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Product Design Interview Training E-Book

Image of the author, Garron Engstrom

Written by

Garron Engstrom



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I've been in big tech and FAANG for almost my entire career and have interviewed and been interviewed hundreds of times. This has given me unique visibility and insight into exactly how to ace a product design interview.


This comprehensive e-book distills all of those insights to help you ace your UX interview. It outlines the different interview formats, how to approach them, and what questions to prepare for.


Interview formats covered in this e-book include:


Disclaimer: This document in no way represents the view of my employer or their interview process. All advice is generalized and based on my years of experience in the field.



Chapter 1

Building an Excellent Online Portfolio

It all starts with the UX portfolio. This is an online representation of you as a product designer. It must be compelling and stand on itĀfs own since it is the primary tool used by recruiters to determine whether they will reach out to you.


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Chapter 2

Recruiter Screening

Now that you have an excellent online UX portfolio, you're ready to start talking to recruiters, the first step in the interview process. It feels like the most casual of all interviews, but it is the most critical as it determines whether you move onto the next round of interviews to share your work with the product design team.


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Chapter 3

Portfolio Review

Remember that online UX portfolio? Now it's time to turn it into a slide deck and present it in person. Beyond the Recruiter Screening, the Portfolio Review it is the most common format and, in my opinion, provides the best signal across all UX skills (maybe with the exception of the Take-Home Exercise).


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Chapter 4

App Critique

The app critique can be the most daunting UX interview format because it puts you on the spot, and there aren't tried and true frameworks for how to approach it.


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Chapter 5

Background

Whereas the Portfolio Review is about the what -- what was the problem, what did you design, what was the outcome -- the Background interview is much more about the how. The interviewer, often the hiring manager, wants to get to know you a bit more and understand your collaboration and communication skills, proactivity and drive, and self-awareness. Sometimes this interview is referred to as the "Behavioral".


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Chapter 6

Problem Solving

Like the App Critique, the Problem Solving interview can be daunting because it puts you on the spot. However, instead of critiquing an app, you will be solving a design challenge from beginning to end.


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Chapter 7

Take-Home Exercise

The final interview format we'll discuss is the Take-Home Exercise. I saved it for last because (a) it is similar in nature to the Problem Solving interview and (b) it is a controversial interview format that I'm seeing used less and less. It is similar to the Problem Solving interview in that you are given a prompt and asked to design a solution. It's different in that you have more time to complete it from the comfort of your home, and the deliverable is often a higher-fidelity design. It is controversial within the design community because it can be seen as the company soliciting free design work. Some companies side-step this perception by either making the prompt completely irrelevant to their product, or simply paying the interviewee for their time.


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