UX Design Job Interview Ideas for International Candidates


When my husband’s employer transferred us to the US, it meant a giant transfer from Ukraine to New York Metropolis. I needed to depart my position as a UX designer for EPAM Methods, a digital transformation firm in Kyiv, and wished to discover a place with an American firm. Job searches are all the time difficult, however looking for a UX design job once I was new to the nation was particularly robust. There are further obstacles whenever you’re navigating a brand new tradition, language, and metropolis abruptly.

To maintain myself from getting overwhelmed, I divided my efforts into three phases: the search, the interview preparation, and the post-interview follow-up and reflection. The method took a number of months, and I realized invaluable classes that I need to share with different designers pursuing a UX profession within the US or with US-based firms.

Earlier than you plunge into the UX design interview course of, work on the fundamentals like networking with fellow designers, training your language expertise, and curating a standout portfolio.

Networking is the No. 1 approach folks get jobs, so it’s necessary to attach with others, both on-line or in particular person. Be sure you have a profile on LinkedIn and be part of related communities like LinkedIn’s Person Expertise group. Take part in design-oriented discussions on Twitter. Be part of one or a number of design associations, and attain out to folks you’d prefer to study from or get to know. Along with serving to you discover alternatives, networking will show you how to keep constructive and motivated, because the job search will be lonely.

I moved to New York Metropolis simply earlier than the COVID-19 lockdowns, which made it troublesome to attach with different design professionals. However I joined conferences and periods just about and met a number of connections that approach. Since issues have opened up, I’ve been in a position to attend native networking occasions in particular person, such because the Tech and Startup Networking Mixer.

Develop Cultural Competencies

Throughout a job search with American firms, these of us from Jap Europe or elsewhere exterior the US face a standard problem: speaking successfully in English and understanding American tradition. The preparation part is the time to get comfy with this.

Follow Your English-speaking Expertise

Talking in English with Individuals was an adjustment for me, however I used to be fortunate, as a result of in Ukraine I recurrently used my English at work when speaking to shoppers, and I had a number of American associates. Nonetheless, once I moved to the US, I found that the tradition and communication types in America had been completely different from these in Ukraine.

For instance, when an American asks, “How are you?” they’re merely extending a greeting, not searching for an account of your day. Additionally, in Ukraine I used to be fairly direct with my suggestions to colleagues, however within the US direct suggestions can typically come off as too blunt. I additionally discover that Individuals use a variety of idioms, so I ask for clarification once I do not perceive one thing, and more often than not individuals are good and don’t thoughts explaining.

I like to recommend connecting with a speaker of American English—on-line or offline—and speaking to them about day-to-day subjects. I do CrossFit exercises, so becoming a member of courses was a great way for me to satisfy folks and work on my English expertise.

Immerse Your self within the Regional Tradition

America is a gigantic nation, and communication types range from state to state. Once I visited Southern California, folks had been so open and pleasant. It was truly virtually overwhelming. In New York Metropolis, however, individuals are extra reserved till they get to know you. It’s busy and fast-paced. Due to these variations, I like to recommend familiarizing your self with a number of the distinguishing elements of the areas the place you’re making use of. Watch out for stereotyping or overgeneralizing, after all, however gaining some perception into regional context will be useful.

Good Your Portfolio

Your portfolio ought to mirror a robust private model. It’s value taking the time to outline this for your self: Take into account what your design philosophy and aesthetics are and look at the way you need to be considered by others. Your portfolio must also present your course of, since employers not solely need to see completed tasks, but additionally the way you resolved issues, workshopped or examined completely different iterations of a design, and interacted with stakeholders. I prefer to put my course of in a scheme that features the steps and actions every venture entails. I present how I got here up with varied options all through a venture. There isn’t any one strategy to doc your work—you will be inventive, so long as your processes are clear.

