5 reasons not to hire a product or design candidate

5 reasons not to hire a product or design candidate

Hiring is hard. Hiring UX designers and product managers is harder. There are lots of reasons you might pass on a candidate. Here's a quick list that helps you reduce bias in your hiring process by focusing on tangible reasons to pass on someone.

Having hired designers and product managers across several roles, I noticed that design is always in flux.The responsibilities designers need in organisations can be a lot more fluid than product management. I wanted to share a few things I've looked for in hiring designers and a few key reasons I'll pass on a candidate with my design team. This list isn't exhaustive, but it helps narrow things and limit the excuse of culture fit.

1. They don't have a clear understanding of their choices

The biggest factor is whether a designer understands the choices they make and has reasons for it.

Imagine you walk over to their desk and see you the designer you hired solving a design problem. First, cool, you hired a designer!

You say: "Whatcha working on?"

They tell you: "We're trying to build an ATM for dogs."

You answer: "That's interesting, tell me more." I point to a sketch where there's a design pattern I've never seen before. Maybe it's something like a dial or knob with a bunch of numbers around it.

They say: "I'm glad you asked! Let me tell you!" And what follows is something along the lines of one of these answers...

A: "Well, I can't really remember, but it looks pretty cool, right?"