How Pixar Hires

Randy Nelson, head of the in-house Pixar University, gives a 10-minute talk that offers insight into character traits the studio looks for when it hires employees. One of the primary factors is to hire people who are interested rather than interesting. Also, collaboration does not simply mean cooperation, but it means amplification–people who bring separate depth to the problem and bring breadth that gives them interest in the entire solution.


(via Kottke)


  • Pedro Nakama

    After hearing this I wonder how the guys from Termite Terrace would have done in an interview with Pixar.

  • http://deleted OtherDan

    Great! I’m interested-When do I start?

  • FrankieG

    Randy Nelson has nothing to do with hiring at Pixar. He’s just a rep.

  • Killroy McFate

    Oh, and attending Cal Arts at the same time as John , Andy, or Pete doesn’t hurt either.

  • http://rauchbrothers.com Mike Rauch

    Thanks, Amid! This was insightful and helpful to hear. Less as a look into who Pixar wants to hire, and more as a look into the thinking there and what makes them successful.

  • Bianca

    May I ask anyone to post a trsancription of this video? I’m deaf and English isn’t my mother tongue, so I can’t read what he’s saying, and I’d love to do so. Please?

  • Dr. Pepper

    Right, so the only people at Pixar who started there without any experience are the founders of the studios?
    This just reminds me of Ralph Bakshi’s brilliant Comic-Con Q&A session last year.

  • Lidio

    This conference seems interesting but I kept waiting for Shriners driving little cars to show up.

  • Mike Milo

    It would appear that going to Cal Arts ANY year seems to help in animation simply because they know someone they hung out with there. At least it looks like that from the P.O.V. of someone (me) who didn’t go there.

    Wasn’t there a book recently published called The Cal Arts Mafia? ;-)

  • Brannigan’s Law

    Why do I feel like this guy used to sell Amway?

  • Steve

    I listened to this thing twice and I still don’t know what the hell he’s talking about. It seemed very talking-point-ish with very rosy sounding words, but little actual substance.

  • http://www.christopherdenise.com Christopher Denise

    Lots of sour grapes in the above comments. He was talking about exactly what we were doing when it was going well at RISD. I taught in the Illustration BFA program for four years and came out of every six hour critique a better artist. Style issues were not a barrier-we were focused on collaboration and honing our skills as visual communicators. By viewing the same problems through another artists eyes and working together to a solution that was beyond any one artist. That is collaboration.

  • TSM

    Wow, pretty snarky comments here. Randy is offering up valuable information for those willing to listen. IMO, it’s not easy describing the hiring process at Pixar, and I think Randy did a good job of doing that. The information may not be delivered in the manner some of you prefer or expect to hear, but the information is there. Pixar does not just look at a resume and say “Oh, this guy/gal worked on a lot of stuff. He/she must be good. Hire him/her.”