Monday, November 19, 2012

On My Mind: "What is your favourite genre?"

Even though I'm still working on my own indie stuff, I've also been interviewing a few places for designer positions.  Often during these interviews, there's always an interesting general question that I would like to share with you:

"What is your favourite genre?"

This question is deceptively simple and open ended, but it's actually a very dangerous question to the untrained eye.  I'm still not sure whether my answer to this is ever correct, and I think that's the point, there's no "correct" way to answer this depending on the company and what they're looking for in a designer.  Let's look at the options and why it's dangerous:

1) My favourite genre is X - The obvious, straight forward one of answering truthfully, which sounds like a good answer, BUT possibly not a good one.  Does X align with what the company does?  If not, then why bring it up?  If you're favourite genre is racing games, and you're interviewing with a FPS studio, then how relevant is it?

2) I play what's popular with the general crowd - Shows that you're in tune with what's out there right now, BUT does it also show that you don't have a focus?  Do you as a designer even have your own opinions, or are you that easily swayed by other's point of view?

3) I play everything - No.  No one ever plays everything, and, this easily sets you up for a fall when the interviewer asks you for specifics to a genre/game that you may or may not have played.


So yeah, I'm not sure exactly what a nice answer, or a good answer is.  How would you answer if you're in such an interview?


  1. I think it really depends on the context of the question, and that's up to you as the interviewee to discern. "What is your favourite genre?" could very well be a casual question in hopes of connecting with the candidate on a social level, but if it is in fact an 'interview' question, it's slightly loaded.

    If you're applying to Big Sporty Games, and you tell them you love First Person Shooters, I don't think this answer is going to cost you your interview. You can't tell me that everyone at Big Sporty Games ONLY plays Madden and Pro Evolution Soccer.

    I think the examples you provided don't work if you leave it at that. But ultimately, it's best to explain what effect a particular genre has on you as a designer. Approach the question from a design standpoint, and not a consumer standpoint, and I think you've already bypassed the weeding process.

  2. Action RPG

    Next question.

    Let them then ask you why or tell you about their favourites