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Deluxe Entertainment Interview
Questions

30 Questions and Answers by
| Rachelle is a job search expert, career coach, and headhunter
who helps everyone from students to fortune executives find success in their career.

Question 1 of 30

This role requires a Bachelor's degree or equivalent experience in Computer Science or similar field. How does your education background apply?

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Deluxe Entertainment Interview Questions

  1. 1.

    This role requires a Bachelor's degree or equivalent experience in Computer Science or similar field. How does your education background apply?

      The interviewer will have an idea of your education background from your resume. What they are asking is for you to take a few minutes to bring the experience to life for them! What was your major? Did you receive any special academic recognition? Discuss the strengths gained during your post-secondary training and how those skills will help in your new position with Deluxe Entertainment.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I completed my Bachelor of Science degree in Media Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University in 2008. During that time, I specialized in digital media, human-computer interaction, computer graphics, natural language processing, and digital networks; all skills required to succeed here at Deluxe Entertainment. I graduated with a 3.99 GPA, one of the top students in my class."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Computer Science for Digital Media is the degree that I recently completed. I chose this direction because I knew that to work in a film and television production environment, I would need to have a fundamental understanding of computer graphics, virtual reality and visualization, and R&D."

  2. 2.

    Tell me about an error or mistake you made because of a breakdown in communication from you or one of your team members.

      Deluxe Entertainment is busy with incredibly high profile projects, and the hiring authorities need to know that you are self-aware and highly communicative. On occasion, mistakes will happen, and discussions will break. The interviewer would like to know about a time when communication was weak on your part, and a mistake occurred. Think back to a time when you made an error in communication, and it caused a ripple effect that reached your team members or your organization as a whole. The final part of your answer needs to include the steps you took to repair the situation. Make sure to conclude your answer on a positive note.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I recall one instance where I misread an email from one of my subordinates. The punctuation was incorrect, and I read it in in a dire tone rather than in a positive one, as intended. After a tense conversation, the employee clarified her intention, and it seems I was mistaken. She and I agreed to exercise verbal communication regularly to avoid a similar situation from happening again."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I missed a project deadline the other week because I did not thoroughly read the email from my professor, stating that the deadline had been moved up. After that incident, I committed myself to be much more detail-oriented when it came to reading my messages."

  3. 3.

    How do you establish relationships with the creative community in our area?

      This question is meant to dig a bit, to find out about your networking capabilities as well as how deep your passion goes for the film industry. The interviewer would like to see that you spend your time getting to know the film community and other creatives in your network. Discuss what you do, outside of work obligations, to get to know your industry peers.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I have been an active member of the Animation Society for the past four years. I try to attend as many gatherings and events as possible. I have met many excellent connections through this group, and will continue to be a member for years to come."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "For the past couple of years, I have taken the time to volunteer at many independent film events and film festivals. I was the President of my university's New Filmmakers Initiative, a group of aspiring film creatives who worked together to open doors for new opportunities in the industry. It's essential to me that I am part of something bigger than I am. This way, I continue to learn and grow through the knowledge of others who are more experience in the world of film."

  4. 4.

    Deluxe Entertainment is seeking someone with in-depth knowledge of FX techniques, workflow, and software. Are you familiar with tools such as Houdini, Maya, and RealFlow?

      Most animation and creation studios will use Houdini, Maya, and RealFlow so the interviewer will want to know how familiar you are with these standard industry tools. If you are not familiar:

      - Houdini is a 3D animation software application
      - Maya is a 3D computer graphics application
      - RealFlow is a simulation tool for the 3D and visual effects industry

      Be prepared to discuss how familiar you are with these tools. You can tell the interviewer, on a scale of 1-10 how well versed you are, or you can rate yourself from beginner, all the way to expert. Discuss the projects you have worked on that required these tools. You can also mention how many hours you believe you have spent working with these tools and applications.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I am very familiar with Houdini, Maya, and RealFlow. I have worked with these applications, and similar tools, for the past eight years of my career in production and animation. I would rate myself an expert level user in Houdini, and I lean on it daily to create multiple iterations and rapidly share workflows with my team members. I use Maya daily, for modeling, simulation, and rendering in animation, motion graphics, virtual reality, and character creation. I am an intermediate user in Maya. Although I have just one year of experience with RealFlow, I did pick up on it quickly. I appreciate how fast and easy it is to use and the fact that its compatible with nearly all 3D platforms."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I am a 3D and Experimental Animation student, ready to graduate just two months from now. At this point in my education, I have completed a variety of modules using Houdini and Maya. Although the experience is somewhat limited, I do have a basic understanding of how to use these tools for animation and motion graphics. I am eager to learn even more from the team at Deluxe Entertainment."

