#23 How to prepare for whiteboard challenge or app critique during a UX job interview

I totally understand that you get nervous, and want to prepare as much as possible, when you have an upcoming UX job interview with a whiteboard challenge or an app critique.

Here are things that you might want to consider.

  1. Try to put yourself in a user’s shoes and feel/experience/think the product from a user’s perspective, rather than trying to see things as a smart expert observing from an outside.
  2. Try to see a forest first (big picture) rather than getting caught up in each tree (details)
  3. Focus on the most important feature/task.

All of these will help you think about how you would use the product in your life in which context (where, when, how…etc)

The product could be the app your are asked to criticize during an app critique session, or the web application you are asked to design on a whiteboard.

It’s important to put the product in a context that it belongs when it is used.
Once the product is put in a context, it will naturally reveal what works and what may not work, what you may want to improve/change, or what actions you may consider/etc.

In addition to these, here are some more general things that you should keep in mind.

  1. Try to think out loud so that the interviewers understand your thought process.
  2. Try to be as crisp and clear as possible when you speak out loud.

Hiring side typically wants to see your thought process, how you approach problems, how you articulate your ideas and communicate to others effectively. 

They also want to see if you are a team player with a good positive energy, and a right fit for their team or not.

“App critique” or “white board challenge” (or whatever it is) are more or less just a vehicle to see how these aspects of a candidate come through.

Relax, be yourself, be friendly, be excited, be confident and enjoy the whole process as if you are working as part of the team with your interviewers.

Then you will be fine!

Even if you didn’t do well during your interview, going through an interview process to prepare for a whiteboard challenge or an app critique under pressure by themselves give you invaluable lessons.

Your experience will not be wasted.

Check out YouTube version too!

Also, check out Why it’s important to have 2 different UX portfolios too!

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