supercross race. He said some people get under the bright lights of the big arena and wilt to the nerves and the pressure and fall to the back of the pack. But he look at it as his opportunity to rise to the occasion and show the world he's a champion.

    The fact you got an interview shows you are more than capable.

    Good luck and go shine.
  • sprunghunt
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    sprunghunt interpolator
    It would probably help if you had already been on an interview. So I suggest you get a friend or family member to interview you beforehand. A practice interview to get you used to the kind of questions they might ask. Especially if you can get someone with actual game design experience to do it.

    This will help you with the good advice others have already given.
  • Alberto Rdrgz
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    Alberto Rdrgz polycounter lvl 9
    the last 2 threads i've been to, the overall advice is... have a wank.

    HAHAHAAHAH!, oh polycount!:D

    also,
    GRATS, DOOD! valve should be BADASS.
  • fearian
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    fearian Polycount Sponsor
    [ame=" Duckling"Slow the Flow" - YouTube[/ame]
  • Y_M
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    Y_M polycounter lvl 10
    slipsius wrote: »
    I dont know if this will help you lower your stress, or raise it. But it can definitely help you prepare yourself a little more.

    Adam did a talk here in Toronto for the local IDGA, and he talks about his interview at Valve. The whole speech is a good listen, but the Valve talk starts around 36:00 if thats what you`re looking for.

    http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/utm_campaign=synclickback&source=http://www.polycount.com/2011/10/22/toronto-igda-talk-by-adam-bromell/&medium=18026601

    Thanks, that was great to watch.
  • Lee3dee
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    Lee3dee polycounter lvl 12
    checking out your folio of TF2 maps, awesome stuff! I can see why they are interviewing you :) Just relax and remember to make a good first impression on the phone.
  • Cojax
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    Cojax polycounter lvl 10
    Wait, isn't Monday Presidents Day? They are open that day? We have Monday off heh.

    Good luck mang!
  • Y_M
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    Y_M polycounter lvl 10
    I was asked my availability on Monday and Tuesday so I guess at least someone at Valve will be working. (The monkey they have trained to dispense hats most likely)
  • Mcejn
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    Mcejn polycounter lvl 12
    Just be prepared to answer any questions about anything.

    Especially your work, but they've already seen that. What about you, why should they hire you?
  • Hamish Bode
    Congrats mate! The idea of a first interview can be super stressful but just a few things I'd suggest:

    - Don't drink any caffeine: getting the jitters won't help at all. I drank a ton of coffee before an interview once and it just made my heart race and make me more nervous.

    - Like others have said, remember that they already think you're good. Be confident in your abilities without being cocky. Americans seem to do a good job of this - but if you're from New Zealand (or a similar culture) like me, being a self-deprecating dork is hard to avoid.

    - Make sure you've been eating well and drinking heaps of water. Also, have a glass of water you can sip on while you're interviewing - getting dry mouth is just gross.

    - Definitely go to the loo beforehand.

    - Don't wear pants.

    - If it comes up, don't be afraid to let them know a little bit about yourself - lots of people look at a "good fit" within the team when hiring.

    Good luck dude! Let us know how you get on! :D
  • Ferg
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    Ferg polycounter lvl 15
    haha... aaaand perna kills all the confidence gained through the earlier replies... gg

    edit: best of luck to you Y_M, would be a most excellent gig to land, and I doubt they'd be calling you if they didn't think you had what it takes
  • adam
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    adam polycounter lvl 17
    I never had a phone interview (mine was in person) so I'm not quite sure what to expect other than that they are just going to feel you out and see if you'd be worth the expense to fly you over for a proper interview. They probably just want to get a sense of how you think and develop and make sure you can articulate yourself well. Before my full interview I went to lunch with a few artists, which I assume is the equivalent of a phone interview. They just checked out some of my work and asked me about work habits. It was pretty straight forward and actually a lot of fun.

    The in-person interview is rigorous, exhausting but also enjoyable. After the 7 hour ordeal all I could do was fall asleep in my hotel room at like 730-8PM. The good news is you don't wait around after the interview to find out if you have the job or not. They'll tell you at the end if they'd like to hire you. I won't go in to specifics about the actual interview process beyond mentioning that it was an 'all day' thing.

    *Unless they find out early in the day they don't want to hire you, they'll cut it short (so I was told).
  • adam
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    adam polycounter lvl 17
    perna wrote: »
    What are you going to do if your potential employer sees this thread and questions whether your nerves are stable enough to deal with crunch time?

    Ha, perna I can't tell if you're trolling.

    Who the hell gets nervous about crunch time? These two things are not mutually significant in my opinion. Unless he's a blubbering fool on the phone who can't get his words in order when forming a sentence, this is a non-point to make.
  • Y_M
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    Y_M polycounter lvl 10
    perna wrote: »
    What are you going to do if your potential employer sees this thread and questions whether your nerves are stable enough to deal with crunch time?

    Hopefully they'll see asking for advice when unsure as a pretty useful skill to have.

    I'd be more worried that they might make some assumptions about my clothing habits during crunch time! :poly142:

    I've cooled off a lot since last night, I'm still quite tense but the positive reinforcement from you guys is really helping. A good night's sleep tonight and a calm weekend preparing potential answers and I should have my cool back by Monday.
  • rolfness
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    rolfness polycounter lvl 16
    perna wrote: »
    What are you going to do if your potential employer sees this thread and questions whether your nerves are stable enough to deal with crunch time?

