UX project as part of the interview process?

1 year ago from , UX Designer

Hi there! UX/UI Designer here. I am currently looking to hire a new designer to help me with the design workload for a small startup ( Currently: 1 Designer (ME) / 16 Engineers / 3 Products ). I'm looking for someone that is seasoned in UX/UI, but can also jump into visual and production design when needed. As part of the hiring process I'd like to have the candidate's work on a design problem (something small and hypothetical on their own time) with specific deliverables (wireframes/prototype/comps) that we can then review as part of the interview process. Besides the implications of spec work or possible miscommunications does this sound like a reasonable idea for vetting candidates? I'd love to hear if any of you have experience with something like this? Any suggestions? Thanks a heap!

TLDR: I want to have interview candidates do a small UX project as part of the interview process.


  • aar hoff, 1 year ago

    The word "seasoned" makes a difference here. Professionals in that category should already possess the requisite credentials: resume, portfolio, references. Combined with an interview, that ought to satisfy any prospective employer/client.

    Given all that, I'd only consider a paid test, at which point the client would be better off just assigning some actual work as a kind of trial/probationary period before fully committing.

    Partnerships with newer designers might benefit more from a trial system due to comparatively fewer credentials, but either way, perhaps it's worth considering whether as a seasoned professional with a portfolio, etc you would do free work to prove yourself, that might guide whether it's appropriate to expect others to do the same. Cheers.

    1 point
  • Chinmay Kulkarni, 1 year ago

    Depends on what your definition of "small" is. 1 hour, 3 hours, 3 days?

    What are you aiming to find out about this candidate that you won't be able to find out through their portfolio?

    The issue with small projects like this is that they might not be indicative of the candidate's actual skill level. The candidate could a be a good designer when given sufficient time, whilst not performing well under 'test' conditions. The candidate could also be more concerned with 'selling' their project to the interviewer in order to get a job, than actually making something that works well. So they'll add fancy bells and whistles which don't always result a good project.

    That being said, I haven't formed a proper opinion on whether these designs tests are beneficial or not yet -- just thought I'd put my 2 cents in.

    Good luck with your hiring process!

    1 point
    • James Zerkel, 1 year ago

      Thanks for sharing you thoughts Chinmay! I've done a fair amount of research since I posted this and it seems the general consensus is that design challenges/tests have limited value in the hiring process. After hearing some stories and the reality that it is a kind of spec work, I'm inclined to agree. A better use of everyone's time is to do a deeper dive on the portfolio projects the candidates bring to the interviews. This allows them to demonstrate their competence and process in a domain they have experience in.

      1 point
  • Saroj Shahi, 1 year ago

    I don't have a specific answer but something similar was discussed in this podcast episode by Tanner and Jasmine. Hope this helps you get some answers.


    0 points