Every September, Riot Games launches our North America (NA) Internship Program by opening applications. With applications now open for 2023, we wanted to give you some insight on the application process, tips for interviewing, advice from previous interns, and plenty more. Just think of us as your own Riot Career Coach. Let’s dive in!
Careers are, by nature, winding roads with many stops along the way. By applying to Riot, you’re taking an important step. Maybe you love to queue up in one of our games. Maybe you really enjoyed watching Arcane. Maybe you have fun reading the lore. Or maybe you’re interested in one of the teams at Riot that works behind the scenes to help improve racial and gender equity in tech, organizes community fundraisers, or tons of the other positions that make up Riot.
Before you apply you should, however, know why you are inspired to join the internship program and why you have interest in starting your journey at Riot Games. Here are some things to help get the wheels turning
Riot Coach Tips:
Ask yourself, why am I interested in working at Riot Games?
Read about our Values.
Learn about our intern’s experiences at Riot Games:
So you’ve read our values and learned more about the intern experience? Now it’s time to apply!
We review applications on a rolling basis so we recommend applying sooner when there is a higher chance of the role being available. There are four stages starting with your application, then a craft test, some interviews, and finally a decision.
Complete the online application. Apply for positions that align with your interests and experience. Please do not apply for all roles, just the ones that really speak to you.
Next, be sure to include all requested materials: resume, application question responses, linkedin/personal website, and any other questions related to the specific internship you apply for. Please make sure your resume is up to date as you cannot replace your resume once submitted.
Quick resume tip: Tailoring your resume for the opportunity goes a long way! By understanding the job description and making sure you include your experiences that overlap, you’ll be sure to stand out from the crowd. Feel free to include college coursework and extracurriculars too, if it’s relevant to the job, it’s good to add.
For the application questions, be sure to bring your authentic self. We want to match you with the opportunities that allow you to achieve your goals. Here are some examples:
Who or what inspired you to pursue (Craft/Major)?
Why are you interested in working at Riot Games?
We want internships at Riot to be totally hands-on. That means interns will be able to work directly with other Rioters to impact our products and teams. For some roles, this requires a solid understanding of the area you are interested in. For example, in engineering and sound design roles, you will have a take-home test to review your skills and foundations. Not every internship opening comes with a craft test but be prepared to test your skills after applying.
While craft skills are important, we are also looking for interns who have strong interpersonal skills like communication, collaboration, and problem solving. Here are the interviews that you will go through:
Preliminary Screening: In this interview you and a recruiter from the team will explore your academic and professional background together to ensure that you are a fit for the position you have applied for.
Craft Interview: This interview tests for the hard skills that are unique to the role you have applied for. For instance, a software engineering intern could be expected to answer questions related to data structures and algorithms.
Behavioral Interview: This interview reviews how you align with our values and the values you carry in your own life.
This one's pretty self-explanatory. After going through all these steps we will notify candidates who have been selected to join the Riot NA Internship Program in 2023.
Riot Coach Tips:
ERROR?!: Ensure all information submitted is accurate. There will be no way to update your application once it has been submitted. You’ll need to resubmit a brand new application, so it’s definitely worth double-checking before hitting submit.
Review: Have your application reviewed by a trusted peer, advisor, family member, or mentor. Your college career center is another great resource for resume and job application prep.
Be Specific. Be Intentional: Apply for a position that best aligns with your interests and experience.
PDFs: PDFs are your ally! It is recommended that your attached documents be in a format that can be read and downloaded easily.
In this process some opportunities may require you to include a portfolio or reel (i.e. most art roles), or complete a take home test (i.e. engineering roles, sound design roles). This is to further understand your skills and talents for the role you applied to.
Riot Coach Tips:
Riot Portfolio & Reel: The best portfolios and reels are easy to access and view! Make sure the link is active, and if it is password protected be sure to list the password in your application. Review our resources on Portfolio Best Tips.
Portfolio Work: Include your best work. Whatever you showcase opens the invitation to talk more deeply about the piece and process. This work should demonstrate your ideation and thought process.
Curation: Curate your portfolio/reel to the style of product you are applying for. Think about the studio’s work and job expectations.
Take-Home Test: You will receive a test to understand your computer software (CS) fundamentals.
