Getting a new job doesn’t have to be so difficult. I’d like to share some tips that I learned in my years of working with Product Designers so that you can position yourself in the best way possible and have a good chance of finding a job that fits your skills and sets you up for success.
First things first….Your Portfolio
The strongest candidates do this well:
- Have a strong portfolio website with actual case studies of the design projects you have done in the last three years. If you don’t have a website, Medium is also an excellent choice to showcase your work.
- In your case studies, list your role & title, assignment scope, discovery process, user persona, methods, wireframes, project objectives and outcome. The OUTCOME is all important!
- Show the UI element – you are a Designer after all!
- The best portfolios clearly show the context, considerations, and solution for the piece of work in a way that an outsider can easily interpret.
Next up….Your CV
- Present a well-designed CV which demonstrates attention to detail and visual design and layout
- Communicate your skills, experience, and interests clearly
- Again talk about outcomes!
- If you have a strong social presence (like a GitHub, Behance, Dribbble, LinkedIn, blog, etc.) working links should certainly be included
A successful interview with the Product Owner
This is likely the first time you’ll meet the Product Owner – there are various titles at play here, but ultimately you’ll be working for the Head of Product Design or indeed directly for the Head of Product.
In advance, you need to prepare well. Research the Product Owner – how long has she been there, where did she work previously, how big or small is the team, what is she talking about on social, blogs, website.
We always advise candidates to visualise and prepare for an interview that has four sections:
- Client Intro – let the Product Owner set the scene – they’ll likely talk about their role, their team, the business, the vision and finally the role they are hiring for. Listen, take notes and ask questions. This is golden time – you’ll pick up some amazing insight.
- Your intro – start right now and work backwards in your career for three years max – nobody really cares what you did an uni! Talk about the role you’ve done, who you reported to, the team you were part of and, most importantly, what did you actually deliver in outcomes or output. This overview should be no more than five minutes
- Q&A – this section is two-sided – you’ll get asked loads of competency based questions which are specific to your job or role. Things like “tell me about a time when you were behind on a deadline” or “tell me about your proudest moment in work”. Take some time to prepare three case studies or portfolio pieces that you can explain from beginning to end, with one of them perhaps a project that went wrong.
Potential questions they might ask:
- Tell me about yourself and your experience as a Product Designer.
- What are you looking for in your next job/career goals?
- What are you hoping to do or learn that you couldn’t do in your past roles?
- Why this company in particular?
Q&A is two sided! Don’t forget to ask them some POSITIVE, CURIOUS questions. They should be OPEN questions and show your curiosity and intrigue. Thing like:
- Whats your favourite thing about your company?
- What are you most proud of in terms of your job?
- Tell me about your most memorable project or assignment, and why?
YOU HAVE TO be able to:
- Clearly and thoughtfully explain what you’re looking for in your next job as Product Designer
- Why are you the stand-out candidate
- Ask questions that dig below the surface of the job description or company overview
- Present YOUR portfolio in a clear and concise manner that aligns with what the company is looking for in a Product Designer
- Show genuine interest in the company or product, and excitement for the job. The interview process is a two-way street and we get excited about candidates who are excited to speak about the job opportunity.
I hope these tips help on your journey to get a new job as a Product Designer. And if you are struggling to find a job that excites you, at the moment, we are hiring for a Lead UI Product Designer in Barcelona, Spain. You would be managing a team of Product Designers while still being hands-on with a focus on Visual Design and UI elements, for a software company that is famous around the world for their forms and surveys! Check out this AMAZING opportunity here.
Lydia Lovrich, Senior Recruiter