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.

Your Content on a Silver Platter

Think about the last time you went out to a restaurant. What did you order? Where did you eat? If it was a high-end restaurant—the light (or the lack thereof), the ambience, the music, and the way your dish was presented all played into a delectable experience at first bite.

Now think of the time you got a similar dish for takeout. Most likely it came in cheap, disposable packaging. The food might have come in different packets that you had to mix yourself. Same basic ingredients—completely different experience. The way you frame your presentation is the difference between fast food and fine dining.

Setting up the Environment to Your Advantage

Aside from getting the following basics covered, remember, this is your time to shine, not shy away. Carry a leadership mindset with an executive presence to your on-site interview. The goal is to tell your story, show the work, and connect with your audience.

Practicing ahead of time by yourself or with your friends will make a big difference. If you really want to get into it, I recommend joining a local public speaking group or taking an improv class. Both will give you structure and frameworks for scripted or spontaneous scenarios.

Build Rapport While Setting Up

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