Before getting into the weeds of this article, I would just like to explain why I’m spending some time to write about finding a UX job you like.
As a UX Designer, one of my long term goals wasn’t only about working in interesting projects or companies that have a reputation but also finding a place that I felt was going to be the right match.
I failed in some places, but in others I was fortunate and I believe everyone can have a better chance of achieving their goal of landing their dream job by following a few simple steps outlined in this article. So let’s get into it.
There are a lot of articles that focus on networking, as much as I agree, this method focuses on online job descriptions to later on add networking into the plan.
Pre-discovery: About you
The most crucial step to start with is to understand how you see your future.
- What do you want from your new job?
- What don’t you want from your new job?
Answering these 2 questions, would help us to define our values. For example:
Now that you have a better understanding of your values and an idea of what you want, the next steps will be easier as now you have a clear direction and mission of what you want for your next job.
Now that we have these in-mind, it’s time to go and find job descriptions that align with your values. Remember, it’s not important if you don’t tick all the requirements.
Traffic Lights Method
It’s time to dig deeper into each job description. To follow this step we will use the traffic lights method. This method consists of using the 3 different colours we find in traffic lights into our job description document.
- Green: Mark in green every requirement, information or anything you know and are comfortable with.
- Amber: Mark in amber the requirements you know a little but don’t have enough experience to be green colours.
- Red: The requirement that you don’t know but there are opportunity to learn it.
The goal is to have a good summary of what we feel comfortable with (green), what we more or less know (amber) and what we still need to learn (red).
At this stage, you’re closer to find a job you like! Our next step is to write all these descriptions in a table and match them with our experience. Let’s go!
Example: Company X
⭐️Tip: It’s handy when we are writing the example to follow the SMART method. This article gives more information about it: https://www.smartsheet.com/blog/essential-guide-writing-smart-goals
Our role here, it’s to separate all the work we have done on the tables, and find and collect common questions they could ask us in interviews. I always divide it into 4 sections:
- General questions
- UX related questions
- Culture questions
- Questions you would like to ask them.
⭐️Tip: It’s important not only to focus on UX questions but also on the company culture. You will spend so many hours at that company so it’s important to have a good overview.
Finally, the time we were waiting for, where all the pieces come together.
Link all your work
Start answering the questions you gathered and related each question with each section of the table we created at the beginning of our journey.
First example → Here is one question they could ask us in the interview:
We will start checking the green table. Is there any example we can take from this table to build an answer? If yes, build the answer from that project. In our case, our answer could be related to Example 1 from the green table:
⭐️Tip: It’s important that you build your story around the job descriptions you have on your green table as these are the skills they are looking for.
Second example →
In this case, we are going to imagine we don’t have the experience they request.
They could ask in the interview:
We will imagine I’m the only designer in the company so I haven’t got the experience of working with other design folks, so it’s a red colour.
We saw in our red table that for the company is important collaboration and experience in mentoring juniors, so our answer could be something like:
Just remember not knowing or lacking the experience is not always a bad thing. They don’t expect you to know everything, but they expect you have a lot of enthusiasm and energy to learn that skill.
You’ll realize that following this method you’ll repeat your answers but changing them slightly according to each job description. You’ll also sound more and more confident after repeating and practicing each time until it’ll sound natural.
⭐️Tip: Following this method is quite visual so it allows you to see your strengths and your weaknesses so you can sell your weakness as an opportunity.
At this point, you are ready to smash it! So go and have fun!
And here we are: you did all your research, you designed your questions and answers and you had the interview. At this point, you will end up with one of these 2 answers:
- Yes, we want you. Congrats!!
- Sorry, but no. If you have this answer don’t get upset. There is still work to do but you are getting closer to your dream job!
If you receive a no, now is the chance to start doing some networking! It’s important to write a good answer back saying thank you for the time and (probably) for the new knowledge and experience you gained. If possible, always ask for feedback if they haven’t given it to you just yet. Also, it’s important to add them on LinkedIn, you never know from whom this opportunity can come, maybe, they thought you weren’t ready yet but what about if there is a new role? Or maybe a few months later? Or maybe they know someone else? Always worth it, don’t forget them just because you had a no.
⭐️Tip: It’s handy to review the questions they ask you so you can add them to your documents and review the answers.
I believe a big key is to think out of the box, think more widely than just your work, maybe there are experiences and adventures you can add on your tables that can work as answers for interview questions.
And remember to be human 🙂