👋 Hello, are you interested in being a UX Designer?
Are you thinking to switch career to be a UX Designer?
Have you graduated from a related field and currently looking for a job?
If you have received several interview invitations, that's great!
But sometimes, some people are inexperienced and not good at handling job interviews.
I am a firm believer in "bad at interview ≠ bad candidate". An interview might last several minutes to 1 hour, this might or might not represent a full and complex personality of any human. In order for you to get the best job you want as a UI/UX Designer, here I am sharing a few tips on how to nail the interview!
Tip 1. Do not Fake it till You make it.
I know there are so so many people out there who share that you have to fake it till you make it. Fake a knowledge as if you know them, fake a skill you don't have, fake your personality, or even fake your attitude. Some people justified this advice by saying that you have to fake it to get the job and then learn once you got the job.
This advice is bad, in my opinion. I wouldn't share this advice with anyone.
Granted there is a fine line between being the best realistic version of yourself compared to your fake self. I am not asking you to be disrespectful and talk to the interviewer like you'd talk to best friends (with all the inside jokes and swearing) in your interview. What I am saying is: don't pretend to have a skill/ knowledge you actually don't have. If you don't have coding skills, don't tell potential employers that you have it. If you are still a beginner in UX Design, don't tell your employer that you are advanced.
Even if you plan to learn once you got the job, this is actually not fair to the employer. They might be expecting to hire someone that can help the team immediately and therefore, you have absolutely no time to learn. So what happens next is usually you have to leave your job due to incompetency, and the company that might already stop the hiring process has to restart the hiring process, all over again.
Even if you are so sure you're gonna nail it, why not just be honest and tell them: "I don't have that skill but I am a fast learner and I am willing to learn in a short period of time". This way, it is honest, it is up to the company whether to accept you or not, and the benefit is that you will be given a real chance to learn while at the same time the company can give you some leeway on your work since you are still learning. A win-win solution, right?
This is usually what happens when you are being honest and open about yourself.
Tip 2. Always Give Reasoning
If you do have UI/UX work you have done before, don't just show it to your employer, explain it as well. UI/UX Design focuses mainly in the idea and thought process. In this industry, the design is not just the visual or the look, but also about the "what makes you think this way" kind of aspect. Tell it like a story, the process why you thought about creating a product that way. For example: "I was reading about the human mind and I was interested in the fact that older audience is more interested in the informational product. After that, I went on to interview 10 people in the age of 30s to 40s to confirm whether my finding is correct. Therefore, I decided to create the product this way."
Of course, this is just my own sentence, you can change it as however you like it to be!
Tip 3. Bring Evidence
No, I am not asking you to be a detective and bring the fingerprints, hahaha!
What I meant by evidence is documents of your work process. You should bring them along with you to the interview. If your interview is online, make sure to organize them in a folder so you can open it right away. This is usually a plus point. Examples of the evidence such as the sketches, the screenshots of the conversation (qualitative research with interview method), the brainstorming sketch, the older mockup, recordings of your user testing, anything at all. This might not have any weight on your competency (depending on your evidence) but this shows your thought process and your effort in achieving great work. So this might play a huge weight on the interview decision.
If your interviewer did ask for these, that is your opportunity. However, when the interviewer did not ask for this, politely ask if they have about 3 minutes for you to show your design process documentation.
Tip 4. Let Interviewer experience your product
Whether you have a real product or just a prototype, bring a device to let your interviewer experience it themselves. these days, you can use prototyping tools (such as Marvel and Invision) to let other people experience with your product, so it does not have to be developed and published. This lets the interviewer judge the product's quality and eventually, your quality as a designer. Do take note that if the product has bad UX, it might give a bad impression for you. So make sure your product complies with the standard of good UX 😉
Tip 5. Ask about How is it like Working in that Company
During your interview, you might want to ask your interviewer how is it like working in that company. This enables you to gauge if you will like your future workplace. Ask about the company culture, the department you will be working at, etc. This also lets the interviewer know if you would be a good match with the company culture..Which brings us to the next tip!
Tip 6. Don't Overstress on your Skill
Maybe you are a beginner, you might be a fresh graduate, you might just have low confidence in yourself, whatever it is, do not be stressed because you think you have low UX or UI skill. Here's why: when you are stressed, usually people can hear it in your speech or in your body language. no matter how hard you try to make your body language to look confident, some small things will be visible to the other party.
There is also another reason why you should never overstress on your (perceived) low skill. First, skill is not everything, believe it or not. Yes, some companies ideally want a highly skilled person. But if they are not good to work with, chances are the company might wish they can replace that highly skilled person with a much friendlier person that is slightly less skilled. So yes, in most cases, attitude is everything, but of course that does not mean skill doesn't matter. What I am trying to say is, don't worry too much if your skill is still pretty low.
Also, pointing to tip number 1, just communicate with your interviewer. Even if you are a beginner who just learned UX a few days ago, let them know. I don't guarantee there will be many companies ok with this, but there are still some companies out there who don't mind to train beginners.
So when you communicate and be honest, there is no stress = interview goes smoothly!
Tip 7. Bring Up your other Skills
Usually, companies like a candidate more when they have more skills even though those skills are unrelated to the job. For example, skills such as video creating, cooking, writing, painting, public speaking, etc. This is a plus point when you have other skills because this shows that you are a driven person who will go the extra mile to achieve what you want, which in this case, mastering other skills! You can bring this up when you explain yourself. But just say it briefly. If the interviewer asked, then you can explain more about it.
Tip 8. Don't be afraid to share your Challenges
"Have you encounter any problem or conflict in the past?"
I got this question some times. Last time it was difficult for me to explain it.
Let's be real, we want to just paint a good picture of ourselves and it is difficult when you have to share your weak point to a potential employer. But this question is important. Usually, employers want to know how and whether or not you can overcome challenges.
It took me several interviews to finally be able to explain well about my challenges!
You might get this kind of question, so here's a guide for you on how to answer it.
First, explain the challenge. For example, the challenge we designers often get is a client or higher-ups prefer the design we know as bad design/solution. Explain to interviewer why you think the client's request is bad (in your opinion), and then let them know how you overcome it. For example, usually, I try to explain to client why their suggestion is not recommended. Then, I will let them know that this is just my suggestion, based on my experience. But the decision is still theirs.
It really depends on every person on how to handle conflict/challenges. Some designers can debate and get exactly what they want. I am not saying my solution is perfect or even good. That is just how I did it. I also don't know the "perfect" answer for this kind of conflict but usually, when you just let conflict be a conflict and did not do anything to resolve it, it does not give a good impression. It kinda shows that you are not really an active problem solver.
I also did a mistake where I would say I never had a challenge, which is really bad!
So don't say this at all. This actually tells the interviewer that you are hiding it and leave a question unanswered, which can be a bad impression to the most interviewer.
Folks, that is all the tips I got!
I hope you got your best UI/UX job.
Remember always that if you do get rejected on interviews, it is just redirection from a job that is not meant for you. I can assure you that when you have the passion, attitude, and skill, you're going to be fine! Don't worry, you will get the job that actually meant for you!
(I know my previous paragraph sounds real cheesy because eeverryyone says it. But trust me, this is what happens in life!)
If you do use these tips, let me know how it turned out for you! If you have any other interview-related questions, you can always ask me ☺️
See you in my next blog post!