AMA: Noah Levin (Figma)

over 3 years ago from Noah Levin, Design Director, Figma

  • Jesse VenticinqueJesse Venticinque, over 3 years ago

    Hey Noah - do you have any tips for sourcing new design hires, and what's your interview process (portfolio review, interview structure, etc).


    4 points
    • Noah LevinNoah Levin, over 3 years ago

      Oooh that's a good one. Thanks, Jesse.

      So for sourcing, I look EVERYWHERE I possibly can. I try and talk to people at meet ups, I look at twitter for interesting conversations and things people are sharing there, I look on LinkedIn, and I look when companies launch amazing products and try to figure out the teams who worked on them. I’ve found when you reach out directly to people who work on things who make stuff you love and have genuine things to say about it, they’re often responsive (even if they aren’t actively looking).

I’d also say that just writing and externalizing our process more tends to get the attention of more designers who might then think to reach out to us/me proactively. Most recently I wrote about Design Critiques at Figma and a while before that I wrote about How We Built the Design Team. Those have driven a lot of inbound candidates our way — next up I’ll probably write more about the relationships between PM/Design based on an interesting twitter conversation from our Product Director.

      Regarding our interview process, it usually looks like: 1) Phone screen / portfolio review (often times 2 of these, one with me, and one with another designer). Then 2) On site interview with a 50min presentation sharing 1-2 projects to a room of about 5-6 people (designers, a PM, maybe an engineer), followed by a series of three 1-on-1 (or 2-on-1) interviews focusing on diving deeper into a number of skills we’re looking for. Most recently, we’ve been looking for evidence of skills in 6 key areas:

      1. Product Strategy: Do they ask good questions to know they are solving the right problem? Do they have a good process?
      2. Craft (Visual): Is there type and sense of hierarchy and execution clean and well crafted? Are they able to follow an existing visual system?
      3. Craft (Interaction & Prototyping): e.g. can they handle systems thinking?
      4. Communication: Is it easy for others to understand them and their ideas?
      5. Collaboration: Are they easy to work with? How do they handle conflict?
      6. Getting Things Done & Shipping: Can they be productive and make things happen? Does their work ship or do they care about that?

      With every step of the interview process, we always leave a lot of time to answer questions people may have about us. It’s always a 2-way-street. The best fits are entirely mutual for both us and for the person we’re speaking with!

      Hope that helps!

      p.s. thanks for all your work on Fitbod, I use it every single week!

      10 points