The shortage of creative talent with interactive expertise is generating considerable demand for digital talent, especially user experience (UX) designers. According to The Creative Group Salary Guide, skilled web and UX designers are receiving multiple job offers, and hiring managers are moving quickly to secure the best full-time and freelance candidates.
To help ensure your best shot at the UX designer job you want, take note of these six interview tips for aspiring UX designers:
1. Expect the process to move quickly
Because hiring managers are looking to fill UX designer roles at a rapid pace, you could be called for an interview fast. Be prepared not only for the first interview but also for the second to happen within a short time frame. Know what to expect from a second interview, and make sure you brush up on interview tips even before you submit your resume.
2. Understand the scope of the UX designer job
Hiring managers who aren't familiar with the nuances of your field may blur the lines between UX design and visual design. During the interview, be sure to clarify the responsibilities of the role and find out whether other team members — full time or freelance — will tackle related tasks. Make it clear whether you are a generalist who can handle everything from wireframes to user testing to visual design or if you have a narrower skill set.
3. Focus on process and results in your portfolio
No list of interview tips would be complete without mentioning your portfolio. Use it to share the process behind your work and explain why you made key decisions. Keep in mind that employers are looking for results-oriented employees. Provide any quantifiable information about each project's success in terms of audience engagement and client satisfaction.
4. Let your soft skills shine
Candidates for UX designer roles need to come to the table with solid technical skills. But don't be surprised to find hiring managers are also focused on building a great creative team that's adept at client communication, as well as communicating with other members of the team. Be sure to demonstrate that you have good communication, organization and time-management skills — and a collaborative attitude. You should be able to work alone as well as part of a team.
5. Determine your salary range
Of all our interview tips, be sure you remember this one: Don't bring up compensation until the hiring manager does, but be prepared to talk money early on. A survey by Robert Half suggests employers are now more open to discussing salary early in the hiring process than they were in the past. The UX designer role is a salary-boosting job, with salary ranges increasing much faster than the industry average; experienced UX designer professionals in the United States are commanding salaries between $71,250 and $128,000.* Consult The Creative Group Salary Guide to find out where you fall on the spectrum.
6. Get the inside scoop
Aspiring UX designers should also consider working with a specialized creative staffing agency. Recruiters who focus on the creative industry may have leads on jobs that aren't even advertised. Specialized recruiters also have deep knowledge of the companies you're targeting and can offer interview tips and help you negotiate salary.
Remember, even though UX designers are in high demand, you need to be prepared to demonstrate that you're the right candidate for the role. When interviewing, show that you can do the job, that you want the job and that you'll fit in.
*Canadian salary ranges differ. Visit The Creative Group Salary Center for more information.