Interview time again...

Well, I had an interview with Surreal Software (the guys who did The Suffering) today, and I think overall... well... I blew it.

I stormed their pre-interview programming tests. Those were easy - 100% on the first 15 questions (Math & Physics), 96% on the second (C++/Programming)... don't know how I did on the programming sample code test, but I think it was pretty solid overall (certainly, the code left here with unit tests and everything, and I tested it before sending it out, so I'm nearly 100% certain that it's all good).

So I dropped a single programming question. I'd love to know what the question was that I missed - probably a typo on my part (yeah, I know, it sounds like I'm boasting, but no really, I'm pretty sure I got them all right).

Fast forward to the actual in-your-face interview, and I blew it. I got all the other questions right... but when it came to the 3D Math part... well... I sucked.

Which sucks really. Normally I have a whale of a time doing interviews - they're fun, they're typically no sweat, and it's always good to challenge you brain with time-limited puzzels.... but this one question threw me.

Partly, the question was oddly phrased - but that's no excuse. Mainly, though, the thing that threw me was when I was drawing out a graph of a cosine plot to figure out part of the question, I ended up misreading my own graph. I repeatedly treated x and y, and y as x. Not good. Not good at all.

So, this whole experience leads me to believe three things...

1. The whole interview was riding on this one question. Presumably that meant that there was a whole chain of questions leading off that one which I would have got if I hadn't choked.

2. I need to review and refresh my knowledge of 3D vector math. It's not difficult stuff. It's just a matter of familiarity - and if you don't have that hands on familiarity in an interview setting, you're going to choke no matter how quickly you could figure it out in a real life work scenario.

3. Hindsight is entirely 20-20.

Damn. I hope I get another shot at interviewing there. It's either that, or I just have to bite the bullet and set up my own games company. And that's more complicated - because to do that, I need to get financing.

About the author

Simon Cooke is an occasional video game developer, ex-freelance journalist, screenwriter, film-maker, musician, and software engineer in Seattle, WA.

The views posted on this blog are his and his alone, and have no relation to anything he's working on, his employer, or anything else and are not an official statement of any kind by them (and barely even one by him most of the time).

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