One of the coolest tech companies in the world makes people play video games in its job interviews

MIN LARGERazer CEO Min-Liang Tan.Razer

Razer is a pretty unique.

The $1.5 billion (£1.23 billion) cult tech company, which makes hardware and software, prides itself on being “by gamers, for gamers.”

Anyone who considers themselves a serious gamer has heard of Razer and knows its distinctive logo. The equipment it provides pretty much blows competing products out of the water. For example, it just launched a laptop so powerful it can feasibly replace a high-spec desktop. The company has been dubbed the “Apple of the gaming world.”

Razer’s CEO Min-Liang Tan sat down with Business Insider to tell us about the new Razer Blade Pro laptop and explained that the group’s products are only able to be this powerful because of the talent it employs. As a result, getting a job there is pretty difficult.

“First up, fundamentally we look for people that are the very best in their field of work — whether design, engineers, thermal engineers and so on,” Tan told BI.

“But with all that, we of course look for passion, and passion in gaming. It is incredibly important to us because we are a company that is ‘by the gamer, for the gamer.”

Tan says that part of the interview process involves not only quizzing candidates on their favourite games, but also making them play a game there and then to prove they are as passionate about gaming as they say they are.

That might sound like a lot of fun, but actually it can be pretty intense.

Razer Blade ProThe new Razer Blade Pro laptop.Razer

“When we interview candidates, we ask them what computer games they play and of course it’s easy to say that they are a fan of World of Warcraft, for instance,” said Tan.

“But if I pull up the game and watch them play, it becomes pretty clear, very quickly that they aren’t really gamers. It is important to us that they have an appreciation of what gamers want.”

This is why Tan thinks that Razer stands out from many other tech companies out there. Razer currently has 1,000 employees worldwide, with 750 of those full time.

The company produces both hardware and software for gamers and recently expanded in the entertainment field by buying iconic audio company THX, which was founded by Star Wars creator George Lucas.

On the Apple comparison, Tan says that while he has “a huge amount of respect for Apple, for design and innovation,” he says that’s where the similarities end.

“I think the only parallels are the design and innovation but Apple isn’t keen on the gaming space and we are hyperfocused, as gamers are our user base,” Tan told BI.

“When we started out (in 2005), gaming wasn’t very sexy but now gaming is one of the sexiest entertainment sectors in the world.

“Our focus is still on gamers. There are two billion gamers in the world and it is the largest segment of the entertainment industry. We have seen that the entire user base is expanding, not just horizontally across the world, in terms of new geographical locations — the US, Europe, and Asia account for a third each of our sales base. We are seeing the gaming demographic getting younger and older. We are also seeing greater convergences in gaming crossing over in music, mobile games, and movies.”

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