Your First Junior UX Design Interview is a Tough One, But These Tips Will Help You Ace It
Congratulations! If you’re reading this then you’re preparing for your first junior UX Design interview – and I’m going to help you ace it.
Interviews can feel monumental – like your whole future is resting on this moment. But in reality they aren’t that difficult.
The process is going to look something like:
- Screening interview
- Interview 2: The Reckoning
We’re going to break these down into bitesize chunks and explain how to wow your interviewer.
The Screening Interview
Your first point of contact with an interviewer is going to come with the screening interview. This is the time to make a great first impression and decide if the job is really for you.
To be safe, prepare some answers to these kinds of questions:
- Why did you apply to the job? This company? Why should they hire you?
- Why are you in UX Design? Where do you want to be in 5 years?
And then prepare some answers to UX specific questions. Stuff like:
- What is UX Design? How do you create a great product design?
- What tools do you use?
- How well do you work with stakeholders?
The best way to answer any interview question is to tell a story.
For example, it’s easy to answer ‘what tools do you use?’ with ‘Axure and Adobe’. But if you explain where you started and where you are now, your answer becomes ten times more engaging. ‘When I first started out I was using a lot of Adobe, but over the years I’ve found that Sketch and Axure are better for my individual style, which is very creative and experimental. I like to take risks and Sketch and Axure are perfect for that.’
So start at the beginning, explain your motivations and any issues and move on to the resolution. That’s the basics of giving a great answer to any interview question.
Be sure to prepare some questions for your interviewers too. Stay clear of questions about salary, the industry or competitors and try to ask questions that reveal more about you. For example:
- What is the company culture like? – this question reveals that you know that company culture is key.
- Are there any progression opportunities in this role? – this one is great for letting your interviewer know that you’re serious about their company and your career.
Interview 2: The Reckoning
Ok ok it’s not going to be that bad. But if you make it to the second interview you really need to buckle down and take it seriously. Prepare some more answers to different interview questions, but also prepare your portfolio.
Your interviewer will hopefully want to look through your portfolio with you. So you’ll be able to talk them through your process, proudest projects and challenges that you’ve overcome.
So firstly make sure your portfolio is in the best shape of its life. It needs to be: up to date, arranged clearly with your best work at the top, and showcasing the range of your skill.
Next be prepared to talk through your projects. Prepare an elevator pitch-style speech that explains the whole process and your involvement in it. Try to be honest and humble: no one wants to listen to you brag about your work.
Be prepared for some questions from your interviewer. This is their time to really size you up, so they might ask some complicated questions about challenges, process and the end result.
Tips for a good portfolio pitch:
- Remember you’re still in the interview, which means that you’re still in a conversation. Expect questions and keep the talk flowing without babbling on.
- Keep your pitch entertaining, humble and throw some humour in there if you can.
- Make every project personal and talk about how it made you better.
General Interview Tips
- Smile and look your interviewer in the eye.
- Be chatty, friendly and happy to talk.
- Dress well and trust that you’ve prepared the best you can.
- If you don’t understand a question, say so! When you don’t know about something, admit it and see what you can learn.
- Keep a pen and paper on you to jot down notes.
- Send a follow-up email after every interview thanking everyone involved for their time. If you can send over some links or elaborate on a talking point, all the better!
We’ve made it to the success stage! I really hope that these tips helped you ace your junior UX Design interview.