Hiring product designers: processes explained

Strategy and tactics

Use real-life job interviews as opportunities to collect offers and make the most of your job search.
  • Spend 2-3 weeks preparing to maximize your chances of success, as a failure could set you back several months.
  • If rejected, they might consider your application no sooner than 6-12 months.
  • Eliminate basic mistakes to increase your chances of getting an offer. Practice with peers to feel confident.
  • Apply to as many companies as possible and collect offers instead of feedback.
  • Treat every job interview as an opportunity to get an offer rather than just practice.

To prepare for job interviews, it's essential to spend at least two to three weeks practicing and eliminating basic mistakes. This will help you feel confident and increase your chances of success. If you are rejected, the company may not consider your application again for six to twelve months, so it's important to put your best foot forward.

Top reasons why candidates are failing

  • They come unprepared!
  • Too nervous, anxious, forgetting words (hard to communicate).
  • Irrelevant experience.

People that are interviewing you have been through the same interviews, and they came prepared. They expect candidates to come prepared, too.

Preparing is easy but requires some time. We’d say about a month if you spend at least five-seven hours per week. Coming prepared is awesome for both parties. You both know what you are looking for and respect each other. Also saves time for both parties as well.

Most of preparing should be active practice with peers

One way to prepare is to practice with peers who can provide feedback and help you feel more comfortable talking to strangers about your work.

Real-life job interviews all have an interviewer — a person that will listen to you and ask you questions. A person you probably have never met before. You might either feel anxious while anticipating such an event, or you can practice with other random people until you feel comfortable talking to strangers about your work. In any case, there would be another human being interviewing you.

We have observed hundreds of candidates, and this stands true: one can learn how to talk with real people only by talking to real people.

There is no other way to learn the skill but to practice it.

Reading helps you learn what to expect and what exactly to prepare for an interview, but you should fast forward to practicing with other peers as soon as possible. Practicing with random folks eliminates anxiety, and you will come prepared for an interview.

Our practice sessions are built in a way where you have to listen to others. After the second listening session, you will realize what is relevant and what is not. This will help you detect bullshit and avoid having it in your presentation!

Treat real-life job applications as opportunities, not practice

Some people recommend applying first and preparing later. Some suggest “practicing” on companies you don’t want to work at, then applying to companies you like.

We think you should treat each application and each interview as an opportunity to get an offer.

You don’t want to optimize your efforts toward getting better at receiving feedback or handling rejections.

You want to optimize for job offers. So treat every interview as an opportunity to get an offer.

The goal of our platform is to help you prepare for interviews so that you get as many offers as you can.

Your goal is to get a job. If you have a bunch of offers on hand, you will choose which one you like or want and get a job. Not feedback or rejection, but a job. So try getting as many offers as possible.

The number of offers should be your metric, not the number of interviews. Even if you are not necessarily planning to work there.

There are psychological and ethical sides to applying to companies "you don't plan to work at."

First, psychological: some folks prefer treating rejections like "I never wanted to get there anyways" as a kind of coping mechanism. If it happens to you, consider if you are being honest with yourself.

Second, ethical: is that okay to apply to a company you are probably not passionate about? Well, consider this: if you haven't discovered anything particularly bad about them, people are nice, the product is fine, and you can be helpful–we think it is okay to know them better during an interview. Some jobs are not what they seem, and sometimes you might benefit more from going to companies you didn't think about before. Do your research. If the only reason you apply is to practice before applying to a company you think you want to work at, then it is probably a waste of time unless you secure an offer.

Having offers on hand helps you negotiate and feel confident.

Getting offers takes some time, but once you have one or two and you have a few more interviews coming up, you feel safer and more confident because you have already secured a job.

Also, once recruiters realize you already have offers on hand, they might speed up their internal processes at least to start with the first round of interviews sooner.

Also, if you have an offer already, you will have a solid position to negotiate a salary.

Preparing for interviews pays off because it increases the chances of getting an offer.

We'll explore tactics in the following article as a step-by-step guide. The whole course is built around how to make this strategy work.

In the end, the number of job offers you receive should be your metric for success, not the number of interviews you attend. So focus on preparing and optimizing for offers.

  • Eliminate most mistakes by practicing with peers. Practice with real people
  • Use real-life job interviews to collect offers, not feedback.
  • Optimize for offers: this should be your metric.
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    Presentum helps designers practice portfolio presentations with peers and connects them with hiring managers.

  • Prepare.

    • Use our step-by-step guide to optimize your prep.
    • Read our FAQs to avoid common mistakes.
    • Ask questions: we are happy to help.
  • Practice with peers.

    • Practice in a safe environment.
    • Get live experience and proper feedback.
    • Book peers whenever it‘s convenient.
  • Get hired.

    • Share your practice video on Presentum.
    • Hiring managers and recruiters will watch it and contact you if there is a match.
    • Improve your presentation any time.