As a Master’s student in computer science, actually in my final year and finishing my thesis, I went through a series of events that I would like to share with you guys regarding a recruitment process experience I had a couple of months ago. This is a long one but I hope you like it.


I’ve always loved games. I started playing them since I was 4 and have long been passionate about them and about working in the games industry. This is why I chose computer science, as there was no alternative that could grant me direct access to the game industry, like a games course or something like that. (I live in Portugal, that’s why.)

Anyway, for my thesis I decided to pick a project that would give me more know-how and hard skills with technologies widely used in the industry, namely game engines and physics engines, as well as some other AI techniques.

I thought I would do well to try out my luck and attempt to get a job in the business, so I gave it a shot by replying to various job ads in several countries, kinda like in a faithful leap to snatch my “dream job”. Since one said anything during the first weeks, I thought that I was underskilled or that my lack of industry experience really crippled my chances to get into a game company, but never losing that spark that kept me believing that I could do it.

After a month and a half, I caught the attention of one of the companies I wanted to work with. Naturally, I got very happy and excited about it, specially because I was invited to do an online assessment test. I did the test, which went really well I.M.O. and waited. Waited for two more weeks, without any reply whatsoever, but I expected that. After sending a ‘probing’ email, I got replied after another two weeks, with the bad news saying that there were a lot of candidates, all with high industry experience, and that my test was below the minimum score so i didn’t make it to the next phase. All I did was a humble facepalm.

After two days, and having already forgotten the sadness about not getting to the next stage, I got contacted by the very same person, asking me to have a phone interview, meaning that I had passed to the next phase of the recruitment process. Obviously I found this very, very odd, and my reaction was a blend of doubt and joy. Could this be a mixup?

Well, I had the interview, by phone, and in a couple of minutes the person to whom I spoke to told me that he would gladly want me to go to their offices, for a more face to face meeting to fill me in with the job and contract details. I was thrilled like never before, mostly because I felt that the chance of getting my dream job was within my grasp. I was said that within a couple of days, someone from the HR department would contact me with the travel details.

Again, I waited 2 days. I waited 5 days. I waited a week. I waited two weeks. I waited two and a half weeks with no contact whatsoever. Finding this a strange behaviour, I decided to contact the same person that reached me in the first place, asking for details. After waiting for some more days, making this nearly a month,  I finally had a status update on my appointment.

In the email I read that, there was a ‘slight’ mix up and that, even though the interview was very successful, it was odd that no one had contacted me sooner, and that the company decided not to take me in favour of someone with greater industry experience. So, this was clearly another mix up from their part. And yes, another facepalm.

I’m not here to point the finger at them by rejecting anyone but to bring up to discussion this kind of behaviour. In companies which have several employees, with lots of success and well positioned within the industry, one could expect a more responsible and correct behaviour. Since the people they contact with could eventually put something in their lives on hold by having a dream job between hands, shouldn’t they pay more attention to what they are doing?

One mixup is ok, as long as it’s still a selection stage. Mixing things up a second time after you have invited someone personally to come to your offices for a personal interview, is a different deal right?

Shouldn’t they pay attention to that before calling someone? Should someone be deterred like that by not having the industry experience, even if they have the will and the hard-skills required by the job position? Is this type of non-professional behaviour normal and should anyone in the same situation as I am, finishing his academic education, expect this behaviour in further attempts to join the industry?