Discussion about recruiting junior UXers

Continuing the discussion from Upcoming opportunity to talk with Cory Lebson about UX careers!:

Hi @jacquidow, this is kind of off topic to the thread, but have you interviewed anyone for the role?
I’m curious to know how you and your team currently interview and evaluate potential hires.
Apart from the ones you have already mentioned, what qualities would the candidate have that would make her/him the right fit?

I’m trying to figure out how I can improve my communication with interviewers, and anything you could tell me about this would really help me out.

@jacquidow @enlightened_06 I’ve split this out into a new topic so that it doesn’t take the other one off topic. Hope that’s cool with you guys. :slight_smile:

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I wasn’t sure it was the right place when I posted there.
Thank you for the move :slight_smile:

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Thanks @HAWK

Hi @enlightened_06 we haven’t started interviewing for this role yet, however we recently recruited a Senior UX designer for another team so I can try my best to explain what we were looking for now and how we went about the recruitment process last time.

Before I get into it, I found a really good report by the NNG group about UX careers for both people looking to get into UX and also for recruiters. Here is the link to it https://www.nngroup.com/reports/user-experience-careers/ it’s one of their free reports. It covers, what characteristics make a good UXer, the type of questions you’re likely to be asked in an interview and how to answer them well, as well as lots of other general information about a career in UX.

Firstly, make sure you have a CV that really stands out. We saw some really quite amazing ones during our last round of recruitment, one was designed to look like a wireframe, which was really novel! Make sure you really focus on designing an easy to read CV, focus on the main information a recruiter will be interested in. The worst mistake you can make is making your CV hard to read and hard to find the important stuff. Also, I’d advice against using percentage bars to display skill levels - putting 100% down for a skill shows that you think you’re perfect and therefore can’t improve, and putting less than 100% will reflect badly! If you want to use graphs in any way, I’d recommend something more like a pie chart showing how your different skills make you a more rounded individual.

In terms of what we are looking for in a Junior UI / Uxer is firstly being able to show us that they can think outside the box, and solve problems in a creative and novel way. We will also be looking for someone with a real passion for design. Being passionate about what you do goes a long way. Being able to show us examples of some work, whether it be a personal project or something you’ve done at work, and talk us through the thought process you’ve been through. Even if a piece of work isn’t your best, being able to do a self critique and show where you went wrong and what you would do differently or improve next time is a great skill to have.

Something else I will mention is my own personal experience, when I first left University I had in my head that I would go into Graphic design and probably an agency. I ended up in an interview for a software company, as they had advertised a Graphic Designer role. During the interview it became apparent they were actually looking for a web designer and they started discussing HTML coding and web site design, at this point in the interview I thought to myself that I had no chance of getting the job, I completely relaxed and started to talk about my passion for design and visual communication. 3 days later I was offered the job! I asked them what made them hire me and they said that you can learn the usability side of things but having a passion and creativity isn’t something you can teach. Then a year ago I decided to move to a new company and during the interview I was asked to perform a coding task, which I couldn’t do. Yet again I thought I had failed the interview so relaxed a lot and just let my passion for design and usability come out. It resulted in us all just chatting design and talking books and resources and the next day I was offered the job! Again, I asked why they picked me, and they said you can learn the coding skills (which they used for creating prototypes), but I showed other ways of prototyping - paper and Axure. Yet again, it was passion for what I do that got me the job.

One of the main reasons we hired our Senior UXer was his passion, (he’s an incredible UXer too, but is so passionate about what he does, and making a difference to how people use everyday things, and software and it really shone through in the interview. The task that we asked him to complete also showed how he thinks outside the box. We asked him to redesign a short registration process during which we are trying to do some information gathering. He suggested alternative and slightly different ways to get that information without a user feeling like they were giving us this data.

I hope I have answered your questions. Please feel free to ask more :grinning:

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Thank you so much for your answer @jacquidow.
There are a lot of things that I hadn’t thought about.
All my interviews were more like Q&A sessions, and they wouldn’t lead to an offer.
Even though I’m passionate about UX, I never focused on expressing that.

For me passion is more important than experience. You can gain experience, and if you’re working with somebody who is experienced you will learn quickly. But if somebody is passionate they will be eager to learn, which is what you want! :slight_smile:

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Yea I wish all recruiters thought this way. I am obsessed with UI/UX Design.

I think it largely depends on who is doing the recruiting, it has taken some convincing to higher management that we are not looking for a certain set of defined skills and a set amount of experience. Trying to help them realise that it doesn’t always matter with design was the most difficult thing.

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Calling @georgie into this topic!