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Nintendo Of America Interview
Questions

29 Questions and Answers by Marissa Letendre

Question 1 of 29

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

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Nintendo Of America Interview Questions

  1. 1.

    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.

      Marissa's Answer #1

      "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."

      Marissa's Answer #2

      "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."

  2. 2.

    Have you ever worked in a cross-functional environment?

      If you work for a larger company, you may have been asked to work on a project with teams from another department. Your ability to work with cross-functional teams will be a significant asset to your potential employer, especially if they are a larger organization.

      Maybe you headed a project which required you to collaborate with the members of the engineering and sales teams. You may have had the opportunity to organize a volunteer activity or team building exercise, company-wide. Share any challenges that came up and what you learned from the experience.

      Marissa's Answer #1

      "I have worked in a cross-functional setting for many years. Primarily with the digital security department and the engineering department. Clear communication is key when collaborating with different teams. Clarity in expectations is of huge importance."

      Marissa's Answer #2

      "When I worked for a larger mobile applications agency, we collaborated across departments all the time. We had the C-suite of Marketing and Operations, then the Content and Communications department, Creative Services, and also Consumer Insights. We would meet on a weekly basis to discuss larger projects and then collaborate through the week as needed. It was a great set-up and ensured smooth progress at all project stages."

  3. 3.

    Tell me about your problem-solving skills. Do you enjoy analyzing and solving complex problems?

      Software developers spend a great deal of time debugging programs. It is essential for Nintendo Of America to have someone experienced in quickly identifying problems and responsive in providing solutions. The interviewer would also like to gauge how you work with internal and external customers when problem-solving.

      Marissa's Answer #1

      "In my last development position, I was responsible for front-line communications with end users. Third tier helpdesk staff would contact me with software bugs, and I was able to quickly and professionally respond to problems. I was able to reduce the bug backlog by 70%."

      Marissa's Answer #2

      "Both my internal and external customers appreciate that I am a natural problem solver. With my eight years of development experience and my Computer Science degree, I can quickly prioritize problems, address priority issues first and respond to customers promptly."

  4. 4.

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

      A video game programmer is someone with a software engineering background who writes the code for video games. Programmers make it possible for a game to run! is a software engineer who creates the code that makes a video game run. Because video games are so sophisticated these days, you will usually find that programmers specialize in specific areas. Discuss with the interviewer where you feel programmers fit into the scheme of things when it comes to video game development.

      Marissa's Answer #1

      "In my opinion, a great programmer will have a perfect blend of education and real-world skills, allowing them to make games that people want to play. Programmers are an integral part to video game development whether they are focused on audio, graphics, or another area of programming."

      Marissa's Answer #2

      "A video game could not be developed without the important role of a programmer. Whether a programmer is working on the graphics of a game, the audio, the intuitive controls, or the game as a whole, there is no way a game could be successful without first having an experienced and talented programmer."

  5. 5.

    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 Nintendo Of America 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.

      Marissa's Answer #1

      "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."

      Marissa's Answer #2

      "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."

  6. 6.

    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.

      Marissa's Answer #1

      "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."

      Marissa's Answer #2

      "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."

  7. 7.

    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 Nintendo Of America. By showing an interest in the internal workings of their business, you can start a great conversation and gain valuable insight.

      Marissa's Answer #1

      "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."

      Marissa's Answer #2

      "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 Nintendo Of America?"

  8. 8.

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

      Share with the interviewer the resources you use to develop your mobile game development skills further. It's important to remember that Nintendo Of America needs to see that you have a keen interest in growing your abilities, and career. If you are comfortable turning the question into more of a conversation, feel free to ask the interviewer for recommendations or suggestions.

      Marissa's Answer #1

      "Currently, my skills in C++, Java, and Ruby; however, I recently wanted to expand my knowledge in new game development concepts. I found the Extra Credits YouTube channel. I learned a great deal about how the game development industry is evolving this year, and find myself revisiting that particular resource quite often."

      Marissa's Answer #2

      "Skills development is an important part of growing my career. My current company offers me the opportunity to expand my skills by taking two courses of my choice, per year. This year I chose an advanced C++ course and another on monetization in the gaming industry. If you have recommendations on how to best build my skill set to benefit Nintendo Of America, I would love to hear them."