    They'll know he's not wearing pants.. lol
  • Autocon
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    Autocon polycounter lvl 13
    Just be yourself, answer questions honestly, dont bullshit them, if they ask you a question and you genuinely dont know the answer just tell them you dont know instead of trying to bullshit your way through it.

    Be prepared to answer questions about anything and everything about yourself and your work. Never lie.

    It will most likely be a long conversation so have some water near by to drink if you need it so your not fumbling around in the kitchen later on.

    Write questions down that you feel are important to ask them before hand. Remember an interview is a two way street, they are trying to assess if you would work out at there company and fit in, and your trying to assess if working for there company is the right fit for you. Just because its a big named studio dosnt means its the right place for you.
  • makecg
    you will love the interview it will take a few minutes to relax once your in but I've taken a few studio interviews and they are pretty chill..
  • Phil101
    Imagine they called you out of the blue, they were head hunting for talent and you just happened to be the 1st they rang. Big yourself up mentally.
  • Torch
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    Torch interpolator
    slipsius wrote: »
    I dont know if this will help you lower your stress, or raise it. But it can definitely help you prepare yourself a little more.

    Adam did a talk here in Toronto for the local IDGA, and he talks about his interview at Valve. The whole speech is a good listen, but the Valve talk starts around 36:00 if thats what you`re looking for.

    http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/utm_campaign=synclickback&source=http://www.polycount.com/2011/10/22/toronto-igda-talk-by-adam-bromell/&medium=18026601


    "We're sorry, the page you requested cannot be found."

    Thanks man, I needed to calm down a little myself!
  • EtotheRic
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    EtotheRic polycounter lvl 15
    They want to talk to you because they like what they have seen and you know what it took to make it. Take a few notes if you think you'll forget something. Also think of some things you'd like to ask and take notes on that. Be cool like a cucumber. You'll own it.
  • Isaiah Sherman
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    Isaiah Sherman polycounter lvl 13
    You could try some of this! (if you're from Valve and you see this, please don't throw a rock through my window <3)

    thebihar_ganja.jpg
  • Alberto Rdrgz
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    Alberto Rdrgz polycounter lvl 9
    that's a lot of greenery... :smokin:
  • ae.
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    ae. polycounter lvl 12
    what games do Valve make?
  • PhattyEwok
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    PhattyEwok polycounter lvl 9
    ae. wrote: »
    what games do Valve make?

    I hope thats a joke :poly142:
  • Isaiah Sherman
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    Isaiah Sherman polycounter lvl 13
    ae. wrote: »
    what games do Valve make?

    Usually if you go to a company's website they will have a list of products.

    http://www.valvesoftware.com/

    You may have heard of a few of their games.
  • r_fletch_r
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    r_fletch_r polycounter lvl 9
    ae. wrote: »
    what games do Valve make?

    farmville
  • VPrime
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    VPrime polycounter lvl 9
    Haiasi wrote: »
    Usually if you go to a company's website they will have a list of products.

    http://www.valvesoftware.com/

    You may have heard of a few of their games.

    Is steam any good? What's it about?
  • adam
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    adam polycounter lvl 17
    perna wrote: »
    Crunch time is typically stress-inducing, Adam. That is a fairly non-controversial claim to make. You should know by now that you can respectfully state disagreement on the internet without calling someone a troll.

    Looking back to where you wrote 'nerves', I read that as 'nervous', which had me confused and questioned your reply. I was so confused I just assumed you were having some fun and taking the piss out of Y_M. My bad :thumbup:

    OT/crunch can certainly be stressful.
  • Y_M
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    Y_M polycounter lvl 10
    Today's the day... ahhhhh.

    Got a full 9-5 day at uni first, that kinda sucks, I don't want to be too tired.
  • Xoliul
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    Xoliul polycounter lvl 12
    All the interview's about is being a cool, smart guy anyway. Should be easy and fun :)
    Maybe one piece of advice: they might ask you something along the lines off "what would you improve in our games?", I'm pretty sure I've been asked this twice in phone interviews and I always had an answer ready.
  • Gannon
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    Gannon greentooth
  • Steve Schulze
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    Steve Schulze polycounter lvl 15
    I would have skipped school, myself.

    Take it easy, mate. You'll do fine.
  • passerby
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    passerby polycounter lvl 11
  • Y_M
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    Y_M polycounter lvl 10
    Jackablade wrote: »
    I would have skipped school, myself.

    Take it easy, mate. You'll do fine.

    And miss a double particle physics lecture with Fred Loebinger, are you insane!?

    Fortunately the first four lectures today are ones I can turn my brain off in, the first three don't even involve writing :).

    Feeling pretty relaxed now and I actually enjoy Fred's lectures biggest hurdle now is being alert and fully awake come 7pm
  • Fomori
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    Fomori polycounter lvl 11
    Yeah better to keep yourself busy before the interview. That way you won't be sitting around working yourself up and getting nervous. Good luck!
  • Torch
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    Torch interpolator
    Hey man let us know how the interview went! :D
  • Y_M
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    Y_M polycounter lvl 10
    Well that was a LOT less painful than I thought it would be, I spoke to two of their designers mostly about my development process, hardly surprising.

    Now I have to wait a day or two to know if they want another interview, scary time.
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