  5. 5.

    Have you worked directly with technical artists, animators, and gameplay engineers?

      The interviewer is trying to gauge your level of exposure to cross-collaborative work within the creative industry. Discuss any time you have spent working with talent from other departments or areas of expertise. If you do not have cross-departmental work experience, be sure to express that you can work with talent of all kinds.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I have worked directly with gameplay engineers; however, the direct contact that I have had with technical artists and animators is minimal. I am very comfortable working in a cross-departmental team environment and look forward to learning more about the animation side from the artists and animators at Deluxe Entertainment."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Yes, I have worked with technical artists, animators, and gameplay engineers. In my current role, for the past five years, we have all collaborated as a team. I appreciate that I have the unique opportunity to learn the roles of many others in the animatio industry."

  6. 6.

    Deluxe Entertainment employees often work overtime to meet deadlines. How do you feel about crunching?

      Crunch time or 'crunching' is how the tech world often refers to overtime. It's no secret that, putting in extra shifts during tight deadlines is not uncommon. Some developers and creatives even claim to work 100+ hours per week as deadlines approach. Discuss with the interviewer how far you are willing to go, for your team, while keeping a healthy balance. If you currently put in crunch time, you can mention how you deal with it in your present job.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I fully expect crunch time then and now, as important deadlines approach or unexpected issues arise. In my current job, I have worked up to 80 hours a week. Although rare, it is taxing but expected from time to time. I am willing to put in overtime within reason. Could you share with me the expectations at Deluxe Entertainment?"

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Crunching is a necessary ask in this industry, and I fully expect to put in overtime hours for Deluxe Entertainment when deadlines approach, or as unexpected needs arise. Do you ask for overtime from your employees regularly? I am happy to work as part of a team, in any capacity required of me."

  7. 7.

    Walk me through your understanding of CG. Which CG technologies and tools do you lean on the most in your current role?

      The interviewer wants to see that you have a complete understanding of how computer graphics software is used to make computer-generated imagery for films, television shows, games, virtual reality, and more. There are a wide variety of CG technologies and tools available to you. Be sure to take note of any tools mentioned in the Deluxe Entertainment job posting. Discuss which of these align with the tools that you use in your current position or previous roles.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I explain CG as the art of making computer-generated images and digital graphics used in visual media. The CG technologies which I use most often, and am most comfortable with, are Bryce and Lightwave 3D. These tools allow me to 3D model, render, and animate with ease. I see that you use these tools at Deluxe Entertainment. Your job posting also mentioned the use of Blender in this role. I have been teaching myself Blender in my spare time for the past 18 months. I feel comfortable using Blender for graphics editing, rigging, smoke and fluid simulation, sculpting, match moving, rendering, compositing, and soft body simulation."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I know computer graphics to be computer-generated imagery. The use of CG is everywhere today, including film, television, video games, ads, and more. While obtaining my degree in New Media and 3D Computer Animation, I used tools such as Autodesk 3ds Max and Cinema 4D; which are both mentioned in your job posting. I would rank myself as a beginner in these since my experience is limited to my time attending post-secondary. I am eager to become an expert in these tools, and more; becoming a solid contributor to the CG team at Deluxe Entertainment."

  8. 8.

    At Deluxe Entertainment, you will be handling multiple projects at a time. When have you nearly missed a production timeline due to disorganization?

      Production deadlines are incredibly important. One missed deadline can throw a thousand deliverables out of balance, costing a studio or production company countless dollars. Talk to the interviewer about a time when you nearly missed a production deadline. Discuss how you caught the potential disaster, and pivoted to make sure that you met the timeline in the end. Be sure to mention what you learned in the process!

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I handle dozens of deliverables in a day, making it a challenge to stay on top of it all. I nearly missed an important deadline because I delegated a few tasks to my assistant without checking in regularly. Since this incident, I have set up my work in a cloud-based task management system which my assistant and I share. I set up clear milestones, attached to dates and times; ensuring that we are on the same page all the times."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Tight deadlines are normal in the film industry, and I make a point of delivering early on everything as often as possible. Last month, I had a production deadline that offered half the working time as usual. I took my work home every night for a week to ensure that we met the deadline without the quality of work suffering; however, it just wasn't enough. At the eleventh hour, I called in reinforcements. It is sometimes hard for me to ask for help, but I know to set my ego aside for the good of the project."

