If you’re reading this article, you might be in the market for a new job or you are upscaling your skills. Either way pause for a minute and think — when you hear the words ‘UX interiew’ what goes throught your mind? How do you feel?
I hope what you feel is excitement in front of an opportunity to learn and grow.
I have been on both sides of the interviewing process and I feel like I picked up a few tricks that can help you nail a UX or design interview which often include a white-boarding task and Q&A afterwards. In this article I am going to share what I learned.
The main things to keep in mind are:
- People interviewing you really want you to succeed;
- Ask questions — a good question can tell a lot about your thought process;
- Don’t jump to solutions — you are not expected to solve the problem in the interview time;
Armed with this mindset and relevant experience you’re already more than halfway there.
Is it that simple? Yes. And no. Here a few more tips.
Enjoy the process — treat it like sharing your experience, learnings and knowledge with other people rather than an interview. The thing you need to communicate successfully is your thought process and motivations when approaching business challenges. Luckily in UX there are no ‘wrong’ answers as long as you can explain why you are doing things this way.
So how not to fall into the trap of being too generic?
Share specific stories that are relevant to questions and illustrate such key areas as user-centered design process, your methodologies, experience with working under tight deadlines and within diverse teams. This way it’ll be easier for the prospective employer to see the real you, not the person who read enough books to use the buzzwords in abundance. Include examples about a time when things did not go as planned focusing on the learnings you took away and the changes you made off the back of that.
But what if you are still too nervous?
Just remember that the interviewers are people just like you and they really want you to succeed. No one wants to make you feel awkward or uncomfortable — you are being interviewed to join the team, so it’s in everyone’s best interest to have a good conversation flow and light atmosphere. It’s in everyone’s best interest to see whether you can work together well — cultural fit plays a massive role in the hiring process.
From my personal experience of being on both sides of the interviewing process, ‘getting in the zone’ and letting go of your nerves produce the best results. For example, I am so passionate about what I do, that I can talk about UX and design and tech industry for hours. If this is true for you then you will fly through your interview. Moreover, you should treat the interview process as a learning experience — this is a great opportunity to get objective feedback and iterate.
However, all of the above will only work if you are good at what you do and you know your stuff. So never stop learning, read books and articles, go to conferences, keep up to date with new tech and reach out to peers. Otherwise, no amount of confidence and coolness will help you.
By all means prepare for the interview in advance — you need to be confident in your industry knowledge, plus research the company too, but when the interview starts, just let it go and enjoy it.
Please reach out if you have any questions or want to hear more on this topic :)