Naughty Dog Interview Questions | Glassdoor

Naughty Dog Interview Questions

Updated Mar 21, 2017
14 Interview Reviews

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  1.  

    Quality Assurance Tester/Development Support Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Santa Monica, CA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at Naughty Dog (Santa Monica, CA) in March 2017.

    Interview

    I was interviewed by two people and from beginning to end it felt very relaxed. They were extremely friendly and easy to talk to. I came back a couple weeks later to do a play test to see if I could identify and log bugs. I had no previous experience in this area but they said they just wanted to observe what I would do. They checked my references afterwards.

    Interview Questions

    • What games are you playing right now?
      What's your favorite game and why?
      Have you ever encountered any bugs before in games? Can you describe any of them?  
      Answer Question
  2. Helpful (2)  

    Python Programmer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 4+ weeks. I interviewed at Naughty Dog in November 2016.

    Interview

    A recruiter reached out to set up what they called a "technical phone screen," for which I was warned that I would need a paper/pencil, which made me very curious about what they planned to ask (especially since the job posting didn't say anything about needing any in depth math knowledge, like some of their other gameplay programming positions.)

    I was called by a fairly large group of people (probably 3-4?) which made it hard to know who was talking. Much to my surprise, no technical questions at all, just standard behavioral / past work experience questions. What was the paper for?

    Got the feeling during the interview that ND wasn't quite sure what they needed for this role, which left me feeling uneasy about the role and made it hard for me to gauge how the phone screen had gone (apparently not well.)

    After not hearing anything for two weeks, I followed up to inquire about timeline / next steps / whether they'd gone with someone else. It took another full week (after which I had already accepted another opportunity) for me to get a canned response from a different recruiter.

    The disorganization re: what the recruiter told me to expect, the number of people on the call + their understanding of what they wanted for this role, and then the very impersonal follow up afterwards left a bit of a bad taste in my mouth.

    Interview Questions

    • typical questions about projects I had worked on at previous jobs   Answer Question
  3. Helpful (6)  

    Temp Animator Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. I interviewed at Naughty Dog in October 2015.

    Interview

    I applied online, and then they sent an animation test within a day (which I was very excited about). The animation test was not easy- it was long enough that they knew I couldn't get to a polish stage, so I had to push as quickly as I could to get in the basics. A couple days after I sent my animation test back, I got an email asking for a phone interview for the next day. The phone interview covered my resume and my animation test; they asked for my own critique on my animation test, and what I would finish or improve given more time. It was pretty straightforward and I appreciated their timeliness.

    Interview Questions

    • They asked me to describe how I got to where I am today; essentially they wanted to hear me tell the story of what was on my resume.   1 Answer
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  5. Helpful (1)  

    QA Analyst/Localization Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Santa Monica, CA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through other source. The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at Naughty Dog (Santa Monica, CA) in October 2015.

    Interview

    Applied to job via craigslist. I was not aware i was applying to Naughty Dog. I got an confirmation email saying they were interested in a phone interview. Had a phone interview. Shorty after phoen interview i was schedyles for a in person interview by group of manager. After passing interview, they gave me a 'playtest', where i played a previous title, and was told to log any bugs i found. After passing play test, they gave me back ground checks but no drug test. They checked all my references

    Interview Questions

    • Questions were more about video games than technical, however there was plenty of technical questions:
      What are your favorite games?
      What consoles do you own?
      Why did you like this game?
      Tell us about your previous job.
      What were your responsibilities?
      What do you do if you are unsure of what to do?
      What software development cycles are you used to?
      Are you familiar with bug databases/software?
      What are your strengths and weaknesses?
      Tell us about your education.
      What are your goals in industry  
      Answer Question
  6.  

    Quality Assurance Tester Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took a week. I interviewed at Naughty Dog in April 2015.

    Interview

    They mostly asked me questions regarding my gaming and educational background. Mostly asking what i've played, what projects I've done any take away lessons I had with those experiences. It was a straight forward interview.

    Interview Questions

    • They asked what my favorite game of all time is and why.   Answer Question
  7.  

    Gameplay Programmer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Los Angeles, CA
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 1 day. I interviewed at Naughty Dog (Los Angeles, CA) in February 2015.

    Interview

    The interview was very hard. The first question was -> what is 2^4 and I'm like WTF. All questions were related to vector and algebra math. They even mocked me by saying "please look at your notes and answer from there" .. they knew I had my notes on me. WTF again. Very hard interview. Good luck!

    Interview Questions

  8.  

    QA Tester Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Santa Monica, CA
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took a week. I interviewed at Naughty Dog (Santa Monica, CA) in December 2014.

    Interview

    It was a relaxing environment, the interviewers were comfortable to talk to. The recruiting coordinator was very helpful when I had questions before the interview. The interviewers were very accommodating when I asked questions about the company and how they worked. What impressed me the most is the honesty in their statement and how they wanted the best for both their interests and mine. When it came to serious issues, they were able to convey professionalism and interest in the matter that made me feel comfortable talking about it. I was nervous and probably spoke more than I should about topics that randomly popped into my mind at times, and I thought it was nice of them to listen to me ramble slightly off topic at times, but I felt they were genuinely interested in me to see if I was a good fit so they let me ramble.

