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Pocket Gems Interview
Questions

26 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 26

Which are your favorite automated mobile app testing tools?

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Pocket Gems Interview Questions

  1. 1.

    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 Pocket Gems 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."

  2. 2.

    What are some pros and cons to developing a mobile game in Java?

      Java can be an excellent development platform; however, it can limit developers, and common issues can arise. Talk to the interviewer about your thoughts on developing mobile games in Java. Discuss common problems, how you have utilized Java in the past, and how it compares to C++, a more preferred programming option.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "While I agree that Java can be an excellent platform for mobile development, I have more widely used C++. A couple of years ago, I created a game similar to Minecraft, another highly popular game created in Java. I believe the pro's of Java in game development is that it's simpler to learn, for new developers. Also, it's garbage collection is robust, often allowing for fewer crashes and bugs. It is slower than C++ which is an important factor to consider."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Java was an excellent option for me when I was newer to my career. It gets the job done, although slower, but is much simpler to use compared to C++ for instance. Now, as an experienced mobile game developer, I would not choose Java first; however, I would certainly consider it for simpler games. As an example, Minecraft was created almost entirely in Java, and it remains one of the most loved mobile games out there."

  3. 3.

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

      There is no right or wrong response to this question, but the interviewer is asking for a thoughtful one. Show that you understand what makes a mobile game great. The interviewer wants to see that you have the ability to look at a game critically, and know how it could be improved.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Currently, I am playing a mobile game called Trivia Crack II. It's a game based on trivia questions. One thing that I like about the game is that it uses geo-intelligence and asks the player trivia questions based on their location. For instance, if I were living in Australia, the game would ask more questions about Australian geography and politics versus USA facts. With that said, there are a lot of ads in the game and not any pop-ups to offer an upgrade, to a no-ad version. I feel that the developers missed out on some excellent monetization opportunities."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I am currently playing Pokemon Go, and I find there are a lot of network crashes. At times, I cannot log in through Google and Facebook, or Pokestops and gyms do not appear on my map. I want the best for this game since it was a trendsetter in bringing augmented reality to a new audience; however, I feel there is a lot of work to be done on the location tracking end."

  4. 4.

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

      Pocket Gems 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."

  5. 5.

    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 Pocket Gems 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."

  6. 6.

    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 Pocket Gems?"

      Rachelle's Answer

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

  7. 7.

    In your opinion, is it essential to have multiple developers work on one game?

      The interviewer would like to know if you see value in sharing projects, or if you are the type of developer who prefers to work independently. This question is a teamwork focused query. Before giving a firm response, either way, you should have an idea if Pocket Gems assigns multiple developers to their projects, or not. You want to avoid pigeonholing yourself so aim for an open-minded answer.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I can see the pros and cons to both; however, I enjoy collaborating with other talented developers. I know there will be a lot for me to learn from the current developers at Pocket Gems, and I look forward to team projects. With that said, I do believe sole developers can create great games."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I have seen excellent mobile games created by single developers. One thing to remember in those instances is that it's a great idea to have beta testing performed by a third party. I value teamwork and know I will enjoy years of excellent collaboration with Pocket Gems's existing developers, should I be the successful candidate."

  8. 8.

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

      The interviewer would like to know the extent of your experience when it comes to working on complex mobile games with multiple features. It's essential that you show you can support Pocket Gems's endeavors by bringing unique experiences to the table. Discuss a game you have worked on in the past that offered multiple features, allowing for you to push boundaries in your industry.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "A couple of years ago I worked on a game called Dungeon Smash. We were one of the first developers ever to try incorporating GameSpy matchmaking. This breakthrough meant that iOS and Android users could play not only with each other, but they could now also collaborate with PlayStation and PC users. It was an exciting time!"

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Years ago, I worked on a word game that pushed industry boundaries by allowing for cross-platform multiplayer activity. The concept was uncommon at the time. Users could log in on the app or via Facebook, so there was also a social integration component. Then, players could challenge their friends over iOS, Android, or even Facebook. Our group was one of the first teams to pull this off. I look forward to being part of your development team at Pocket Gems and creating more groundbreaking gaming experiences."

  9. 9.

    What are the most common mistakes you see in mobile app development?

      Pocket Gems seeks to hire only the best talent in mobile app 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 app development include:

      - Lack of platform research, before beginning a project
      - Approaching app monetization as an after-thought
      - Forgetting about how to market the mobile app once it launches
      - Beta-testing their own app, 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 app project you have recently completed.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "In my four years in the mobile app 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 mobile app 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 app idea and then move forward with the project."

