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Electronic Arts Interview
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33 Questions and Answers by
| Rachelle is a job search expert, career coach, and headhunter
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Question 1 of 33

Video game development is a fast-moving industry. How do you keep up to date on new game design technology?

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Electronic Arts Interview Questions

  1. 1.

    Video game development is a fast-moving industry. How do you keep up to date on new game design technology?

      The interviewer knows that if video game development is a sincere interest of yours, you will have a plethora of resources in your pocket when it comes to learning about new game design and technology. If you are comfortable, this question is also an excellent opportunity to ask the interviewer which resources are favorites at Electronic Arts. By showing an interest in the internal workings of their business, you can start a great conversation and gain valuable insight.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "It's vital to me that I keep up to date on new game design technology. I refer to a mixture of websites, email subscriptions, YouTube channels, blogs, podcasts, and online education tools. My most frequently used resources include gamedesigning.org, TechCrunch and the Bethesda blog. If you have any recommendations, I am happy to take suggestions."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "My favorite subject matters experts include Hideo Kojima and Sid Meier. I subscribe to their blogs and closely follow what they are doing next. I also listen to the GoNintendo podcast on a regular basis. Which tools and resources are most often used here at Electronic Arts?"

  2. 2.

    Electronic Arts is looking for exceptional skills in scripting languages such as Javascript, Ruby, or Python. In which are you strongest?

      You may know all three of these scripting languages; however, the interviewer is asking for a breakdown of the ones which you are most experienced. If possible, try making your experience level easy to understand by rating yourself as beginner, intermediate, advanced, or expert in each of these scripting languages. You can also discuss how many years you have spent with each.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I have worked with all three of these scripting languages; however, I am strongest in Javascript, where I am considered an advanced user. I would rank myself an intermediate user in both Ruby and Python, having worked with each for about three years."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Python is where I am most experienced and current, and I would rate myself as an expert level user. When it comes to Javascript, I am an advanced user, with about five years' experience. Ruby is not an area of expertise; however, I have basic knowledge in that scripting language."

      Anonymous Answer

      "As an animator, I never used these languages, and I am a real beginner with scripts. However, I want to learn about Python for Maya, and I also wanted to learn more about coding in general for games. I believe that learning the C and C++ language could be fascinating to work on side projects and implement them at work."

      Rachelle's Answer

      Although this question may not be entirely relevant to you as an animator, you do a fabulous job tailoring it to address your strengths. Great work outlining your future interests in Python/Maya/C/C .

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  3. 3.

    What one mobile app or game would you most like to work on at Electronic Arts? And why?

      Answering this question requires an understanding of the games that Electronic Arts has developed in the past. Is there a pattern that you see - perhaps with their most successful games being freemium style, or maybe their top games are all for Android only. Choose one game that Electronic Arts has created and then express your interest in working on that particular project.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "My favorite game created by Electronic Arts is ABC. I have played it and can tell you that I enjoy the graphics immensely, the sounds are perfect, and the freemium approach is brilliant. I would be excited to work on this app and offer up ideas I have on further monetizing the game."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "It would be tough to choose, since Electronic Arts has so many amazing games such as ABC, DEF and XYZ. If I had to choose just one, I would be honored to work on XYZ and make it available for Android. The challenge would stretch me as a developer, and it would be beneficial to Electronic Arts to make the game available for both iOS and Android users."

  4. 4.

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

      The interviewer is interested in seeing if the environment at Electronic Arts is what you need to be successful. The best response is that you can thrive in a startup or an established company; however, that may not be the case.

      Think of the pros and cons of each. Working for an established company may feel more secure; however, it may also be more challenging to work your way up. Then, in a startup, you may have a lot of creative freedom, but the pay may not be as lucrative.

      Discuss with the interviewer the type of environment you are most comfortable with, remain positive, and draw in parts of the culture at Electronic Arts in your response.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I have worked in both a startup environment, as well as a few highly established companies. Although I appreciate the organization that comes with a more established business, the energy of a startup drives me. I can succeed in either since I am self-driven; however, I can say that the energetic environment at Electronic Arts speaks to me."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "The number of years a company has been in business is not my primary interest. I am seeking a specific workplace culture that includes loyalty, excitement for the work at hand, and an opportunity to work on creative, technical projects. I appreciate that Electronic Arts holds a commitment to success by offering continued education opportunities. I see that your company offers a perfect blend of a startup and established feel."

      Anonymous Answer

      "I worked in a start-up like company and a few bigger ones. In the start-up, it was nice to have responsibilities, and the team members got very close. I loved that. But I saw it in bigger companies too. What matters most is the energy that the project and the team members can give, that is what drives me to be at my best, and I know that an environment like EA offers to work with the best and a place where I could grow with more security on a longer-term."

