About 2 hours after I accepted the offer to go back to work doing UI HTML-coding I got a call from another recruiter asking if I would be interested in a 3-month+ gig doing Flash/Actionscript. “Frak yes,” I told him. (No, really, that’s exactly what I said.) I also told him that I had just accepted an offer to go back to my former employer for a 4-week gig and that we would have to work around that. A week goes by and no interview scheduled yet. Finally I get a msg from him asking when would be a good time . . . blah, blah, blah . . . I have an interview set for the following Tuesday and, “oh, and by the way” he said, “it’s a job working with the Xbox team!”

Now, you might think that a geek/gamer like me would be anxious about this interview. In fact I was pretty loose going in. Of course I wanted the job – what little I knew of it – but I didn’t get my hopes up. I knew that the job had been open for quite some time and that they had interviewed many people. With that I really didn’t think I’d get the job because they were probably looking for someone more adept than myself but it would be a good experience for me. This was going to be one of those 3 hour interviews. Starting with a group review of my portfolio for 30-min and then 4 back2back interviews with 1-2 people. During the interviews I had no problem talking about what I could do and what I couldn’t do. I would say things like, “Yeah, I know OOP. I write my own classes all the time. But, I wouldn’t consider myself an expert by any means. For instance, I know what inheritance is but I don’t really use it because it’s never come up.” (Note to self: I really need to finish reading “Essential Actionscript” by Colin Moock.)

Of course I did show off a little bit. During one of the 2on1 interviews a guy asked me to write some AS on the white board. He asked me to start by writing an “if-statement”. I wrote:

if(job == “xBox”) {
trace(“Yeah!!!”);
}

Both of them smiled at that.

“Okay, add on an ‘else-statement’ to that.”

I asked, “‘else’ or ‘else-if'”.

“Just an ‘else’,” he said. The other guy said, with a smile, “I’m almost afraid to see this.”

So I added:

else {
trace(“FRAK”);
}

Then he asked me to write a ‘for-statement’.

This is where I showed off a little.

for(var p:String in job) {
trace(p + ” : ” job[p]);
}

I’m pretty sure that was a little more that he was expecting.

The hardest part of the interview was with this guy who was asking me, “What do you do if I give you a project and a deadline and you know that you can’t meet the deadline.”

I replied, “First off, I would hope that you wouldn’t just dump something in my lap. Maybe every now and then we could get together for 5 minutes to review what’s coming up. That way I can be as prepared as possible. But what you want to know is how I’ll react if I have more work to do than I have time to do it in. The simplest way to put it is that I’ll tell you it ain’t gonna happen and we’re going to have to come up with something that is workable. I’m not going to like it. I’d like to perform a miracle and get it done but if it’s unrealistic then I’ll tell you.”

He liked that but he loved this: “Plus,” I said, “it isn’t your fault that you gave me too much work to do and too little time to do it in. Sometimes your work piles up and that will fall on me. We communicate and do the best we can. I can tell you what I won’t do. I won’t wait until the day before something is due and come to you with a project that is half finished or doesn’t work.”

I got his seal of approval.

Aside: I think that one of the advantages I have is that I’m not afraid of loosing a job or anything else for that matter. Okay, I’d be pretty bummed about loosing my vision or something but that’s not what I’m talking about here. I don’t have any kids to support, I don’t have a mortgage to pay, I don’t even have car payment to make. My needs are simple and I have enough money to live at the Pathfinder Inn for a year without working. And you know what? I would love that. So, it’s all good. Right now my life revolves around creating and learning. And it’s going to say that way.

With that in mind here is one of my favorite quotes:

That man is richest whose pleasures are cheapest.
-Thoreau

The final 30-min interview was with the manager. It went well, we joked around a bit. At the end I stood up and shook his hand and thanked him for the interview. He said, “I would like for you to think about it but the job is yours to turn down.”

After a moment of stunned silence I said, “What? Really? Are you kidding?”

(Note: not the most professional response in the world but I was really surprised. I felt like Angelina Jolie had just said, “I would love to have you instead of Brad.”)

He said, “It’s hard to tell in the span of an interview but you seem like you would be a good fit with our team. You have a varied background with philosophy and a sense of design. Plus, you exceed our technical requirements. In fact, you’re the only person who has met them. So it’s a pretty easy decision for us. So think about it but we would like to know by tomorrow morning.”

Yeah, so I thought about it and called the recruiter from the parking lot about 3 minutes later. Are you kidding me? This is a job doing prototyping for new features on the XBox360 and doing some Flash for the XBox live site. And this is my first fraking job doing Flash. This is no time to be equivocate. When someone asks you if you want to do Flash for the Xbox design team . . . You! Say! “Yes!”

Not only do I get to do Flash full-time, all-the-time, but I also share an office that comes with an Xbox360. Oh, and by the way, I get paid to boot. What more could anyone ask for?

What do you think?