You’re reading an excerpt of Land Your Dream Design Job, a book by Dan Shilov. Filled with hard-won, personal insights, it is a comprehensive guide to landing a product design role in a startup, agency, or tech company, and covers the entire design interview process from beginning to end, for experienced and aspriring designers. Purchase the book to support the author and the ad-free Holloway reading experience. You get instant digital access, commentary and future updates, and a high-quality PDF download.

Going on the Journey Together

Since whiteboards are an artificial challenge, it will be up to the interviewer to properly set you up. As the candidate, you’ll be driving the interview. However, since prompts vary and companies have different expectations, clarify expectations with interviewers up-front:

  • What outcomes do they expect to see?

  • How do they want to be engaged?

  • What role will they play in the process: are they designers, product managers, engineering peers, users of the product, stakeholders, researchers, or someone else?

Write down their response and what you won’t cover so that objectives are visible and clear from the start. At its core, the whiteboard is a highly visible space to build shared understanding quickly. Use this to your advantage.

Approaching the Challenge

Once you have an understanding of the interaction model, the process itself can unfold as predictably as the traditional double diamond design model that’s so often taught in school. Since you’ll be pressed for time, you’ll need to make the call on what steps to accelerate, where to skip, and where to dive into the details.

Figure: The Double Diamond Design Model

The double diamond design model
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