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So, you’re an animator looking for a good job. You’ve sent out your resume and demo reel and managed to get an online interview scheduled. The best part is that you’ve dreamed about working for this particular company! Do you suddenly feel nervous about making a perfect impression?
First of all, remember that it’s completely natural to feel this way. After all, you really want to work for this company. And second, don’t fret any further because we have some tips for you to help ace your interview.
Check all your equipment.
Checking your equipment is one of the most important things you need to do before the interview starts. Well, aside from looking presentable on video for your meeting. But if your Internet connection starts getting spotty or your audio isn’t clear, you won’t make a good first impression. In fact, the interview may not even continue! As stated in our blog post, to avoid this, take the time to test everything the day before. And, in case something happens unexpectedly, make sure to have a backup plan, like having an extra laptop or earphones nearby.
Choose a good place to interview.
Aside from your equipment, you must also choose a good location for your interview. Why? Well, you wouldn’t want your conference hindered by distracting sights or sounds. So, one significant consideration is to select a place free of interruptions. Imagine that you are answering a question, and a family member or pet suddenly appears on the screen. While that’s understandable given that you’re at home, do your best to avoid it anyway. Such a distraction will break the flow and pace of the interview.
Another consideration is your background. It’s best to choose a clean, neutral backdrop where all the focus is on you. If your location is messy or cluttered, the interviewer might see you as a disorganized animator. Survey your surroundings for anything personal, distracting, or not appropriate in a work environment. Set yourself up to appear neat, organized, and professional with the right background.
Anticipate the interview questions.
This article about acing online job interviews says that one way to prepare is to anticipate potential questions. Doing this will help you feel more confident and organized when it comes to answering questions. And if the question comes up, you’ll know how to respond in a way that shows off your expertise. You will also be able to avoid awkward silences because you’ll be prepared to answer quickly and thoroughly.
Talk about good experiences only.
During the interview, it’s standard to encounter questions about your work experiences. It’s natural to share more about past jobs and tasks. While negative moments may come to mind, don’t talk about any of your unpleasant experiences. Don’t badmouth anyone or say that you had the worst time working for so and so. That can cast you in a negative light or leave the interviewer feeling hesitant to hire you. Focus only on experiences directly related to your ability to do the job. Or describe positive experiences with previous employers and coworkers. Connect these things to how they will benefit the company if you land the job.
When demonstrating your work, go for a classic design.
For a job in animation, the interviewer might suddenly ask you to do a quick sketch. Think of it as a test where you have to draw something to meet a sudden deadline. You might be tempted to draw something complicated just to show off your skills. However, Logo Design Tips to Help Your Brand advises you to go for a classic design instead. There’s a reason classics are still in: they’re timeless. Classics are also often the basis of any new project, so they showcase the fundamentals of drawing or animation. Show off your skills in the basics, and the interviewer will know that you have your foundations down pat. And when you have that, you’ll be able to adjust to any style needed.
Ask questions as well.
In typical meetings, the interviewer will give you the chance to ask any of your own questions. Don’t beg off; ask away! Ask questions about the company culture, day-to-day operations, job expectations, and so on. This cements the impression that you’re genuinely interested in the job. Asking questions also allows you to evaluate if you will be happy and fulfilled working for that company. They want to know if you’re a good fit for them, but you want to see if they’re a good fit for you as well. If ever you feel at the start of the interview that something is off, listen to your gut. Ask more questions to either reassure yourself or to find out what you don’t like about the company. It might be your only chance to do this, so make sure you take it.
Express that you’re a team player.
Remember that animation is not a one-person show. If you get the job, you become part of a team. And even if you get promoted to head of your department, you are still part of a team working with many other people. Collaboration is vital, as noted by a Linkedin article. During the interview, weave in examples of past group projects or situations in which a team effort was significant. This shows you not only understand the team approach but also can be a valuable company employee.