First, we want to hear about YOU! This includes your story, skills, previous experiences, and your involvement. Each interview will have a specific amount of time to answer questions before you will have the chance to ask your own. The S.T.A.R Method is a framework that can help synthesize your answers to your interviewer. S.T.A.R stands for:
Situation (provide the context)
Task (illustrate the problem)
Action (outline what you did)
Results (share what the impact was)
Second, while we can prepare for the interview, things can happen in real time (nervousness, getting stuck on questions, technology failing, etc.). So don’t be afraid to ask the interviewer to repeat the question, pause to think about your answer, and let us know if you are experiencing any technical difficulties.
Lastly, remember while we are exploring if you’re the best candidate for our roles, you are also exploring if Riot Games aligns with you and what you want. Asking thoughtful questions to Rioters about their experiences will give you more clarity into life at Riot and the role you see yourself playing.
Riot Coach Tips:
Review: Review the job description you applied for and its responsibilities. Identify examples you can speak to for your interview. Some folks find it helpful to have the job description pulled up on their computer so you can reference it while interviewing with the team.
Riot Blogs: Explore some of our Blogs around different crafts and disciplines like the Riot Technology Blog
Riot’s Interview Process: Take a look at the Riot Interview Process
Video Call Tips: Find a quiet, well-lit location with stable internet connectivity for the interview. You may also consider wearing headphones during the interview to reduce echo or other audio issues.
Group study is your friend! You can practice standard interview questions together and give each other feedback on the answers.
Once interviews are completed, the team will review all interview notes and scorecards to determine next steps for each candidate. If you are selected for an offer, you will be provided with additional information and next steps about the program.
If you are not selected for the internship this year, do not give up. With limited spots available, not everyone will be accepted into the program. If you are declined for the internship this year, you can always apply again next year or to a full time position if you meet the requirements.
A lot of current Rioters did not get in after their first, or second, or fifth applications at Riot Games. What is for you, won't pass you. Stay connected with us and find opportunities through Life @ Riot, Riot’s LinkedIn, the Careers page, and our New Grad Opportunities. Keep refining the skills, putting in work, and you’ll be a Rioter in no time.
We talked to our 2022 interns to share the ONE piece of advice they would give to someone who wants to apply to this program. This is what they shared:
“Read about Riot’s values.” — Jason S., Insights Analyst Intern
“Gonna sound cliche, but be yourself and show your passions. Also if you are afraid you might not get the position, you won't if you don't apply in the first place, go for it!” — Jack S., Software Engineer Intern
“Be human and acknowledge your flaws. Always remain humble and eager to learn.” — Samuel K., Game Design Intern
“Really put thought into the questions they give on the application, I know they were brought up multiple times in my interviews.” — Tanner S., Producer Intern
“Be yourself — not who you expect recruiters or interviewers to want to see or meet :)” — Winny Y., Content Producer Intern
“Do some self reflection about your craft / values before your interview. Sometimes you've been doing your craft for so long that you know it, but you never really think about it as you do, and that might cause some hiccups when you're questioned about your methods.” — Rui T., 3D Art Intern
- “Be prompt with email responses in regards to scheduling interviews.” — Jacob R., Sound Design
“Don’t be afraid to share your nerdy gamer side and your love for Riot’s games! In most of my interviews (even the technical ones) I talked about League and how I got into it with my interviewers.” — Kayla K., Data Engineering Intern
“Besides your professional skill, show who you are as a person, your personal story will help your future colleagues to know you better.” — Yuwei L., Game Design Intern
“Get to know the people interviewing you. Learn about why they chose Riot and what steps in life brought them to where they are today! I found that I learned a lot about the games industry just by talking to people who have been in it for a while!” — Diego V., Game Design Intern
“Don't be intimidated about the interview process. While it could be a bit daunting at first, it becomes clear very early on that the Rioters interviewing you truly want to learn about you and your interests/passions!” — Julie L., Video Editor Intern
“When it comes to portfolios, don't be afraid to show your passion through your projects! Having a portfolio piece related to gaming can go a long way.” — Janet H., Visual Design Intern
“Accessibility to your portfolio is just as important as the quality of your work. Having a website that instantly brings someone to your portfolio may seem like a small step, but makes a lot of difference for someone reviewing your application (especially if the position has a large number of applicants).” — Jason C., Sound Design Intern
“For artists, make sure you know your craft and prepare ahead … Take your time juicing up your portfolio before submitting, and continue showing progress while you wait to hear back. Fan art and matching Riot's art style is great because it shows you really care about working on a specific team!” — Jenna V., 3D Character Art Intern