Thursday, 1 September 2022

"How to Interview" by Escapee Kevin Richards

Kevin Richards teaching at Escape Studios
Escapee Kevin Richards took our short course in 3D animation at Escape Studios and is currently working as a Lead Animator at the new Aardman Animation TV Series "Pop Paper City".  

As a production lead, Kevin spends a good deal of time interviewing junior animators and making hiring decisions.

In the guest blog below, Kevin offers his tips on how to succeed at a job interview - the second stage in the process of getting hired.  If the company likes your demo reel, they will invite you to interview - below is Kevin's advice on how to get it right.  

Job Interview - Do's and Don'ts 
Interview, by Mikkel Okholm and Mikkel Brons-Frandsen
Once the company likes your demo reel, they will invite you to interview. You will be asked:

1. Your experience
Be honest - and get as much as you can through internships, obviously paid if possible.

2. Whether you can work In-House or Remote 
Say that you are flexible if you can be.

3. Whether you can move town if necessary 
Say yes if you possibly can - and find a cheap room to rent.

4. You Will be Asked Your Strengths and Weaknesses 
Be honest about both - have your answers ready. in the case of the latter, tell them how you are aware of this and what steps you have taken to fix it.

5. What Paygrade You Should Expect
Research the going rate for a junior and make a reasonable request - and put in the caveat that you are flexible (within reason). If you go too low, alarm bells will ring in the recruiter saying if you under value yourself so much, that this is a red flag. If you go in asking for silly money when applying for your first job you will seem arrogant and this will raise alarm bells about hiring a possible prima donna who will come in and make a nuisance of himself.  

Note that the minimal BECTU rate is £125 per day. If you are offered any less than this it is likely the company you are applying for is of poor quality and you are being scammed. (I have been scammed many times in my career by jumping at opportunities with poor companies). 

For more on BECTU rates, look up the Animation & VFX FREELANCE RATECARD GUIDANCE For Film & TV 2022 - BECTU.

6. Should You Do an Animation Test?
You will be asked whether you will be willing to do an animation test. Say yes to this - it is normal part of the hiring process.

--- Kevin Richards

Interview and Demo Reel Resources at Escape Studios
To see more resources on demo reels and job interviews, see the the links below:

The Escape Studios Animation Blog offers a personal view on the art of animation and visual effects. To apply for our BA/MArt in 3D Animation, follow this link. For the next 12 week animation course, click here.