I put on some nice clothes for the interview, packed all my stuff from Caroline’s place and went for my interview. The journey was about 30 km and I started 1.5 hours before the start of the activities at Aristocrat.
I remember my GPS telling me to take a right turn. After that turn I discovered that I was supposed to take the next right turn but since there were cars everywhere and rush-hour was being a bitch I had no choice but to go into a tunnel. The speed in the tunnel was 20 km/h tops and at the end of the tunnel was Bondi Beach or Bondi Junction (sorry, this was my second visit to Sydney). Great, 30 minutes of driving and I’m back at square one.
I made several other minor mistakes along the way but 10 minutes before 9AM I saw the Aristocrat building. All I needed to do was park my car. Since I was in a rush I parked my car half-illegally near the Aristocrat building and was glad to pay $4 per hour for parking (several weeks ago I had an interview in Brisbane CBD where I paid $50 for an hour for parking).
I rushed into the building and was able to make it on time. So the day didn’t start perfectly, I was a bit frustrated, nervous and anxious – not a great way to start a job interview.
The receptionist pointed me to the other candidates and shortly after that we were all listening to a presentation about the company and its products.
After that we had “group activity”. There were 12 candidates and we were divided into 3 groups. Each group had to build a basket or protective cage around an egg such that if the egg was dropped from 2 meters it would not brake. Our construction materials included plastic straws, plastic plates, cups, paper plates, pencils, cotton pads etc. Each material had a price and our budget was $1000. This group exercise was a lot of fun. It acted as a great icebreaker and to some extent helped to assess our teamwork abilities and also creativity.
Everybody’s egg basket design was successful and no eggs were harmed during this exercise. Now the networking session started. Well technically it lasted until the very end of the assessment day.
All the candidates were guided into a mini-casino where we could play the pokies and ask designers and software developers about the job and about working at Aristocrat. At the same time each candidate had to go back into the room to give a presentation about themselves and why he/she was a good fit for the company. We had to make the presentation at home before the interview.
I think that my presentation went really well. My strategy was to focus on games and coming across as really enthusiastic about games. So I talked about the video and computer games I’ve played and why I liked them. It was funny and I got the jury to laugh several times. Mission accomplished!
I’ve never really put this much effort into a job interview. It took me about 6 hours to make the slides, I practiced my speech 20-30 times, also used a mirror to fine tune my body language. Since the role required strong numerical skills I spent my time solving math and probability problems. I also practiced my answers to interview questions.
After my presentation the networking session continued and the interviews started. Three people were asking questions and I was answering them. For example I was asked:
- What kind of pokie game would I make where the theme was eggs just like in the group activity? What about a pokie game with financial markets as the theme?
- Why do I want to transition from a financial markets background into games design?
- What games do I play? Do I have a playstation?
- Why do I want to work at Aristocrat?
- Where do I see myself in 5 years?
- Which kind of visa do I have and when will it expire? I think this was one of the last questions asked. It seemed that they didn’t like that I was in Australia on a Working Holiday visa although I’m quite sure that they could’ve organized an Employee Nominated Sponsorship for this role.
The interview lasted for about 15-20 minutes. In total I spent more than 5 hours at Aristocrat. At the end of the day my head was a big mess about games, design and regulations. I learned a lot about the industry and the company. I had a lot of fun and enjoyed my time at Aristocrat.