A list of steps to take during the design process, divided into four columns: research, ideate, design, and evaluate. Under each is a list of actions that comprise each step. Under “research” the list reads: online kickoff, value proposition, canvas, user interviews, secondary research. Under “ideate” the list reads: personas, information architecture, features ideas, lo-fi wireframes, style guide. Under “design” the list says: high-fidelity mockups, interactive prototype, and design system. Under “evaluate” the list reads: moderate usability testing, improve mockups, transfers to development team.
For every venture, I present not solely the completed product, however a map of the method my staff and I took to create it. It usually follows the four-step design course of that features researching, ideating, designing, then evaluating the ultimate product.

Make sure you have an “about you” part and embody private particulars like the place you’re from and what you do for enjoyable. This part can spark dialog and construct a bond between you and a possible employer. For example, I included that I converse 4 languages, and that I get pleasure from instructing and mentoring others in UX design. I additionally volunteer for a company that works to protect the orca whale inhabitants.

Begin Small

Once I launched my job search within the US, I reached out to a good friend who labored at Google, figuring a referral would enhance my probabilities of getting a place on the tech big. I had no actual understanding of the hiring course of and even the way to promote myself and did not land a job there. Had I utilized to smaller firms first to turn out to be acquainted with hiring practices and to work on interviewing, I might need been employed.

Don’t Be Afraid to Observe Up

Once I moved to the US, I believed that if an American employer didn’t reply to my cowl letter inside per week, that meant they did not like me. Not essentially true! A couple of days after contacting a company, it’s best to name or electronic mail the human assets division to observe up. In some circumstances, hiring managers could also be evaluating candidates on how proactive they’re or how they appear within the place, so following up can transfer your résumé to the highest of the pile.

As soon as You’ve Landed the Interview

You’ve despatched out dozens of resumes, constructed relationships with fellow UI/UX designers, and made certain your portfolio is pixel-perfect. You’ve heard again from a recruiter or hiring supervisor, and now you could have an interview on the calendar. Right here’s the way to put together your self to make sure your UX designer interview course of is successful.

Follow the UX Interview

Once I started interviewing, I performed mock interviews with a good friend and recorded them. It was solely then that I spotted I didn’t sound engaged or excited; my voice was monotone and overly severe. On the whole, I discover Individuals are sometimes extra animated in dialog; I nervous that I used to be conveying an absence of enthusiasm in regards to the job, and that I’d be perceived as impolite. I instantly started engaged on this. Recording your self can repay massive when you’re trying to enhance your interview talking expertise. For those who file your self utilizing video, you may as well get a great sense of your posture and facial expressions. The recording might present one thing you didn’t discover about your self, and in case you are courageous sufficient to face that, you’ll enhance enormously.

Put together to Talk about Successes and Failures

Ask the good friend who’s role-playing with you to ask you a couple of favourite venture. Then have them ask you to speak about one which was particularly difficult. Employers will need to hear the way you dealt with a failure or disappointment. My good friend Anna—additionally a designer—did this for me, and since she knew my work, she might level out particulars I might overlooked, or areas the place I used to be promoting myself brief. Afterward, I requested her to critique me. Was I clear? Did I emphasize my strengths and promote myself? Her suggestions helped me see the place I might enhance my voice and tone to raised display my pleasure in regards to the job. She additionally helped me assemble a extra refined story about myself and what led to my varied transitions to new roles all through my profession.

Professional tip: Though related expertise in a specific discipline will be helpful, some firms want to disrupt the state of issues, so earlier expertise may very well work towards you. Put together for this eventuality throughout your UX interview prep and prepare to speak about how your expertise will help in disruption efforts.

Present Enthusiasm

Your demeanor ought to display that you just’re desirous to land a brand new job. In my case, that took apply. Even once I was excited a couple of new alternative, my voice typically instructed a special story: I used to be usually nervous and busy translating the English in my head. I needed to actually work on projecting confidence and conveying my enthusiasm in interviews. That turned out to be a vital approach of demonstrating my competence and getting that decision again.

