As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, your work (shown on your demo reel) will speak volumes, but they will also be paying much attention to your personality and attitude.
It’s most likely you’ll be working long hours and spending a lot of time with the other members of the studio. For the most part, studio owners/operators want to hire people with a good attitude, who are ambitious and easy to get along with.
At your interview, keep in mind that the employers main priority in production is to get the project done on time and at the highest quality possible.
Studios’ clients may request multiple animation changes and fixes which can get frustrating. The studio wants people who will help them to please the client (within reason) without much negativity and resistance. At least not till the day is done – you can go and bang your head off a bar stool after work.
Having said that, I have been in situations where the client was asking for the impossible, or the unaffordable. Studio owners may either let the client know that it can’t be done or just bill them for the exorbitant amount of extra work…
Studios will resist doing this though, they don’t want to burn that bridge for future work. They are more likely to lean on the animators…so at your interview, let them know that your up for that challenge.
If they tell you that what is on your demo reel isn’t what they are looking for, ask to do a test (if you know the software and are able to do one). This might give you a second chance rather than just walking away.
Do’s and Don’ts
Of course, don’t be late…obviously.
If your interviewer is critiquing your demo reel, DO NOT defend your work. They are probably doing it on purpose to see how well you respond to direction. In fact, let them know that those are good points and thank them for the helpful tips. This will show them that you take direction well.
Bring a copy of your demo reel and resume just in case the interviewer doesn’t have it.
Don’t try and memorize what you are going to say. You’ll just make yourself more nervous and forget it all anyways. Just try to keep in mind an idea of what you want to communicate.
Like a dork, I wore a suite to my first animation interview. I was interviewed by the Director…he was wearing a T-shirt and jeans. Don’t overdress. It may not hurt you, but you’ll sure feel silly. Business casual is pretty safe for this type of interview. More casual than business.
Ask some questions, if you don’t ask any questions at all it could seem like you are not very interested, or that this job isn’t very important to you. I strongly suggest coming up with just a few questions before hand so you don’t freeze up with nothing to ask. You might think of more during the interview.