Ultimately, when it comes to the interview, be genuine and honest. Most interviewers notice your attitude and quality of work. Invest some time into preparing your equipment and environment, and then practice answering and asking questions. With your experience and these tips, you’ll be well on your way to landing that animation job.
As we discussed here last year, working from home posed a new challenge for a lot of animators. Even though this is an industry in which there’s already a lot of freelance and contracted work, people had to adjust to remote working. Additionally, people had to get used to the idea that the clients they might be working for were also remote and coping with unexpected changes. In short, even if some animators were relatively well equipped for what happened in 2020, there were still disruptions and changes.
Amidst all of this, one thing that some animators have had to improve at is finding new work from home. Both in 2020 and looking ahead to our future, more remote work will leave freelancers and contracted artists all the more isolated. This can be empowering in ways, but it also means that successful work will require an industrious approach and a little bit more networking. Artists and animators will need to spend more time reaching out to potential clients, sharing portfolios, and negotiating contracts — generally, finding people and places to work for.
Fortunately, the opportunity out there for hard-working animators is virtually limitless. But in this piece we want to focus on an area that many might overlook: the realm of online slot machines.
We know generally, of course, that the gaming industry features some of the most impressive animation being done today. For recent examples, one need only look through GameRant’s ranking of games with the most impressive graphics. On that list alone, titles like Okami HD, Super Mario Odyssey, Ghost Of Tsushima, and Forza Horizon 4 show not only the quality of video game animation today, but the variety. There’s no limit to the number of styles accommodated in gaming art, and at the highest levels the quality is off the charts.
Well, as it turns out the online slot category has in some respects caught up to what we might call conventional video games in some respects. Of course the games aren’t as big, and there aren’t as many graphics or animations. But the quality is generally excellent, and the variety is reminiscent of the rest of the gaming industry:
Many of the slots you’ll find at leading casino sites now approximate a high-end, AAA video game quality. Perhaps the clearest examples are the Age Of The Gods slots and other mythologically-inspired titles like Hoard Of Poseidon — all of which don’t look altogether different than, say, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, or the God Of War franchise. In addition to being thematically similar to video games involving myths and gods, these slot reels showcase intro pages and character animations as vibrant and impressive as what one finds in a console video game.
Other slots you’ll find are downright cartoonish, showing that different kinds of animation altogether still work in this category. The brand new game Lucky Larry’s Lobstermania Slingo featured among the games hosted on Gala Bingo is perhaps the clearest example of this. Based on a previous slot series, this Slingo game (combining bingo and slots) revolves around a cartoon lobster, 2D beach-related art, and beachy background animations. It’s simple, but beautifully done, and speaks to how much room there is for a more pared-down brand of animation in this corner of the gaming world.
And still more slots — perhaps most, in fact — fall somewhere in between the cartoon-style Slingo game just mentioned and some of the other examples that come closer to approaching console quality. These games tend to have some 3D graphics and animations, but are still approached in a playful, almost tongue-in-cheek way, allowing animators to have fun devising settings and bringing characters to life. The most prominent example in this blended category is Gonzo’s Quest, which may in fact be the most significant, groundbreaking, and popular slot game on the internet — and which succeeds largely thanks to the charms of its 3D animations.
In short, there are a lot of different ways to fit into this gaming category, no matter what your typical artistic style might be. Furthermore, there are so many games (hundreds if not thousands) that, if you have good material to show slot developers, it’s not unreasonable to hope for a chance to help design a game. Of course there are no guarantees, but this is a massive category that is constantly expanding — full of new games, and thus new art.
If this is something that interests you, you might consider reaching out to any number of game developers operating in the slot category. You never know when one might respond to your work, or provide you with a pathway to negotiate a potential freelance animation contract — and this is exactly the sort of thing more artists and animators will have to get used to doing in our new, remote working world.
Best of luck if you choose to pursue this busy, fruitful arena! And in the meantime, we encourage you to keep your eye on Animated Jobs for any postings that might appeal to you.
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