IXD302 – Week Four: Interview Skills

In this week’s lesson with Daniel, he spoke to us about the skills required for job interviews, which was very useful for me as it helped me to feel more prepared for when I am interviewed by placement companies.

What you should think about for an interview:

Whatever they ask you, tie it back to one of these, even if it isn’t obvious what the question is asking.

  • What are your values? They should make you employable/be desirable to an employer.
  • Prior experience.
  • Understand the role, explaining how you know the company.
  • Enthusiasm – why do you want to work there in the first place, why are you the best person for the job?
  • Willing to learn – past mistakes, problem solving skills.
  • Aspirations/motivations – what drives you, where do you want to go?
  • User-centred approach – part of your process/motivations, this should be a big one and will show you have a good set of priorities and ethos.
  • Prepare speaking points – have some good stories in mind.
  • Sell yourself using your strengths – use examples to back up your claims.
  • End on a positive note.

Daniel also recommended an article to us about interview questions and what they truly mean, and how to properly answer them.

https://www.coursera.org/articles/ux-designer-interview-questions-and-answers

I found this article to be very helpful, as it gives a lot of informative facts about the truth behind certain interview questions. I have always found that I find it very difficult to understand what employers are asking me in interviews, and that I always feel like I have said the wrong thing to them.

Workshop

We were then broken up into groups of two, where we had to pretend to interview each other in turns as if the other were a potential employer. We were each given a different set of interview questions which the other person had to answer.

My set of questions were:

1. What’s your definition of UX design?

2. Tell me about a project that you’re most proud of.

3. Can you name any design leaders that you follow?

4. What do you do if you disagree with a product manager or teammate?

5. Who or What inspires you to be a UX designer?

6. When a client says: “I don’t like this design.” What do you do?

7. What made you interested in this position?

8. What would you say is the next big trend in UX design?

I then had to fill in an interview mark sheet, in which I rated each area of the candidate from a scale from 1 to 5. These included work experience, strengths, mistakes, inspirations, motivation, process, company and overall impression.

I was then given a different set of interview questions, to which my team member asked to me. These were as follows:

1. Can you tell me about yourself?
I’m Jess, and I’m an Interaction Design student at Ulster University. I’m currently in my second year, looking for placement opportunities to expand my knowledge and skillset in the areas of UX and UI Design.

2. Why do you want to work for us?
I have been following your company for a while, and grew very interested specifically in the work that your company produces, as well as how well-known you are in regards to treating your workers correctly. 

3. What is your favourite project you’ve worked on, and why?
My favourite project so far has been developing my own personal brand identity, as this allowed me total creative flexibility, and allowed me a chance to show my own personality and skillset through a brand, which I could then use throughout all my work.

4. Tell me about a time when a project didn’t go as planned. How did you fix it?
There was a project last year based around developing an infographic on any topic that we desired. I found that I was struggling a lot with finding inspiration or ideas, and I was starting to panic due to the time-sensitivity of the project. But I took the time to jot down as many ideas as I could onto paper, using a variety of idea generation techniques to fill the page, and eventually I was able to choose my strongest one. The project ended up resulting in one of my favourite final pieces that I have come up with yet.

5. What are some websites and apps that have great design?
I think that everyday apps such as Twitter, Instagram and YouTube are easily overlooked as well-designed applications, as their sole purpose is to function so that they can be understood in the simplest terms, even by people that aren’t particularly tech-savvy. They are designed to work well for any user, and they all work so fluidly but can be differentiated between each other.

6. What is your design process?
My projects always begin the same way – on paper. I come up with as many different ideas as I can. Then, I choose the strongest one from my pile of ideas, which is then developed onto further. I take inspiration from other designers and websites, particularly using sites such as Dribbble or Pinterest.

7. Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
In five years, I see myself working as a UX or UI designer, most likely in a local company. I have always found myself looking for new ways to do better, so I will still continue to be reaching for new goals within my workspace.

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