Careers

18, Mar 2020 . 11 min read

Game Engineering — How to prepare for the interview

Game Engineering — How to prepare for the interview

by Tiago Martines

11 min read

Check out what we look for during our Game Engineering selection process — the core area of Wildlife’s business


 

[This is article was last updated on August 19th at 18:10]
Written in collaboration with Fernanda Prado, Caio Nardelli, and Victor Matsuguma.

As a leading global tech company, we have talented and dedicated professionals with us, including many with relevant previous experience, such as Mick Hocking, former Sony vice president for Europe, and Luis Darío Simonassi, former MercadoLibre VP in Argentina.

We aspire to develop games that will be remembered for generations.

To achieve this goal, we need to keep attracting very talented people, as we create innovative solutions that put us at the forefront of the industry.

GAME ENGINEERING AT WILDLIFE

Game Engineering area is one and only, as it is — you guessed it — the core of Wildlife’s business. It’s true that we are a tech company, but games are still our main end product, so most of the things that are done by the other areas are done to support the development and management of our games.

Note: our Engineering area is composed of at least six different domains, as you can see in our text about the Backend Engineering Selection Process.

WHO DO WE WANT FOR OUR GAME ENGINEERING TEAM

The Game Engineering team at Wildlife has two work fronts.

To perceive a demand in the game, come up with a solution and implement it;

To implement an idea from the product team.

In the end, our day-to-day comes down to implementing innovations in games, even in other areas, which includes everything from messing with backend code or making game design interfaces to balance troop battles or protect the game against cheaters. We actually encourage people on the team to be multifaceted.

It’s fun (but very true) to say that we're a clan, a group of people who really like what they do, who like having others around, and are eager to create something incredible to entertain even more people throughout the world.

Each member of the team has the autonomy to propose a change, a new feature, or anything they think can be improved. This brings more responsibility and more value to each Wilder and promotes rapid growth. Each problem we encounter is an opportunity to do better.

If you already work with game development, think about the impact you can cause once you join us. And, if you haven’t worked in the area yet, but are interested in co-creating something that makes people’s lives more fun, entertains, and impacts many generations, here’s your opportunity.

To join us, you need to be interested in developing games, of course, but you don’t necessarily need to have all the skills of those who already work here. We have a broad scope in the interviews. We won’t even require you to show specific knowledge of game development, but rather a solid computer science base.

After all, if you have good general knowledge, it’s easier to learn how to develop games, while the opposite is not quite true. Oh, and, given the level of autonomy provided, good planning and organizational skills are also fundamental.

When it comes to programming languages, we don’t evaluate any specific knowledge. That’s because we use a very broad stack, choosing the best tool to solve each problem. We have enough flexibility to use different technologies whenever necessary, but always keeping in mind the cost associated with the introduction of any new tool, whether it’s a learning or an operational cost.

Finally, as important as having the technical skills, it’s crucial that you’re aligned with our values. We need you to think big and act fast on opportunities. We want people who are fully committed to doing the best work they can, who also know how to innovate with quality and with proper research. And, of course, it is important that you embrace our culture of being candid, providing the best and most truthful feedback to your peers because this is the best way for them to improve. After all, we care for each other.

After all, we’ll be working together on an extraordinarily ambitious mission.

OUR SELECTION PROCESS STEP BY STEP

So now that you know a bit about Wildlife and what we need for our Game Engineering Team, here’s how you’ll join us:

1. Recruitment Strategy
Once we’ve defined a vacancy, we advertise it on our page and on other job boards that we consider relevant. Of course, we also actively look for professionals in different networks. Once we find someone that we wish to bring to the team, we get in touch and invite them to learn more about us and go through the recruiting process. This usually takes place on LinkedIn, GitHub or StackOverflow, but other sources such as events or referrals from our employees or candidates are also practice.

2. Sourcing and/or screening
This is the first part of the selection process itself. The sourcing process consists of an active search for the ideal candidate for the position, while screening is basically a selection of all the applications/resumes received. Those who are selected (or who we’ve previously contacted) are asked to have an initial phone conversation with us.

3. Pre onsite
This is what we call this first conversation, which takes place over the phone or through videoconference, with a recruiter or a team member (or both, depending on the seniority of the position). This chat not only explains the position, the company, and the selection process in more detail but also evaluates the candidates’ motivation, their passion for what they do, and some soft skills. This call usually lasts about 40 to 60 minutes.

4. Onsite or remote interviews
After the initial conversation, the selected candidates are called in for the next round of interviews, which can take place at Wildlife or by videoconference again. There are at most three interviews. As each stage has the potential to rule out a candidate, some may only participate in one or two of them.

What we evaluate in each interview:

• First Interview. The first interview is usually done with a potential future teammate and it lasts 1h15. You will deal with algorithms and coding (using your favorite language) and you’ll sit in front of a computer to solve problems that may have nothing to do with games, but are part of the company’s day-to-day activities. Your time management and communication skills will also be evaluated.

• Second Interview. The second interview is a bit shorter than the other two — it lasts for about one hour. Whiteboard exercises will be proposed to evaluate code design and architecture, both for frontend and backend.

• Third Interview. This is your opportunity to better describe your career, side projects, and professional goals. We'll also check your alignment with the company’s values and your technical background. Someone from the area's leadership conducts this interview, and it takes about 1h30.

It’s important to reinforce that this is also the moment for you, as a candidate, to ask all the questions that you have about the role, the company, and our culture. Are you curious about a project, a game, or a technical issue? The onsite interview is the best moment to question.

5. Offer
After the interviews, all those involved meet to discuss the performance of the candidate and decide whether to extend a job offer. If approved, you will be informed quickly. If you cannot respond immediately, we give you some time to take the offer home and think about it, hoping you’ll decide to join our team.

6. You’ve become a Wilder
And that’s it! Candidates who accept the offer become new Wilders and are welcomed with open arms by our team. In this final stage, we’ll arrange all the details for the starting date, and once you’ve started, the onboarding phase will provide you all the tools and context necessary to begin helping us tackle our biggest challenges!

PREPARATION

The best tip we can give for you to do well in the process is to prepare for each step. You won’t adapt your personality to what we are looking for, but you can hone your technical and communication skills. Throughout the process, it’s very important that you clearly communicate your line of reasoning.

It’s a good idea to review the Computer Science basics and concepts such as algorithms and system design. Books like “Cracking the Coding Interview” can be helpful, but you may prefer to study or watch videos about system design on YouTube since the subject is recurring in our interviews. You’ll also benefit from coding and algorithm exercises, which can be done on sites such as HackerRank.com, Codility.com, and LeetCode.com. And if you’re not used to managing your time, time management exercises may come in handy.

Choose whichever method you feel most comfortable with (or maybe give yourself a challenge!) and go ahead. Oh, and don’t forget to familiarize yourself with our games too. Look for them in the App Store, Google Play Store, and on our website. Try downloading Zooba, Sniper 3D, and Tennis Clash to get started.

Another tip is to try to relax during the onsite interviews. Make sure to ask questions whenever something is not quite clear. Be yourself. An interview works both ways: you select the company as much as we select candidates.

So, did we manage to provide you with the information you were looking for regarding our selection process for the Wildlife’s Game Engineering Team? We hope this has helped you to better understand the process and see how you can get started. And we hope you can soon become a Wilder!

Check out all of our open positions here


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