What UX recruiters should stop doing?

Please note my thought below will not help you judge the candidate’s nature or behaviour. This article is to only help pick the right candidate based on their UX design test submissions or whiteboard challenges 😇

  • The first round of portfolio presentation had more than 10 panelists which itself was very strange at the start. Do we really need the whole team to be there when you are interviewing a candidate?
  • Then the test discussion was totally silent from the panelists side and only the candidate was expected to speak. Basically it was not a two way discussion! Don’t know what was the purpose here!
  • Third discussion was then for panelist to talk about the test and candidate was not allowed to answer anything. There were assumptions thrown from recruiter however, candidate was not given chance to explain their thought process. Whatever thought process candidate has needs to be actually spoken in the previous round.

Consider interview process like a problem statement or a project and think about UX frameworks and methods we use at work to understand about our users

We choose among various frameworks and methods to understand our users, needs and context. Why not do same for designers while we interview them? Having good experience for the candidate in the interview process is very important and interviewers should see their candidates as their “users”.

  • Diverge and Converge — What does the double diamond approach teach us? Why do we use diverge and converge method? Because, we get many hands and minds involved in solving a problem which offers a diversity of insights. In diverge stage the candidate works independently on the test and comes up with various ideas (which of course might not be completely right). But, in Converge stage when we discuss the solution in a group, we sure can get a sense of understanding which helps us to know if candidate is going in a right direction and what/how do they think. As a recruiter you may have different ideas but the same ideas will never come up with a different set of people. Hence, looking for same answers might not give justice to the candidate’s performance.
  • Design Reviews — What is perception and why we take third eye opinion while designing? Why do we need design reviews? Why not do this while interviewing? We sure fail while we design independently at work hence we have workshops for reviews wherein we get fresh perspectives. Assessing candidate’s test is similar to the design review where it is expected for a person to miss out a bit because of time constraint or lack of real user research etc. Do not pick on visuals if test agenda is to see problem solving skills. Make sure to convey or check the agenda of test. Is it to assess the visual design abilities or UX design abilities? We can decide based on what is expected and what or how much is done by the candidate.
  • Choose right audience — Choosing right recruiters/panelists is same as how choosing right users is important for our research. I need not explain much here because I think it’s self explanatory 🤔. If we have Visual Design specialist for UX Design interview then it might not lead to a good path. The candidate should be assessed by the right set of panelists to get a good hire.
  • Crazy eights — Why do we do crazy eights activity for layouts and wireframing solutions? Are all 8 perfect and right? No! So, if the candidate comes up with ideas which are diverse and closest to the problem statement then I think they are good to go. We can always discuss with them and understand what assumptions they took and how did they reach to the solutions/ideas.
  • How might we’s — We can consider how might we approach when candidate lists down their future steps or future scope at the end of the test. Let’s understand that they have put that section in their test due to time limits and they have thought about the extensive solution for the problem statement. Yes, just mentioning the future scope is not enough, but it is also important that the scope is technically feasible, it matches the needs of the user, it creates value for business etc.

Hope you too could relate to these experiences 😊



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Smita Dessai

Smita Dessai

All the articles written by me are my thoughts of reimagining everything with creating useful products for the users and sharing my experiences in real world :)