      Rachelle's Answer

      It seems you know very well the balance that will work best for you. Your approach to this question is fair, and you are highly complementary to EA at the same time.

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  5. 5.

    What are the most common errors you come across in mobile game development?

      Electronic Arts seeks to hire only the best talent in game development, and they want to see that you are aware of potential mishaps and that you take the necessary actions to avoid them. Some of the most common errors in mobile game development include:

      - Lack of platform research, before beginning a project
      - Failing to treat mobile games entirely different from desktop or console games
      - Approaching game monetization as an after-thought
      - Forgetting about how to market the mobile game once it launches
      - Beta-testing their own game, as opposing to hiring a third party

      Assure the interviewer that you are aware of these common mistakes and that you know well enough to avoid them. If possible, give an example of a highly successful mobile game development project you have recently completed.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "In my eight years in the mobile gaming industry, I would say the most common errors I see include developers beta-testing their own work, and forgetting about monetization and marketing until it's too late. I fully believe that marketing and monetization need to be approached and planned out before development even begins."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Having the right foundation is incredibly important before starting any development. One recurring error I see is developers choosing iOS over Android, or vice versa, out of complete bias versus genuine research. It's best to be critical of the platform options to support your game idea and then move forward with the project. Another common error I see is developers treating a mobile game the same way they would a desktop or console version. It's vital that mobile games are treated entirely differently than other gaming methods."

      Anonymous Answer

      "When I developed my own game, I beta tested myself and thought about monetizing the game only after it was made. After the development, I also started the marketing, and I recognize today, knowing more about the industry, that I fell for some common mistakes... I think that it is important to have a non-biased opinion of the game and to develop it on good bases, and do the marketing as the game develops"

      Rachelle's Answer

      These are great lessons to learn and likely ones that you will always remember. It's wonderful that you approached this question from the perspective of your own game development experience.

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  6. 6.

    Which are your favorite automated mobile app testing tools?

      It is crucial that every mobile game, before its release, goes through rigorous testing to check for bugs, slow performance, and feature malfunctions. When a game is released too soon and has bugs or lags, it will receive poor reviews and a significant decline in downloads. For these reasons, it's imperative to test correctly.

      There are many tools available for testing mobile applications and games such as:

      - Appium
      - Robotium
      - Frank
      - MonkeyRunner
      - UI Automator
      - MonkeyTalk
      - SeeTest
      - Testdroid
      - Calabash

      Talk to the interviewer about the automated mobile app testing tools with which you are most familiar and experienced. To make it easier on the interviewer, you can rate your expertise from 1-10 or describe yourself as beginner, intermediate, advanced, or expert level in the tools that you mention. If Electronic Arts has said which means they use, be sure to reference these.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Hands down, my favorite mobile app testing tools include Testdroid, Frank, and MonkeyRunner. I am an expert in all three of these tools, having used them on a regular basis for the past few years, in my current job. I saw on your job posting that you are specifically looking for experience in Testdroid. My experience with Testdroid has shown it is beneficial in saving money in the development stage while improving time-to-market."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I have worked with many mobile testing tools over the years and have to say that Appium remains my favorite. I like that it is open-source which allows for testing of both Android and iOS games. Also, the fact that it supports Java, and C# is a significant bonus."

  7. 7.

    Tell me about a time that there was a delay in the project and how did you handle that delay?

      In your answer, be sure to tell your prospective employer why there was a delay, but most importantly, how you handled it and got back on track. It's important to use the STAR format for questions like these: situation, task, action, result. Situation: the delay. Task: resolving it quickly and getting back on track. Action: how you went about executing the task. Result: how the steps you took to resolve it led to the effective and successful resolution of that delay.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I was working with my team on the configuration of the new HR system we were rolling out and the HR team asked for a new module that we thought would significantly delay the launch. In order to meet our internal client's needs, we offered to add the new module, but to avoid delays to the project, we reallocated a resource to work exclusively on the module. We all chipped in extra effort on the major project parts to make up for our coworkers' absence as he was working on the module. The coworker who did the module did a fantastic job which didn't require many changes from the group. Through all this, we were able to roll the product out on time and within budget."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "While we were working on an upgrade, there was a section we found wasn't included in the project plan. We were on a tight deadline and knew we couldn't get behind. I worked as much as I needed to in order to understand that section and ensure I could be a productive member of the team and keep the project on track. Through my research, I gained knowledge which I shared with the project manager and we were able to include that section seamlessly. By working with my colleagues and putting all of our knowledge, skills, and resources together, we got it included in a short time period and kept going as the project was planned. We didn't miss a beat. I was the newest member on the team, but my dedication and passion contributed to how successful we were in keeping on schedule and achieving a quality, effective rollout."

