The Job Interview And Pay

Finding Work

Once you have a job interview it usually means your showreel has passed the initial test! Congratulations!

The interview is mostly a screening process and it’s all about your social and communication skills which are huge in the workplace.

How confident are you?
Are you social?
Are you a good communicator?
Are you a passionate hard worker?
Can you work in teams?
Can you take feedback well?

It’s most important to be friendly and passionate about 3d, you want to show how much you love your job and you’re willing to take it to the next level.

Always answer truthfully and admit where you need improvement. Tell them what you want to work on and get better at.

Say you like the company x’s work, but you don’t have to be gushing with praise, instead talk about how much you love 3d and how you do it in your spare time just for fun. You don’t want to come across as a fan boy/girl and willing to do anything for the job. Respect yourself and you’ll get respect. But be passionate and very positive.


Pay negotiations

Jnr freelance rates (Sydney) are between $200 per day – $300 per day
Jnr fulltime rates (Sydney) are between 35k per year – 50k per year

Decide what your bottom price is. Ask yourself what would you be happy on. Gaining full time employment at a good company will do wonders for your career. But remember some companies/projects won’t improve you showreel. A long healthy career is all about improving your reel and experience.

Think about how much experience you’ll gain after a x amount of time in this company. What will your new reel have? What contacts will you have? What will you be able to learn? In such cases where your reel will get significantly better it’s ok to take less money.


Working For Free

Usually most students cost a studio money to look after. So it’s rare to get free internships. If you do land an internship the legal time allowed for an internship is 2 weeks unpaid.

Interships can be a great way of breaking into the industry. But always ask yourself, will this experience really get myself ahead in my carrer? Often statying at how and completing personal work will be more valuable.

Interships that are not in the same building as the people you are working for… ie remote/online work is not cool in my opinion. Please don’t take those jobs.



You need to know if you’re getting paid super. Super is worth 8-15% extra depending on the company. Full time employees will usually be paid super.

Because of the burden and risk of freelancing, it’s best to up your rate by 25% of what you’d get in a full time job. This goes for any short contracts for 6 months or less.


Negotiating Pay

Pay is highly flexible depending on your skill, position and what’s needed at that time. A company who’s desperate to fill a position in a short amount of time will pay more than a company with a lot of options.

The CG industry has no unions and set rates. So it’s up to you to negotiate. Over time you get to know basic salaries/rates.

Always ask friends what they’re getting paid/got paid at the last company, tell them how much you are getting paid if not under a confidentiality contract. It’s good to get to know what the market values are. As an employee you have a lot to gain.


Hourly Rate

Always covert back to an hourly rate for your own sums, even for full time employment. For example weta requires a 50hr week which is 5hrs more than industry standard 45hr week. So you should ask at least ten percent extra. A company who works 9-5pm is working 10% less than industry standard. If contracting know your day rate and weekly rate. Day rates are common on short turnaround jobs. Contractors rarely work on weekly rates if weekends are likely. Hourly rates get tricky because there’s too much timekeeping. Some companies work to an hourly, Animal Logic for example which has good time tracking checks.


Jnr Rates

Junior Full time: positions usually go from 35k – 50k for full time for juniors.
Freelance rates: add 25% extra to your full time salary, usually this is with no super.
Freelance rates: $200 – $300 for juniors

Senior Rates (3yrs + experience)
Fulltime: 80k – 200k + (supervisors etc)
Freelance: $450 – $700 + per day

If you are talented and play it right it need only take 3yrs to reach senior, but this is also highly flexible. Few people get paid more than 120k.



Ask how much you’ll be working and if there’s a overtime or time in lieu policy.

If contracting ask if there’s expected to be a lot of overtime, tell them your daily rate. If you work back more than 3 hrs, say you’ll charge extra and will log your time. Don’t be too worried about this but keep it in mind. You shouldn’t ever do extra long days unless in total crunch.

Get to know the reputation of a company. The reputation usually gives a good example of what they expect.


Negotiating Overtime

There’s some bad press in our industry about overtime. A lot of people do do overtime. First become a fast worker!! Second realise that you don’t have to work overtime, it’s rare to be fired for no overtime, in fact it’s illegal. Third realise that busting your arse as a junior doesn’t always have positive outcomes, I’ve seen many juniors boast about how much they worked and as a senior I am secretly thinking to myself that they are idiots. Forth: overtime is unsustainable and people burn out easily and loose their love of this medium because they have the incorrect belief that they are superhuman. Don’t burn out. Manage your time and have a happy career. There’s a lot of peer pressure and unfortunately it’s up to you to manage. I rarely if ever have done overtime in my entire career.


Getting a raise.

It is much faster to raise your salary by changing jobs than to have the usual 5% pay raise. Get another job offer at a higher rate then go to your employer and let them know. Often they will want to keep you. It’s all highly negotiable. It’s business, companies have no loyalty when times are tough and they must cut staff. Please don’t take it personaly, company owners have a lot to worry about and a lot of responsibility.

You’ll need to be on an equal playing field. So don’t get loyal to a company if they aren’t respecting you. Even then if times turn bad good companies may have to make the hard choice of letting people go.


Andrew Silke

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