Share Your Profession Story

Storytelling could also be one of the necessary expertise for touchdown a job. An genuine story that demonstrates your ardour gives you a bonus over different candidates. It needs to be trustworthy; don’t say you all the time dreamed of turning into a designer if that’s not the reality. Personally, I’ve a background in structure, and I by no means considered turning into a UX skilled. Once I interviewed for jobs within the US, I instructed the story of how, once I tried UX design, I unexpectedly linked with the method.

I additionally share how the issues I did previous to turning into a UX designer formed my imaginative and prescient, targets, and priorities. For instance, I realized English whereas working as a bartender in Ukraine, as a result of my boss spoke solely English. It’s a great story as a result of I didn’t notice on the time how that job would assist me acquire the language expertise that will turn out to be so invaluable in my work as a designer. Join the dots in your life and inform your individual story. Even when the story is a couple of failure, if it reveals the way you grew to become the particular person you might be, inform it!

Don’t Be Afraid to Take Credit score

Design is collaborative, so it’s essential to display which you could companion with fellow designers and stakeholders, give and settle for suggestions, drawback clear up, and share the highlight. That stated, you additionally want to have the ability to discuss your private achievements. Be ready to level particularly to your individual contributions that positively affected a course of or product. I’ve observed that lots of my fellow Jap Europeans are inclined to underestimate themselves and keep away from declaring their very own strengths. This can be one thing we absorbed culturally; nevertheless, when making use of for jobs within the US, you want to go exterior your consolation zone and be capable of articulate what you convey to the desk.

Silhouette of a person on a Zoom screen. The headline above it reads “Prepare for a UX Design Interview by Practicing.” The items under the headline and at the right of the silhouette explain what should be practiced: “Telling your career story,” “Discussing successes and failures,” “Showing enthusiasm,” and “Taking credit when you’ve earned it.”
Treating your job interview like a efficiency can set you as much as succeed when it’s time to satisfy with a recruiter or hiring supervisor. I like to recommend not solely training your solutions to potential questions, however recording your self with a good friend doing a mock interview so you may analyze your strengths and weaknesses.

Reflecting: Wrapping Up the UX Design Job Interview Course of

After an interview, particularly if it included a number of rounds and a design project, you may be tempted to calm down, believing you’ve achieved all the pieces you want to do. But there are nonetheless steps you may take to maximise your probabilities of touchdown the position.

Ship a Thank-you E mail

E mail a short thank-you word inside 24 hours of an interview. Whereas a handwritten word is good, mail can take too lengthy, particularly in case your potential employer desires to fill the position shortly. If a recruiter facilitated your name and also you don’t have your interviewer’s electronic mail, ship a thanks to the recruiter and ask them to ahead it.

Attain Out As soon as Extra

For those who haven’t heard from an organization for 2 weeks, don’t be shy about sending a well mannered message to your interviewer asking if they’ve decided but. Supply to supply the rest they want. Do that to emphasise that you’re severe about and nonetheless serious about working for them.

Study From Your Rejections

Being rejected is disappointing and may have an effect on your motivation. Give your self time to sit down along with your feelings, then mirror on what might need occurred. Take into account reaching out to the recruiter or supervisor who interviewed you and ask for suggestions. They might not be prepared or in a position to present it, however often they’re. One design supervisor I interviewed with stated she didn’t have issues about my technical or design expertise, however felt I had room for enchancment in connecting my work to the worth it introduced the enterprise.

Her recommendation was to take one other have a look at my case research and check out reframing it round influence. She recommended organizing it like a narrative, highlighting the general narrative, beginning with the issue and segueing into how we solved it. She felt I wanted to enhance my storytelling and persuasion expertise, as a result of her staff included many colleagues who didn’t perceive the design course of effectively.

Get Clear on What You Need

You will be so targeted on getting an employer to say “sure” that you could be not have thought of when you truly need the job. They might have to decide on you, however you even have to decide on them. It is essential that the corporate you’re employed for helps your profession progress and your general life targets. In the long run, it’s about you discovering the appropriate match. By familiarizing your self with how the UX design interview course of works within the US and investing the effort and time to apply and put together, you may uncover the proper alternative whereas demonstrating that you’ve the abilities and skills to excel within the position.


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