Good luck is what we typically tend to hear when we tell someone we are getting ready for a big job interview. Well, of course, luck is always welcome.
However, there are a few tips we can take into consideration to help us stand out and get that great design job we have been waiting for.
I am a Design Manager here at Rootstrap, and in this article, I will use my experience on both sides of the interview table to help you prepare effectively for your big interview.
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How to ace your product design interview
OK, you’ve got the good news about your interview request and you are feeling excited and possibly nervous. Never fear, this is totally normal and all part of the process.
So, let’s take a look at the 10 best tips to help you knock your product design interview out of the park, and get that job you’ve always dreamed of!
1 – Be punctual and prepared
If your interview is online, be sure to be right on time, or even better, a few minutes early. It may sound obvious, but this shows that you are not just really interested in the position, but you also respect the interviewer(s) time.
2 – Set the stage
Find a quiet place where you can hear and speak without interruptions, and be sure that your background is neutral. It’s not necessary to be formally dressed, but it’s definitely best to not wear pajamas or that old sleep shirt you love so dearly. Remember, we take all aspects of you into consideration when we first meet.
3 – Do your research on the company and position
At Rootstrap, we love when candidates arrive to an interview and are familiar with our work, processes, and clients. Not only does it allow you to make a great impression, but it also gives you a clearer idea of our company and how we work.
4 – Prepare something specific for the meeting
As designers, we know that our work is the main way to display our skills and show how good we are. We always expect a resume and a portfolio to understand if you are the right fit for us. However, if you can find the time, preparing a presentation with extra designs to show off can go a long way.
This will let us know that you are serious about joining our team and it’s not just another interview for you. Enthusiasm and proactivity is key for every company, and you will have the chance to show off more of your skills and work.
5 – Rehearse beforehand if you are nervous
To help remove any nerves, it can be a big help to rehearse and record your presentation. This will give you an idea of how are you perceived by an interviewer, and will help you manage any anxiety that may arise during the interview.
6 – Be confident
We get it, it’s completely normal to be shy when you are getting out of your comfort zone and applying to a new job, and we also know that the dreaded impostor syndrome may arise in these cases. If it does, don’t let it overrule you. Prepare yourself, make notes, and review the work you have done so far. Focus all your attention on sharing your best skills and how you can provide value to the company you want to be part of.
7 – Do not sell something you are not
When we interview potential candidates, we do not expect them to know everything about the field. Honesty is a value we all look for in our team members. So, instead of sharing abilities you may not feel confident enough to perform, just highlight the ones that make you who you are, and express interest in the ones you would like to learn. This is beneficial for both parties.
8 – Be curious and don’t be afraid to ask
Hiring a new designer to be part of your team should be always seen as a win-win. But what does this mean? Yes, we want another talented professional to join us, but we also want you to feel happy, proud, and enthusiastic about being part of our company. So, ask as many questions as you want. We love to see candidates excited to know more and we are happy to give you extra information about our culture, work, and processes.
9 – Be ready to answer questions about you
We will ask you questions related to your previous experiences, skills, and how would you handle certain kind of situations. But, we will also ask about you. Culture is a key characteristic at our company. So, don’t be surprised if you get asked about your hobbies, pets, favorite food, etc. We want you to feel part of the team and enjoy being one of us.
10 – Ask for feedback
No matter the outcome, we always recommend asking for feedback to an interviewer. This will help you to improve your presentations skills and more importantly, become a better professional.
I hope that this insight into how we conduct our interviews will help you in preparation for your next big design interview.
I am confident that these tips can be used to your advantage and ensure that you are as prepared as you can be to get that awesome design job you deserve!
If you would like to up your design software game ahead of your interview, check out our ultimate Figma guide for developers.