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October 2017 – Jay Kaufmann

As a digital product design manager, I care what people are passionate about. Doing work you like is important.

As an enabler of professional development at Zalando, I love to help designers build skills and rotate through jobs that give them joy, meaning and satisfaction.

But as a hiring manager I sometimes hear “I like” a little too much in job interviews.

Why don’t I like to hear “I like”?

Like is too weak.

When you’re talking about your passions, pull out all the stops. Tell me what keeps you awake at night, what gets you out of bed in the morning, what excites you about going to work.

I know we Americans water down meaning because we “love” everything, and as an ex-pat I’ve become German enough that that bothers me, too. I’m not looking for word substitution here — no swapping “love” for “like”.

What I mean: Really dig into your passion and show me what drives you. Don’t tell me what you like, tell me what you truly love.

Like is too little.

That you like something is not a good reason for a design decision.

It’s totally fine to tell me you enjoy using Pinterest or are fond of the animation you designed — or whatever it may be.. Your gut is a valuable guide.

Just follow it up with why.

Dissect the animation and tell me the mechanics behind it that you’re proud of. Explain how when you swiped that new interaction idea from Pinterest and built it into your prototype you saw users smiling in the lab. Give me the reasons and the reasoning behind the joy.

Live the examined like.

Liking is not doing.

Listen carefully to the question. Part of a job interview is indeed about your passion and interests — about what you want to do. But most of my time is spent understanding your skills — what you are good at, not what you like to do.

Of course, there is often a correlation. But in the end, interests are not skills.

I’m curious in the interview to find out how and where you might want to grow further at Zalando, but I also need to make sure from Day 1 that you have the experience and skills to do the job we hired you for. When I ask to understand your professional skills, tell me where you succeeded most rather than what you most enjoyed.

These are subtle points and this is not what will make or break your interview. But as you talk in the future, take the opportunity to dig deeper when you hear yourself say “like”.

In the Facebook age, liking is easy. Give me more!

Jay Kaufmann works in Product Design Talent & Community at Zalando, where he built the Tour of Mastery framework for User Experience designers after the launch of Radical Agility.

Looking for a UX job? Then join UXswitch or go to our Humanised Job Board. UXswitch was created by designers, for designers.



Source link https://www.uxswitch.com/avoid-like-in-job-interviews/

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