  9. 9.

    Deluxe Entertainment requires fluency in C++ and/or C#. Please rate your skill level from beginner to expert.

      When rating your skill level in a particular tool, software, or language, you can discuss your level of expertise in terms of beginner, intermediate, advanced, and expert. This ranking allows the interviewer to gain a quick understanding of where your skill level currently sits. Of course, in the film production and services industry, knowledge of common languages such as C++ and C# will often be a requirement; depending on the job title for which you are interviewing.

      If you are not familiar, C++ is often used in developing different games or in gaming engines. C++ is excellent for developing the suites of a game tool. C#, on the other hand, is a bit newer, arguably more comfortable to understand, and is considered general-purpose. Discuss your fluency in each and give yourself a skill rating.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I am fluent in C# and would rate my skills as an expert level. I use C# daily for a range of projects, including website application development. I am familiar with C++; although rank myself a touch lower - perhaps as an intermediate user. I completely understand this language but do not use it as frequently."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I am a beginner level in both C++ and C#. I did take a small amount of coursework in each while completing my Computer Science degree; however, I have a lot to learn. I will dedicate myself to new online coursework so that when I join the Deluxe Entertainment team, my skill level will be beyond beginner."

  10. 10.

    When planning, how often do you create alternative scenarios to help you adjust to changing situations?

      When you blend tech and creativity the way that Deluxe does, you will face changing situations and shifting projects all of the time. Being able to problem solve and think outside the box when it comes to changing circumstances is a valuable skill set. Talk to the interviewer about your ability to create a variety of potential scenarios. You may never need to take on these scenarios; however, it's excellent for the interviewer to know that you can adapt your plan on the fly.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I love having contingency plans. It's important for a creative professional to understand that ideally, we are going to do 'X,' but if that fails, we need to be ready to hop on and make sure that 'Y' happens. It takes out the uncertainty, and is sure to prepare everyone to adapt if a problem should arise."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Nothing is a guarantee when working on complex technical and creative projects; that is one thing I know for sure. I always create 'what-ifs' because I know that plans change quickly, especially where there are multiple decision makers between myself and the completion of a project. Plan B is always ready to go."

  11. 11.

    Deluxe Entertainment juggles many significant projects simultaneously. How do you prioritize multiple projects when they all seem equally important?

      Project prioritization is a skill that requires practice. There are many prioritization approaches you can take, such as list making, marking projects by urgency, assessing impact by estimated value or stakeholder involvement. Show the interviewer that you have a system in place for evaluating project timelines when you face multiple tight deadlines. The better you can prioritize, the more productive you will be, making you an even more significant asset to Deluxe Entertainment.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "In my current department, we are very systematic in our production delivery promises; however, that is not to say that doubling up on deliveries does not happen. When situations occur where I have to prioritize, I will do so by the size of the client, the production, and budget. It may seem unfair at times; however, our largest clients with the most significant spend always rule out."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "As a recent university graduate, I know all about multiple deadlines! I prioritize based on urgency and time required for the project. I have a list of what needs to be done, by when, and how long I estimate that it will take to accomplish. I am great under pressure, but try to make sure that I don't get myself into a sticky situation by not allotting enough time for any particular project."

  12. 12.

    At Deluxe Entertainment, we strive to be on the cusp of innovation in artistry and technology. What does the word 'innovation' mean to you?

      Deluxe boasts award-winning artistry and innovation. The term 'innovation' is often overused in business these days and has now become a buzzword that many people don't fully understand. The interviewer would like to know what you feel innovation indeed is. Include an example of a time when you have witnessed an innovative change in the workplace, or when you have exercised creativity.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I encourage my team to be innovative by asking the impossible of themselves, and their coworkers. We will get together once per week and bring up situations that we think are out of our scope and then reverse engineer these ideas to see how we could go about putting them into action. To me, this is being innovative in the workplace."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "To me, innovation means presenting a new idea or making an existing idea better. It's important to be innovative in the workplace, but often it's a misunderstood concept. A time when I have been innovative was when I built a new tracking system for my projects while attending university. I wanted to create a more accurate way to track my deadlines as my schedule became busier. My fellow students loved the idea, and soon, I was sharing the system with my friends and classmates."

  13. 13.

