how to prepare for a UX on-campus interview with VMware

Today, the VMware Careers blog has a great post about how to prepare for a technical on-campus interview with VMware.  It’s a great post about technical interviews, and reminded me that I should post about how interviews for our user experience team differ from those interviews.

What types of questions do we ask?

We want to learn about your user experience skills.  We’ll ask about projects that you’ve done, and ask about the design and research process that you went through during that project.  If you’re doing a design interview, you can expect to do some sketching as we ask you to solve a design problem.  If you’re doing a research interview, you can expect to devise a quick research plan to answer a question.

Practice your UX skills

You can expect to flex your design and research skills during our interview.  As you’re working through your design or your research approach, make sure to explain your thought process, and ask questions if you need clarification.  Be comfortable in front of a white board as you sketch your designs.

Your resume is not a standalone document

Your resume doesn’t stand by itself.  Tell us about what isn’t captured on your resume.  If you’ve got portfolio pieces that are related to items on your resume, be prepared to show them and explain them.

Don’t be afraid to tell us about what worked and what didn’t work.  For example, if you had a research project where no changes were made based on your results, talk about what happened, why it happened, and how you might approach it differently to get a better outcome.  If your design didn’t work, tell us what didn’t work about it and what you learned from it.

Ask questions

We want to know that you’re going to fit into our team, and we want you to be happy here.  Ask us questions.  Is work/life balance important to you?  Do you want to attend conferences and publish papers?  In what areas do you want to grow in your career?  Is working for a green company important to you?  In other words, think about what you want in your first job out of college, and ask questions to make sure that you’re going to get that with us.

An interview is not, and should not be, a one-way street.  It’s not just about the employer determining if you would be a good employee.  It is just as important for you to decide if this is the right company and right team for you.  If you’re not happy, your job performance will suffer, and ultimately your career will suffer.  Take advantage of the time that you have with us to gather information that will help you decide whether this is the right fit for you.

Speaking of questions: if you’ve got ’em, ask away in the comments, or email me.

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