(See previous post for “Interview: part one”)
The time for interviews was over.
We took all three out for lunch. And afterward prepped ourselves for our lead meeting to go over the three fella’s.
When I got back to my desk, The art director gave me a note that “Toby” had written to him expressing thanks for giving him an opportunity to interview. And he also thanked ME for being ‘so nice and making him feel more comfortable and making the process that much easier’ (or something to that nature. )
It was very sweet.
We all got together in late afternoon. Gathered in a room, around a table and the art director asked for our thoughts.
I sat back…I wanted to hear the comments from the others before piping in.
And here’s where the problem of these interviews being largely a ‘personality test’ comes in:
The only one of the three that they were completely unanimous on, was on “Alex”!
Again..keep in mind that “Alex” was fine. His work not the strongest of the three…but his relaxed nature and confidence won them over almost immediately.
While “Toby” and “Chuck”….kinda creeped them all out.
(And I’m not paraphrasing all that much.)
And I expected as much.
Pretty much everyone at the table was fairly young. Even my ‘art director’ was a very young guy..whose first outing as an art director was THIS particular project!
In short…they weren’t seeing the whole picture. And getting lost on the surface issues.
Putting waaaay too much emphasis on the “can I hang out with this guy” mentality.
So around the table we all (including myself) gave a thumbs up to “Alex”.
That was he easiest for the group to *ok*. Mainly because he met all the surface things that seemed to be important to the group.
I gave him a thumbs up because I thought he could grow into the gig.
Up next was “Chuck”.
“Chuck” had the deck slightly stacked against him personality wise.
He was gruff.
He was Tough.
And more than a bit intense.
And for this group of art leads that were of a much *softer* way..
(Heck…the ‘art director’ himself was keen on wearing skinny jeans, bowling shoes and singing ‘Maroon 5’ songs on karaoke night for petes sake!)..Let’s just say old “Chuck” was going to need quite a bit of defending.
Each one of the team took turns talking about “Chucks” personality.
Pondering if he had “Anger issues” or a part of a “Militia” .
One of the leads even said that she couldn’t bare to stay that long and cut her session short because he made her uncomfortable.
To which the ‘art director’ chimed in that he himself was worried that “Chuck” was a stalker simply because “Chuck” (logically) looked each of us up to see what OUR work history was.
My response was that “Chuck” was the most rounded of the three. He could not only do the job that he was being asked to do..but he could probably even pick up some light animation down the line if asked AND do some avatars (which was also one of the duties of the animators to come up with.)
So…Chuck was a great catch. IF the team could get past their prejudices and all ready made up minds.
I told them that I had no issues with his intense personality. That once he settled in for OUR conversation, he loosened up and it was a fun and good conversation.
They all took notice of the fact that my conversation went a good 15 minutes over our allotted time (while NONE of theirs even lasted the full time.)
They wondered aloud “what in the hell did you two have to talk about for all that time”
What he’s into.
What I’M into.
“Chuck” did take some time.
But he got through!
One more to go!!
That left old “Toby”.
And if I thought “Chuck” was going to be difficult..it quickly became clear that “Toby” was going to be equally as difficult.
“Toby” was the quietest and shyest out of the three.
And that was an issue for all of them.
“Would he be able to communicate clearly?”
“He seemed overly nervous. Almost shaky”
Etc etc and etc!!
I again sat back and let them all speak so I can see where they were all coming from.
Then when asked my thoughts on him. I leaned forward and said:
“Not only do I think he’s a good candidate…I think he’s the perfect candidate. “
You’d have thought I threw a brick into each one of their faces.
“He’s obviously talented. Yes, he’s shy and quiet…but look at the work he’s doing. His work is bold and confident. Fun and wildly creative. His test for this project is better than most of the stuff that’s been done on this game to this point.”
Some of the crew pointed to his thin industry experience. And one even pointed out that he hadn’t worked in the industry for some time (Which was true).
To which I replied:
“Think about it….what’s the downside? You have an enormously talented guy. Whose’ been looking for a gig for some time. Probably went through a number of interviews before THIS one. Turned down. Turned down again.
He has a family, so the stakes are high. So of course he’s going into every interview nervous. More nervous than the previous one.
This guy…who is more than willing to relocate himself and his family if he gets a gig. To a whole new State. Whole new surroundings.
You give this guy a chance, and offer him this gig…he’ll not only work his tail off
but he’ll give you some of the best stuff your gonna see for this game. Because he won’t just want to get the job. He’ll want to keep the job and stay put.
For his family.
That’s high motivation people. The highest.
“Toby” was given the green light.
And since he was the one that everyone was most worried about…..Guess who they teamed him up with via the ‘buddy system’.
I was charged with being a mentor for him in some ways. Since he was most comfortable with me, the team felt I would be a good one to team him up with and bring alongside.
And that was fine.
In the end, all three came on and excelled. Pretty much as perfect as I thought they would be.
The bottom line is….the personality test of the ‘interview’ is fine.
But too much emphasis on it, often times works against the studio and crew.
The trick is to look beyond the surface, find that real individual that lurks beyond the nerves and personality quirks. And be willing to overlook some of the prejudices that you yourself (as the interviewer) brings to the table.
For you (the ‘interviewee’):
*Go into it armed with knowing what this is.
*Know you’re fully capable of doing the work, or you wouldn’t be there.
*Be calm. Be yourself.
*Relax as much as possible. Even admit to nerves when they ask you how your doing in the beginning.. (which they always do.)
*Ask them questions about the production.
*Sell yourself. Because while your work may speak for itself. You still need to speak for yourself and be your own rep!
Don’be afraid of that.
You’re an awesome individual. So make sure everyone is able to see that!
(Questions? Comments? Send them on over. Love to hear from ya!)