Ask the right questions!

Perhaps you are in the process of interviewing for a new User Experience position.

Great! Make sure you make a good impression by following all the ”standard” interview question guidelines. Usually at the end of an interview they ask you, “Do you have any questions?”

As a UX professional, there are questions that you can ask that can help you to decide whether or not the organization will be able to support the user-centered-design approach.

“Is there EVER a possibility of a UI/UX bug being a P1 (Highest priority) bug. If so, can you give and example, and if not, why not?” The answer should be your first clue.

Remember that your first impression is usually right. During the interview if you feel that this would be a very engineering-centric organization and that being an “agent of change” will be difficult—perhaps you should keep looking.

Even if you are being hired as an agent of change, you might think that you can find support elsewhere in the organization. Don’t Assume!

Another technique that has been used successfully has been to ask for an additional interview(s). Ask the recruiter if you can also speak with several of the other functions that were not included in the interview. If you want to do great user-centered design and user experience work, let them know that you will need to lead a cross-functional team. You need to “interview” the members of the extended team before you make your decision about joining the team.

“I know that I will have to work with Product Managers in the position, but I wasn’t able to meet any of them, would it be possible for me to come back another day and meet with a project manager?” “I know that content is a very important part of creating a great user experience, but I wasn’t able to meet with any of your copy writers, would it be possible for me to come back and meet with them?” “I know that QA is an important of assuring usability, but during this interview I was unable to meet with anyone on your QA team, would be be possible for me to comeback another day to meet with them?”

This shows that you truly understand that user experience is a leadership position that works with a cross-functional team. Plus — if they do invite you back to meet additional people, you can be assured that they are interested in hiring you !