Hiring product designers: processes explained

Hiring party team's perspective

In mature companies, a team will interview candidates on the final day and submit their feedback to a hiring manager. Here's why it matters.
  • On the final day of the interviews, 4 to 10 people will interview you.
  • Most of them are managers or tech people.
  • They will submit feedback on you in the applicant tracking system after the interviews.
  • It all boils down to if they want to work with you.

The product designer plays an integral role in everything: learn from managers on business goals, be a protector of users' interests, collaborate with developers and UX researchers, deliver a polished end result and feel the chill of running A/B tests. Yes, we have put it on ourselves and have to bear all that. It comes with the role.

That is one of the reasons you will be interviewed not only by other designers but by all sorts of researchers, managers, engineers, architects, and so on.

On the final day of the interviews, 4 to 10 people of different roles will interview you.

The only thing they want to know is if they will be comfortable working with you.

  • Can they understand what you are talking about?
  • How would you behave in such and such situation (that probably scarred them in the past)?
  • Can they learn from you?
  • Are you an okay person?
  • Do they trust you?
  • Do you speak the same language? (And I don't mean English or whatever, I mean — the same language.)

You will do your presentation and then start interviewing with them one by one. Each of them will ask you questions that are relevant to working with them. This is why it is so hard or nearly impossible to cheat your way in: if you are honest and open-minded and have had the experience you talked about in your resume and during your presentation, it will show up.

It is also useful to keep in mind that non-design people should be able to understand what you are talking about during your presentation and the value of your individual contribution. Some of the designers think that they should practice with other designers, while in reality, most of the product work happens with the team.

They want to see if they can collaborate with you. That is one of the reasons why most recommendations suggest you emphasize not only your individual contribution but also share your XFN examples.

How hiring decisions are made
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