  9. 9.

    Name some ways that developers can monetize their video games.

      When you can understand how companies best make money in the video game 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 video game development. If you have played any of the games created by Nintendo Of America 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:

      - Monthly subscriptions
      - Ads and sponsorships
      - Micro-transactions
      - Branded merchandise

      Marissa's Answer #1

      "I have played your most recent Zelda game and saw that you use expansion packs to increase your profit. This method is one that I appreciate the most because it gives people the option to really extend the level of gameplay they can have, meanwhile costing you and the developers little time to make each expansion compared to the game itself. I am also aware that branded merchandise is an excellent source of profit for popular video games, and Nintendo Of America embraces that better than anyone in the industry."

      Marissa's Answer #2

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

  10. 10.

    Nintendo Of America developers often work overtime to meet deadlines. How do you feel about crunching?

      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.

      Marissa's Answer #1

      "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 Nintendo Of America?"

      Marissa's Answer #2

      "Crunching is a necessary ask in this industry, and I fully expect to put in overtime hours for Nintendo Of America 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."

  11. 11.

    Which is your favorite game created by Nintendo Of America, and why?

      This question is just one example of why it is so important that you do your research on Nintendo Of America before your interview. The hiring authority would like to ensure that you understand the video games they have come out with and that you have played them. Discuss which game is your favorite creation by Nintendo, and why.

      Marissa's Answer #1

      "Currently, I am playing Mario Odyssey. I love most Mario games but I really appreciate how Odyssey compares to my all time favorite game Mario 64. The gameplay allows you to follow the story and be creative with how you want to play the game. It's highly intuitive as well which make playing the game even more fun."

      Marissa's Answer #2

      "My favorite game created by Nintendo is Zelda. I have played it for about six months now and can tell you that I enjoy the graphics immensely, the soundtrack is stunning, and the open world approach is brilliant. I would be excited to work on the next release of this game, and offer up ideas I have on the storyline."

  12. 12.

    Nintendo 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.

      Marissa's Answer #1

      "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."

      Marissa's Answer #2

      "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."

  13. 13.

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

      The interviewer wants to gauge your depth of knowledge when it comes to mobile gaming, and the pricing strategies available. As you likely know, freemium is a pricing strategy where the mobile game or app is a free download; however, users can pay for additional, premium features. Explain what you know freemium to be, and discuss how you think this strategy has changed the mobile gaming industry.

      Marissa's Answer #1

      "My favorite example of a freemium game shaking up the market would be Pokemon Go. I recently read that the game has earned nearly $2 billion to date and is still going strong at around $2 million in revenue per day. The success is, of course, in part to Pokemon popularity as well as the excitement surrounding augmented reality; however, I think being a freemium model has also helped. People love free apps, but they will often pay to avoid ads, interruptions, get the extra Pok? Coins, and more. Freemium is the first pricing model to allow for impulse purchases."

      Marissa's Answer #2

      "People love to win, and gamers will easily pay the 99 cents it takes for extra coins and a chance to beat the game. Freemium is similar to gambling in that it works off of human impulse and desire to win. My favorite freemium game is still Candy Crush! It follows the freemium model of being a free download with pay-for-premium features; however, the game reportedly earns nearly half a million dollars per day."

  14. 14.

    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 video game 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.

      Marissa's Answer #1

      "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 Nintendo Of America."

      Marissa's Answer #2

      "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 video game development industry."

  15. 15.

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

      The interviewer is interested in seeing if the environment at Nintendo Of America 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 Nintendo Of America in your response.

      Marissa's Answer #1

      "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 Nintendo Of America speaks to me."

      Marissa's Answer #2

      "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 Nintendo Of America 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."

  16. 16.

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

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  17. 17.

    Which character animation systems have you used in the past?

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  18. 18.

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

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  19. 19.

    How do you generate new video game ideas?

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  20. 20.

    When have you been on a team project that failed? What did you learn from that experience?

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  21. 21.

    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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  22. 22.

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

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  23. 23.

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

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  24. 24.

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

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  25. 25.

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

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  26. 26.

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

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  27. 27.

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

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  28. 28.

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

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  29. 29.

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

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