Put a design challenge from a job interview in my portfolio?


Hey everyone,

I hope that one of the more experienced here can help me out with this problem.

Recently I applied for a Junior UX design position. They invited me for an interview and sent me a design challenge which was basically “Do a redesign of one of our landing pages.” I did the redesign and went to the interview, where I got the feeling that the Design lead I was talking to liked my work.

Unfortunately, I still didn’t get the job and they hired someone else. But I did not have the feeling that it was because of how I solved their challenge but other reasons (probably lack of experience). So I’m now thinking about putting the work I’ve done in my portfolio since it’s a nice small project and shows that I can also work with already existing products.

But do you think that it would be smart to showcase work that didn’t land me a job? I mean, what if I get asked about the reasons to do this challenge by other employers and had to tell them “I did this for another job, but they didn’t hire me” – wouldn’t that paint a negative picture of my design expertise?

What are your thoughts?

Thanks very much in advance!


I do think so, yes. People don’t get jobs for many reasons so you may as well get some value from the time spent putting that design together.


People add redesign projects to their portfolio all the time, and that’s what you’ve done. Position it as a personal redesign project rather than a failed interview assignment, beef it up with some retrospective research if you can and definitely put it in your portfolio if you dont have anything else.


I’ve included photos from a workshop I ran for an interview in my portfolio as it still shows an example of what I can do. Employers are aware that you might not have got a job simply because there was another more suitable candidate. They don’t expect you to land every single job you apply for.


Question: did you get any feedback from the company? If so, you may want to incorporate that into your work before you use it as a portfolio item.

I also wouldn’t paint this as a failed design challenge for a job you didn’t get. I’d paint this as a voluntary re-design you did as a passion project. To me, at least, this is true - it’s a piece you worked on in your own time, without pay or compensation, as a way to harness your love of design.

There’s no need to open the “I didn’t get the job I created this for” can of worms if you can avoid it.


I think the company made a loss by not hiring you. In my opinion, using the project as part of your portfolio is cool, but I do not think it is necessary to tell them whether you were hired or not.


If I was recruiting all I would care about is “do you think like a Ux” and I wouldn’t give a damn where the work came from; it could be a project you invented yourself. If it was from a previous interview I would be totally fine.

All I’m looking for is skills I can use