    Interview Questions

  9. Helpful (5)  

    Game Programmer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Accepted Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2+ weeks. I interviewed at Naughty Dog (San Francisco, CA) in September 2014.

    Interview

    Very technical interview and very hard in my opinion some what relevent and some what not but overall its an average interview.You hav eto be fully prepared in order to get a job here because they seek the very best.

    Interview Questions

  10. Helpful (8)  

    Senior Developer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 6 weeks. I interviewed at Naughty Dog in July 2014.

    Interview

    Applied online and within a few days, I got an email from a recruiter with instructions for a test to be completed within a week. I worked at the test for the full week before submitting and was told by their HR person to expect their feedback in 1 or 2 weeks. After 2 weeks, I followed up and was told "another 1-2 weeks.
    5 weeks after the test was submitted, I recieved an email "Naughty Dog Feedback" which was a form rejection letter casually mentioning "due to the volume of applications, we cannot offer feedback."
    So if you are asked to do a test for Naughty Dog, don't get too excited. They don't bother to look at your showreels before sending you the test.

    Interview Questions

  11. Helpful (14)  

    UI Scripter Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Santa Monica, CA
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 3 weeks. I interviewed at Naughty Dog (Santa Monica, CA) in March 2014.

    Interview

    Basically, this was, without question, the worst company I've ever interviewed for.

    The ad was written specifically for someone to do scripting for the UI of one of their titles using Scaleform / Actionscript 3, which I have years of experience in; no problem there.
    After a few emails back and forth they sent me a test.
    I finished and submitted the test; it took me a few hours, not too bad.
    If I'm being frank, the UI in their games is pretty much cut and dry and this was no different; pretty basic stuff.

    They responded positively and asked me to come in for an interview.
    The panel comes in, the sole UI artist at the company, a designer or two, a number of programmers, and the co-president.

    So at this point the UI Artist thanks me for doing the test and says my effort was good and then asks me a few questions about past positions, my workflow, etc.
    The co-president interrupts her and asks what was the worst thing about working at the last studio I worked out, why did I leave.
    I couldn't think of anything to say that was really negative, so I just said "they didn't really stick to a good methodology for development, that was kind of a problem".
    He looked around and laughed and said "well, you'd hate it here. It's just a mess out there."
    Thanks for the tip, bro?
    A designer asks me about my Scaleform experience and how I build and organize my projects and I replied "basically, exactly what my returned test looks like. I made sure it looks like my professional work."
    At that point I ask if he or anyone else had looked at the test I submitted.
    He looks at me, dead-eyed.
    Then everyone goes silent and the UI Artist informs me that she was the only one that even bothered to look at it and it turns out she took a look at it 15-20 minutes before the interview was scheduled.
    So I basically wasted my time during my GDC vacation to take a test no one in the room bothered to even look over.
    They never once looked at my portfolio or asked to see any of my previous work.

    Then the programmers start asking me questions that aren't really pertinent to the job posting; how do you derive the dot and cross product, what is it used for, how would I create a UI system if they decided not to use Scaleform and switch to a different platform altogether.
    I then asked why they would advertise for a tech they don't plan on using; I wouldn't have applied for a job I didn't know or wouldn't be able to deliver on.
    I learned to script in AS3 for Scaleform; I never pretended to know how to build such a system from the ground up.
    Upon hearing this, the co-president then exaggeratedly hangs his head backwards and sighs loudly and one of the programmers smiles.
    Okay, I guess being totally unprofessional and kind of mean is encouraged at this company.
    I've NEVER had anyone in a position that high act like such an overt jerk; unbelievable.

    Any attempt to break the ice or find a human element in the group was met with absolute indifference.
    At that point it was 7 ultimately humorless people staring at me until I just gave up and stopped answering questions to help just wrap up and get back to SF to enjoy the rest of my vacation.
    They asked me to do a whiteboard question and I got up and thought to myself "you're not taking the job, just sit down and END IT" and I just said "I don't know" and sat back down.
    About that time, the co-president just got up and walked out and the rest followed suit like lemmings.
    No handshakes or "thanks for coming in", just up and out.

    As a side note, I'd like to say that I'm not at all bitter.
    I've only played a single game of theirs, so I didn't REALLY hope for the job and get my fee fees hurt when I wasn't given an offer.
    I've tried to be as objective as possible writing this review to make sure no one else gets thrown into a similar situation without first being aware of the interview process.

    I would like to add, however, to anyone that works there that may stumble upon this review; please stay humble.
    You and your company DID NOT change the face of interactive media.
    You have not created a milestone in art in the vein of something like 2001: A Space Odyssey, Days of Heaven, or Upstream Color.
    You make B movies that have interactive elements.
    If they converted the games you make into movies or books they'd be no better than mindless drivel like World War Z; end of list.
    I don't care how many awards you win, it doesn't give you cart blanche to treat people the way you treated me.
    Awards and accolades in this industry don't really mean that much, honestly, considering high art to you people is stuff like Batman and The Avengers.
    Please keep that in mind the next time you decide to waste the time of a perfectly good candidate and then think it's cool to treat them poorly for an hour for no other reason than basic arrogance.

    Thanks for reading and good luck.

    Interview Questions

    • All of them were pretty unrelated to the position.   2 Answers
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