    How do you push and inspire your teammates to solve creative problems?

      The interviewer wants to see that you are a team player, a natural leader, and also that you push a positive and collaborative mindset in the workplace. Show off your teamwork skills by discussing how you inspire your team to solve challenging issues or tackle complicated projects. Be sure to demonstrate how you communicate your thoughts or opinions.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I push and inspire through collaboration. I am a strong collaborator. I am always eager to listen to others' opinions, hear their perspective, and work together to build a highly creative solution. I am always looking to draw from others' experience and expertise when working on a new project or facing a problem. When drafting a pitch or storyboard, I bring my team into the thought process. These multiple perspectives always bring us to our best creative work."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "In animation, production, and artistry, it is imperative to collaborate and gain different sides of the story, and new opinions for maximum creative output. When faced with a project or problem that needs a creative solution, I plan to seek out my team's opinion and thoughts based on their expertise. Everyone has something unique to contribute, and when we collaborate, the outcome is always premium."

  14. 14.

    Tell me about a time when you improved communication between yourself and a co-worker or client.

      The interviewer would like to know about a time that your communication skills improved a work-based situation. Possessing the skills to enhance communication in the workplace is a precious asset. Talk about a time when you used your excellent communication skills to improve a potentially harmful situation with a co-worker or client. Perhaps you saved the fate of a project, were able to reiterate the intention of an email before feelings were hurt, or you helped a cross-departmental effort to go smoothly.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Recently, we were working with a client who continued to change the direction of our work. Our team was heading down one path, and before we knew it, the client expected us to go another direction. I suggested that we hold a weekly status touch base call to ensure better two-way communication. This approach worked very well, and we were able to get the project back on track."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "In my current internship, I am often the first point of contact for clients, which means that my communication style needs to be crystal clear. Before the team begins a new project, I have a set of questions that I ask the client. They are discovery questions, and I then pass onto my executive. The answers come directly from the client, so no assumptions are made. It's always first-hand information that I am providing."

  15. 15.

    Give me a recent example of a valuable lesson you learned from a problem you faced at work.

      One of the best aspects of problem-solving is that you always have the opportunity to learn from the experience. Seeing problems as opportunities to grow is what makes you an excellent employee! Show the interviewer that you can learn valuable lessons when there is a problem at hand. Use a work-related example, if you can. If you are new to your career, think about a time when you learned a valuable lesson in university, or while volunteering, or while playing a team sport.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I recently had an employee express their disinterest in the job and the company. Rather than coach them out, I selfishly wanted to 'save' the employee. I put in extra hours mentoring and training her only to see her quit anyways. It's a valuable lesson as a manager to put your energy into those who want to be there. Other efforts are often just a temporary fix for the inevitable."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "My university courseload is always shifting, so I often learn new, valuable lessons when it comes to organization and prioritization. One lesson I recently learned was to double check my schedule for changes and updates. I accidentally handed in an assignment two days late because I dropped the ball on double checking deadlines. My lack of attention to detail at that moment was a bit embarrassing, but I did learn a valuable lesson."

  16. 16.

    What is your experience collaborating directly with Directors, Heads of Story, and other artists across departments to brainstorm ideas, shape our films through visual sequences, and develop cinematography, staging, and cutting?

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  17. 17.

    Which career development goals have you set for yourself this year?

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  18. 18.

    What will you accomplish in the first 90 days of working for Deluxe Entertainment?

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  19. 19.

    Deluxe Entertainment has a legacy of touching audiences through memorable characters and emotional stories. How will you contribute to this legacy, if hired?

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  20. 20.

    How do you transition between the creative and analytical sides of working in the creative entertainment industry?

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  21. 21.

    Do you have more experience working on feature films, television shows, comics, or games? With which focus are you most comfortable?

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  22. 22.

    What experience do you have using team-based messaging applications?

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  23. 23.

    Do you consider yourself more analytical or technically savvy? Why?

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  24. 24.

    Talk to me about the most creative or innovative project you have worked on.

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  25. 25.

    Deluxe Entertainment hires and develops the best, most globally diverse talent. Do you have experience working with those different from you?

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  26. 26.

    How deep is your knowledge in animation terminology?

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  27. 27.

    If you could take any tech related coursework, what would you choose?

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  28. 28.

    Are you more comfortable in a startup environment, or with an established company?

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  29. 29.

    Which character animation systems have you used in the past?

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  30. 30.

    Do you have experience with NUKE?

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