Table of Contents

  1. Getting Started
  2. Candidate Pre-Review
  3. Phone Screen
  4. Background Interview
  5. Portfolio Presentation
  6. Product Critique
  7. Reference Check
  8. Offer Call
  9. Other Activities

Getting Started

Hiring Principles

  1. Hire people closer to your users
  2. Move quickly - no more than a few days between contact. We’re in an aggressive market where the top talent is highly sought after.
  3. Focus on long term impact of role and not the generalized day-to-day responsibilities that are similar with every job posting out there.
  4. Look for passionate advocates rather than collective okays.

Small Teams

  1. Small team need generalist - can do at least 2 things well
  2. Need to build ritual for team (process)
  3. How does the organization engage with the new team
  4. High-level of ambiguity - self-govern and pro-active problem solvers

Assessing Candidates at Each Step

Write Job Description & Scorecard

Leverage a job description template


  1. Write a thank you letter to the new employee as if a year has gone by and you list off what they’ve accomplished.
  2. Write those accomplishments/outcomes as role expectations
  3. Determine compentencies that are most important to the role

Source Candidates

  1. Reach out to your existing network
  2. Recruit on LinkedIn, especially look for designers at company’s with quality design practices. Reference: Design Mature Companies
  3. Find candidates within design communities (Dribbble, Behance, )
  4. Finding products that you like and find who designed them. Focus on casual conversation and networking before asking them to work for you.
  5. Google Form on your company’s Medium publication
  6. Use an online job recruitment platform, like Vettery.
  7. Use a recruiter

Candidate Pre-Review

Resume Evaluation

A quick review of the candidate’s resume to look for good signals of expected experience level.

View Resume Review Details

Portfolio Evaluation

A quick review of the candidate’s entire portfolio. If possible, find their portfolio on your own. A recent trend is more portfolios are behind passwords. When the candidate says they’re interested in the role, request access to their portfolio for the team to better understand their work experience.

View Portfolio Evaluation Details

Phone Screen

The goal of the phone screen to find out if the candidate is the right fit for the company and the team based on salary expectations, role and responsibilities, skills required, potential interest, and communication skills. It’s also important to understand what they’re passionate about and if it aligns with our goals.

View Phone Screen Details

Background Interview

The goal of the Background Interview is to deeply understand their career past and how it can provide indication on what the future holds.

View Background Interview

Portfolio Presentation

View Portfolio Presentation Details

Product Critique

View Product Critique Details

Reference Check

View Reference Check

Offer Call

A call to present the offer you’d like to give the candidate.

Other Activities

Design Interview

The goal of an in-person Design Interview is get a detailed understanding of how the candidate works (their process, decision making ability), the quality of that work, and how they work with other team members of the product development lifecycle. It’s also a great opportunity for them to learn our team and process.

View Design Interview Details

Remote Design Interview

An alternative to the in-person Design Interview.

View Remote Design Interview Details