The interview phase in the job application process is a crucial one. It is commendable that you got an interview, but it is not time to rest. You still need to ace the interview to get the job, which is why you are here.
You have more work to do now because you will be communicating with the recruiter(s), and you need to bring your A-game to the interview. The interview process is crucial. It would be best if you did not take it with levity.
The interview process is to check the authenticity of the CV (Curriculum Vitae) and portfolio you sent. The company wants to be sure they hire the best person from those who applied. So, how can you present yourself as the best candidate for the job? It starts with your preparation.
How to Prepare for a UX Design Interview
You are close to getting hired if you receive an interview invitation. The ball is in your court now. What will you do with it? Getting hired in that company rests heavily on the outcome of the interview. It is a chance you do not want to blow up. It would help if you were ready for whatever is coming.
So, let us get down to it. How do you prepare for the interview?
Practice your opening pitch
The best way to overcome anxiety is to practice a lot. Your opening pitch gives the first impression of you. You have indeed sent your CV and portfolio, and they know a few things about you. However, your opening pitch says a lot about your confidence, composure, manner of expression, and how articulate you are. So, you do not want to start on the wrong foot.
Most organizations will ask you to tell them about yourself first. This question is contextual. It is not the time to say to them all that has ever happened to you. You should tailor your response within the scope of your role. Not wrong to tell stories if it highlights your passion for learning UX design.
Your interview can be online (phone or video call) or physical. For some, the interview process can have two to three phases. Online for the first phase, physical interview for the second or third phase.
This article is particular about your first interview, but whichever interview phase, if it is oral, then your opening speech is essential!
Tell them about your background (not much about family details). Focus more on your education, skill sets that you have gained, how you got into UX, and the skills you have learned in UX so far.
Research into the Company
There are chances that the recruiter will ask you why you apply to the company. Get yourself familiar with the company before the interview. Know their main goals and objectives and what they do to achieve them.
Check the company's website and visit their managers' social media handles. You also make a good impression if you mention details about the company in your answers. It shows that you have a keen interest. Many will prefer those passionate about working for them to those who do not care.
Emphasize your role when explaining the case studies in your portfolio
Your recruiter may have checked your file before the interview. So, they can tell you to explain one of the case studies in your profile. If they are not specific about the case study to illustrate, Choose the one you can explain better.
You do not need to choose the most complicated projects to impress them. You could get stuck while trying to explain the complexity around it. So, choosing a simple project where you can describe your role very well is best.
Do not dance around your explanations. Clearly explain the part you played, your methodologies, and your results. Mention the challenges you faced, too, and how you overcame those challenges.
Do not lean your back on the chair.
Your composure matters a lot during your interview. Leaning your back on the chair indicates that you are not entirely in the conversation. It is a disrespectful attitude. Sit right and answer questions promptly.
Take your time to solve any design problem.
A common approach is a design task or exercise as part of your UX interview. It allows recruiters to assess your thinking process, imagination, and creativity; it is a tricky part of your interview that necessitates your undivided attention.
When they give you a design problem to solve, always ask for a few minutes to understand it, even if you will get it most of the time without asking. Carefully read or listen to the problem. Translate whatever was asked in the interview in your mind to your own words and thoughts. To clarify the issue, ask questions.
One helpful tip here is to relate the problem to any previous design tasks you have completed. It will assist you through the same ideation method, user flows, sketches, and layout process. You will find it easier to solve and present the problem to the interview panel.
Remember that there are no right or wrong answers to design problems. However, it is an opportunity to demonstrate your design process, problem-solving approach, and how you arrive at a solution.
Be honest with your answers.
During an interview, always be honest in your answers, be confident about your knowledge and skills, and be positive in your communication.
We all know UX skill is a mandatory qualification to earn a UX job. However, your attitude matters a lot. A big mistake a person can make in an interview is not presenting himself as a professional worker. Good UX skills but undesired behavior can harm you in an interview.
Be honest when you are explaining your work. If you do not know the answer to a question, there is no harm in admitting it. However, do not forget to show your willingness to learn new concepts and trends. Be confident when giving your answers. You have the required knowledge and skills; that is why you got the interview.
Preparing for a UX interview requires a lot. UX is a mix of technical and soft skills; your recruiter will watch out for these two skills. So, as you prepare to give your best with your technical skills, do not forget to deliver your answers with the right attitude.
This article highlights tips on how you should prepare for that UX interview. You can also follow up after the interview. If they have not responded, it is okay to send a mail after a week. Cheers to a successful interview!
UX Design Interviews: The job guide for passing interviews and getting UX Design jobs. Kindle Edition by Duane Harrison
Interview Techniques for UX Practitioners: A User-Centered Design Method 1st Edition by Chauncey Wilson