It goes without saying that when it comes to animation job interviews, it’s a good idea to be prepared and get some pre-prepared answers in your back pocket to ensure a prospective employer doesn’t catch you out completely on the day. There are a couple of things you must know before you appear for an animation job interview-
- Know your potential employer
The more you know about a studio before you go in to interview, the better. Know what films/shows/games/projects they have worked on. Make sure you know WHAT parts of that project they actually worked on; many films now farm out work to multiple studios, so you don’t want to make the mistake of complimenting one studio for another studio’s work! You don’t want to come off as fan boy-fanatical, but you definitely want to express an interest in your potential employer’s previous work.
If you have an inkling of what projects may be coming down the pipeline for the studio, consider putting things on your reel that could apply to those projects (i.e. if you know they will be working on a movie about zoo animals, show them some nice quadruped animation tests). It sounds like pandering, I know but the fact is, studios like to be able to immediately gauge how useful you will be to them.
- Don’t complain about past jobs
This is a BIG one. We’ve all had jobs we didn’t like, but a job interview isn’t the place to nurse old wounds. There are several reasons for this. First off, most companies just prefer a positive person over a negative one who will drag down everyone else around them. Second, our industry is very small-it could be that the person you are criticizing is a good friend (or even a recent new hire) of the person interviewing you. Third, companies don’t like the idea that someday, when you move on, you may end up saying bad things about them to your next potential employer. Keep in mind to mention whatever you have learn in animation.
- Don’t badmouth your work
Most of us are our own worst critics, and we will never be 100% satisfied with what we produce. We’ll always know we could have made a shot a little better…but don’t apologize for your work! Be positive, talk about things you’d like to get better at in the future but don’t point out past shortcomings. Don’t make excuses for shots or say things like “it used to look better but the director made me change it.” Let the interviewer come to their own conclusions, and follow their lead when talking about your past work. This will show that you don’t respect the animation institute you learned from.