Game Design Friday

omg teh interview!


Want a job? Applying is only half the process. Even when you get the call, you still need to make a good impression. Prepare for the interview: your one and only chance to make a lasting impression and get your foot in the door. Don’t mess up. And oh yeah, have fun!

Number of Players:

Two to three (depending on the microgame)


  • a timer
  • a deck of playing cards
  • a six-sided die
  • tokens
  • pen and paper

How to Play:

All the rules from omg hire me still apply, except a 12-sided die can be used for the interview die instead of a d20.

When a player’s number is rolled on the interview die, that player must roll a six-sided die to determine which interview game to play. The player takes the role of the job candidate, with one or more opponents playing the role of interviewers. Winning means the interview went well, and the player can take an offer number, as usual. If the candidate loses, he/she does not receive an offer number.

The Game List:

1) Avoiding the Question:
1 interviewer
The candidate chooses a number from one to six, writing it down and keeping it to himself. The interviewer then rolls a six-sided die six times. The candidate has two chances to “nudge” the question – tipping the die to one of its adjacent sides. If during any of the six rolls the number is rolled – and the candidate has no more nudges left – the candidate loses. The interviewer will also have one chance to guess the number after all six rolls. Guessing correctly will also cause the candidate to lose.

2) Greatest Weaknesses:
at least 2 interviewers
The interviewers create a list of five “weakness” words related to any job topic. For three minutes, one interviewer asks questions on that topic. The candidate must answer each question promptly, but without the use of the weakness words. Usage of the words is monitored by the second interviewer. If any of the words are used, the candidate loses the job opportunity.

3) Always Right:
1 interviewer
The candidate must let the interviewer win a three-round match of Rock Paper Scissors. The interviewer can never throw the same move twice in a row (this applies to ties as well). If the candidate wins, he loses.

4) Attention Span:
1 interviewer
The candidate asks questions about the interviewer for three minutes, while mimicking all physical movements made by the interviewer. At the end of three minutes, the interviewer asks the candidate three questions related to the discussion. If the candidate gets any of the answers wrong, he loses the job opportunity.

5) Overtalker, Undertalker:
2 interviewers
One interviewer asks a long-winded question, taking as much time as he’d like, while the second interviewer times the question. The candidate must give an equally long-winded answer, within five seconds of the original question’s length. If the answer is under or over time, the candidate loses the opportunity.

6) There is No Wrong Answer… Except for That One… and That One:
1 interviewer
The interviewer removes three cards of different values from a deck of playing cards, and places them face down in front of the candidate without showing him which is which. The interviewer then chooses a “right answer” number from the deck (one of the three values already chosen), and plays it face down in front of him.

The interviewer shuffles the three cards in front of the user, Three Card Monty style. The candidate then points to one card, which the interviewer checks without showing the candidate. If the card is the right answer, a token is placed behind it. If not, the interviewer does nothing.

The cards are then reshuffled, and the candidate picks again. Again the interviewer checks and places a token on the table behind the card if it’s the right answer. This action is repeated a third time, after which the cards are shuffled a final time, and then all flipped over.

The candidate must choose the right answer from the three revealed cards. The interviewer then reveals his card to see if the candidate is right. If the candidate is wrong, he loses the job opportunity.

Designing omg teh interview!


The original plan was to have a singular mini-game played by all job candidates during their interviews. The mini-game’s direction changed quickly, however, after a consult with Zynga game designer Dave Rohrl.


Rather than devising a singular interview mini-game, which engineered the idea of randomly selected microgames (think Wario Ware, but with your future success at stake). The games were conceived over several rounds of creative brainstorming, with each representing a different point of anxiety for job interviewees:

  1. getting asked about a past job transgression.
  2. getting asked to enumerate your weaknesses, and explaining them in a way that doesn’t make you seem useless.
  3. making sure to stay humble, and, well, kissing ass.
  4. failing to pay attention to details during an interview, and messing up an important fact.
  5. Out-talking the interviewer, or remaining too quiet.
  6. Misjudging the interviewer’s opinion of something and giving the “wrong” answer to a question of opinion.

Considering Dave interviewed me for my current, formulating these games was enlightening, and unnerving (no, Dave, I did not kiss ass during our interview).


Awkward conversations with my boss, and some new tricks to scare future job candidates. Oh, you wanted to know about the game

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