  8. 8.

    Name three tactics the mobile gaming industry can use, to make money.

      When you can understand how companies best make money in the mobile gaming industry, it's much easier to develop games that are responsive to that particular goal. The interviewer would like to see that you understand there are a variety of ways to earn money from a mobile game. If you have played any of the games created by Electronic Arts you should be able to identify which methods they rely on for making a profit, allowing you to bring that up in your discussion.

      Some earning tactics are:

      - Charge per copy
      - Monthly subscription
      - Pay-per-play
      - Ads and sponsorships
      - Micro-transactions

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I have played your most recent mobile game and saw that you use a blend of ads and micro-transactions to drive profits. This method is one that I appreciate the most because it gives people the option to play the free version, interrupted by ads, or a paid version should they prefer. I am also aware that pay-per-play subscriptions are very popular in the mobile gaming industry."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "The three methods which I am most aware and experienced in, include ads, monthly subscriptions, and charge per copy. As a developer, I am experienced creating games around all three of these models; and as a gamer, I prefer monthly subscriptions."

  9. 9.

    How important do you believe design is when creating a new app or game?

      If you look at the mobile games and apps that Electronic Arts creates, can you see how much time and effort they put into the design component? We all know that image is everything and the interviewer wants to see that you fully understand the importance of UX and UI, and how it directly relates to the success of a game.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "It is clear to me that Electronic Arts puts a significant amount of effort into game design. I believe that design is everything since many users will decide on whether or not to download, based on the visuals. Every game needs to be visually compelling, yet uncomplicated, in my opinion."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I believe that design can make or break a mobile game or app. Visuals need to be simple yet beautiful, and a developer should be able to ensure that the graphics do not become pixilated on larger mobile device screen sizes. I see that the apps created by Electronic Arts are all visually compelling, which is one of the reasons I was so excited to apply here. I appreciate the effort your developers put into a great visual experience."

  10. 10.

    What are your natural talents when it comes to video game development?

      To be a successful person in the video game development industry, you need specific skills such as C# or C++, Java, Python, Ruby, and more. However, the interviewer wants to know more about your soft skills, or personal attributes, in this particular question.

      Perhaps you are naturally talented when it comes to leading groups, or you are an excellent problem solver. Discuss which natural talents will lend themselves well to this position with Electronic Arts. If possible, you can draw some keywords from their job posting or job description.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I am naturally curious and love to learn. Because of this, I spend a lot of time outside of work hours building my skills and knowledge as a developer. I enjoy learning new things and then passing that knowledge to my co-workers, making me a natural leader as well. I see that Electronic Arts seeks out those who want to grow, learn, and lead. I believe these attributes would help me to be very successful here."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I am an excellent verbal communicator; a natural attribute that has come to be incredibly helpful in the video game development industry. I am very good with public speaking as well. I quickly connect with those I speak to and deliver my message in a meaningful, and interesting way. I look forward to bringing these skills to work for Electronic Arts."

  11. 11.

    If you could improve your video game development capabilities, which area would you choose to focus?

      This query is a different take on the 'what is your greatest weakness' interview question. Think about the skills that you are hoping to improve over time or the missing skills you need to move up in your video game development career. Try to avoid mentioning a skill that could be a dealbreaker for the role. Also, it's essential that you mention what you are doing to improve on those areas of weakness.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I would like to improve my knowledge in console hardware architecture as well as 3D modeling. I have committed to a course in each of these topics this year. It's important to me that, as soon as I recognize an area to grow, I can act on that and educate myself."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Its important to me that I am always growing, and expanding my knowledge in a variety of areas. Right now, I recognize that I could improve my knowledge of 2D and 3D modeling and animation packages. I am currently seeking out workshops related to these topics so that I can take the initiative and learn."

  12. 12.

    When have you applied a unique or creative approach to solving a difficult development problem?

      The interviewer would like to see that you are capable of overcoming issues that arise during development, uniquely and creatively. Assure Electronic Arts that you will not be the type of developer who throws their hands in the air and gives up at every turn. Show that you genuinely dig in to solve an issue. Begin by giving an overview of the difficulty, then discuss the action you chose to take, and then the positive outcome.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "My former company created primarily Android applications, and we used Java, in which I am an expert level user. One of the games we were developing needed a more modern programming language and some of the features required simplification. I brought in a contractor who was advanced in Kotlin, which nobody on my team understood well enough at that time. The choice to bring someone in was the right one; however, I chose to enroll in Kotlin coursework shortly after. I am proud to say that I now bring solid skills in both Java and Kotlin."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I was recently asked to take an existing iOS application and create it for Android. The most significant issue I came across was that the mobile app relied heavily on the fingerprint sensor as part of the user experience. Since Android is open source, apps are used on a variety of hardware. This open source meant that I needed to get creative by implementing multiple authentications, allowing for the various hardware features of all Android devices. It was a significant challenge but one that I genuinely enjoyed."