  10. 10.

    Do you think it is possible to be a good team member, yet disagree with the leader?

      In the software and technology industry, you may find a wide variance of opinion, based on peoples' experiences, education, and professional preferences. The interviewer wants to know that you can be diplomatic in the workplace, even when you may not agree with your leader.

      Show the interviewer that it is possible for you to be a good team member, yet disagree with the leader from time to time. Explain that you believe everyone is entitled to their own professional opinion, yet capable of maintaining respect for each other at the same time. Show that even if you disagree with the final decision they make, you support the direction the team is heading.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Yes, I think it is possible! What makes a great team member is not that they agree with everything but the level of respect and positive thought that goes into the person's communication style. It's okay to disagree; however, you have to communicate your thoughts professionally."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Yes, I do believe it is possible to be a good team member, yet disagree with the leader. I have disagreed with decisions my boss has made in the past, but generally, I keep my thoughts to myself, and I know they are the leader for a reason and likely have considered factors, beyond my understanding, for their choices."

  11. 11.

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

      Answering this question requires an understanding of the games that Pocket Gems 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 Pocket Gems has created and then express your interest in working on that particular project.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "My favorite game created by Pocket Gems 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 Pocket Gems 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 Pocket Gems to make the game available for both iOS and Android users."

  12. 12.

    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.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "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."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "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."

  13. 13.

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

      Since the interviewer is asking you what you believe to be the three critical elements to a successful mobile game, there is likely no right or wrong reply. Take into consideration what Pocket Gems focus' on in their game development. If their games have a significant focus on pricing models, stunning UI/UX, and seamless social media integration, you will want to focus on those areas in your response.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "There are many elements to consider for each game, and I believe those elements change depending on the game, the platform, target audience, and purpose. The three elements which I focus on the most are the UI/UX because those are what makes a game enticing and fun to play. I also focus a lot on sound. If the music is lighthearted and fun, it makes a significant difference to a player, over annoying sounds. Lastly, I believe that a successful mobile game must have a solid pricing strategy. Freemium or pay-to-play models are very lucrative for many games right now."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "From what I see in the games that Pocket Gems creates, a great storyline, capturing visuals, and social integration are the key elements to a successful mobile app. Stories keep the attention of the gamer and inviting them to finish the storyline prevents game abandonment. Stunning visuals help significantly, of course, and they should never become pixilated on larger screens. Lastly, social media is the most powerful hub for driving user engagement. A mobile game should always integrate with popular platforms such as Facebook."

  14. 14.

    Why is proper user on-boarding so crucial to the success of a mobile app?

      Onboarding is the series of screens that a user will see once they download an app. The purpose of these screens is to show the new user the benefits and features of the app, walk the user through the full registration process and collect information so that the app can be personalized to the user. The interviewer would like to know that you understand the importance of taking proper onboarding action.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Proper onboarding is very important because it will directly impact whether a user decides if your app is what they need and were expecting. By showing off the functions, benefits, and features, you are solidifying with the user that your app is valuable."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Successful first impressions are everything so, for that reason, every mobile app should have a solid onboarding series. I have worked on apps that onboard new users with a focus on features and benefits, while some apps are more focused on user personalization. A great onboarding experience will solidify ongoing user engagement."

  15. 15.

    Are you stronger in C++ or Java?

      You may have your skills listed on your resume; however, the interviewer wants to dig deeper into those listed skills to see which ones particularly shine. Answer truthfully while also referencing the Pocket Gems job posting. If you are stronger in Java, but they want more dedication to C++, let the interviewer know that you have more exposure in Java but that you solid C++ skills too.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "The majority of my education focused on Java; however, the relevance of C++ in mobile game development is not lost on me. I once taught myself C# in one weekend and have taken multiple courses in C++ to advance my skills and knowledge further."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I have used C++ more often in my mobile game development career. With that said, I have a solid knowledge of Java. I see in the Pocket Gems job posting that you prefer to use C++, and I wholeheartedly agree."

  16. 16.

    If you could keep only 3 of your mobile apps, which ones would you choose, and why?

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  17. 17.

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

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  18. 18.

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

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  19. 19.

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

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  20. 20.

    Tell me about a time you took charge of a project. Discuss one positive and one negative outcome from the experience.

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  21. 21.

    Why are push notifications so crucial to the success of a mobile app?

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  22. 22.

    Name three mobile app testing types.

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  23. 23.

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

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  24. 24.

    How do you develop trust among your team in a virtual, or work-from-home, setting?

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  25. 25.

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

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  26. 26.

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

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