Getting an Interview
Getting an Interview
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Senior Visual Designer Interview
I applied online. The process took 3 weeks – interviewed at Amazon.com in June 2012.
I applied online and received a call from HR the next day, who set up a phone interview with the hiring manager the following week. We had a great conversation and a week later I was invited for an all-day on-site interview. Shortly before the interview i was informed I'd have to make a 1 hr presentation of my work, and that they didn't want to see what was already in my portfolio; rather focus on 3-5 projects and go through problem solving, process, iterations, and final outcome. I literally spent 4 days getting my presentation together as I had to go through all my old work, etc. and felt I was fairly well prepared having spent my last five years at one of the top e-commerce companies in the country.
Day of the interview: Presented my work to about 7 people, a mix of designers and product managers. PMs were very focused on metrics and data which I expected. unfortunately my last company didn't freely share this info with designers so getting data was like pulling teeth, so my information was limited and I explained why. 1:1 interviews: each interviewer was furiously typing on their laptop while I spoke, which was a bit unnerving and I wasn't to it. The one Sr. UX Designer I met with talked was 20 min late and talked about himself most of the time, but also complimented me on my work and said amazon needed more visual designers like me, as most of their designers were more versed in UX than visual. The PM interviews were most difficult, shooting off question after question about metrics and data. The hiring manager simply asked what I would change about the site and he agreed with all of my suggestions.
Exactly a week later I was told they decided not to extend an offer, with no explanation. In hindsight I think my personality may have been too laid back for them so maybe it wasn't the right cultural fit... I am definitely a hard worker who is passionate about visual design, but perhaps I'm not type A enough for them. I did ask a few times about work/life balance since I have 2 kids under 5 that I need to worry about. The UX designer said those that work harder are rewarded more, and one of the PMs said it was up to you to set your own boundaries.
Definitely be prepared to discuss how your designs solved business goals and be specific. PMs will dissect any metric you throw out so be prepared to go into full detail...