  13. 13.

    How do you generate new video game ideas?

      Coming up with the latest and greatest video game ideas takes skill, a great deal of original thought, and observation. Some of the best video game creators suggest researching what is already out there, and noting what is working or not working. Also, being mindful of your surroundings and everyday life is very important. Many games that are very successful are so because the characters and storyline are relatable. Discuss how you keep your idea machine running hot!

      Rachelle's Answer

      "The first rule of thumb for me is to play a lot of video games! If I am unsure what is out there, what is working, and where existing games could be improved, it would be a serious challenge for me to come up with workable ideas. Also, I am very active in the gaming community and follow many forums. I want to see what people are saying about the world's most popular games."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "For the past few years, I have kept a file on my iPhone where I jot down all of my ideas and thoughts. Some of the ideas I have implemented into past projects, and some are still waiting to come to life. I find inspiration through the games that I play, and situations from everyday life. I believe that brainstorm sessions with my coworkers are also a highly helpful approach."

      Anonymous Answer

      "I am a big gamer myself, so I play a lot of different games. I also stream and have a small community with who we talk about games and what they would like to see. I get inspired by games, good stories, and also looking at how people play games. I take notes and write really short GDD when I think an idea could be developed in the future. This is what I did when I made my own mobile game."

      Rachelle's Answer

      Your approach is enthusiastic, smart, and shows a great deal of creativity and as well as community listening.

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  14. 14.

    In your opinion, what elements make a video game successful?

      Many elements go into ensuring a video game is a successful one. The interviewer wants to see that you understand that it takes a robust set of deliverables, to make a great game. Some of the factors that you could mention include:

      - A great storyline
      - Excellent graphics
      - An amazing soundtrack
      - Intuitiveness
      - Replayability
      -Short and long-term goals
      - Characters that gamers can relate to

      Rachelle's Answer

      "There is a multitude of elements that make a game successful. Of course, it must have eye-catching graphics, great sounds, and an awesome storyline. Other factors, and ones that I see Electronic Arts doing well, include replayability, intuitive controls, and characters that the players understand and can relate to."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Of the video games that I play and the ones that are most successful, I see a few common factors that include great characters and storyline, as well as short and long-term goals for gamers to achieve. Players need to be able to come back and not feel that the game is repetitive, but also feel like the game is familiar as well. it's a delicate balance, but I feel that Electronic Arts does this very well with the games you have released recently such as A, B, and C."

  15. 15.

    The gaming industry is notorious for long hours and overtime. How do you feel about crunch time?

      Crunch time or 'crunching' is how the mobile gaming development world refers to overtime. It's no secret that, putting in extra shifts during tight deadlines is not uncommon. Some developers even claim to work 100+ hours per week as important 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 Electronic Arts?"

      Rachelle's Answer

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

  16. 16.

    Have you ever been a part of designing a multi-feature mobile app that pushed industry boundaries?

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  17. 17.

    Which video game are you playing most right now? What do you think is the appeal, and what would you improve?

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  18. 18.

    Which character animation systems have you used in the past?

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  19. 19.

    What do you believe are three key elements a mobile app or game must have in order to be successful?

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  20. 20.

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

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  21. 21.

    Name some ways that developers can monetize their video games.

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  22. 22.

    Which person do you most admire in the video game development industry?

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  23. 23.

    Electronic Arts developers often work overtime to meet deadlines. How do you feel about crunching?

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  24. 24.

    Do you have production experience with cloud computing services, such as Amazon Web Services?

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  25. 25.

    What game are you currently playing, and how would you make it better?

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  26. 26.

    Name three mobile app testing types.

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  27. 27.

    How do you prioritize multiple projects when they all seem equally important?

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  28. 28.

    Electronic Arts fosters a collaborative working environment. When have you taken the time to teach an essential skill to a coworker?

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  29. 29.

    Are you stronger in C++ or Java?

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  30. 30.

    Which is your favorite game created by Electronic Arts, and why?

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  31. 31.

    What is a freemium game and how has it revolutionized mobile gaming?

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  32. 32.

    What is your perspective on the role of a programmer in video game development?

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  33. 33.

    Do you improve your development skills on a regular basis? If so, to which resources do you turn?

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