Navigating Content Design Interviews with Andrew Astleford

The interview process? It’s difficult.

Landing a job? The work can rack your mind and make you feel like a wreck.

No experience is the same. Hiring managers have different needs. Interviewers look for specific things that excite them. Questions and exercises are as diverse as the situations they fall within.

It can all seem overwhelming, especially for anyone trying to break into UX writing or content design.

I participated in a mentors panel for the UX Writing Academy. I don’t have all the answers, but I shared insights I’ve gained since entering the field in 2018. I tried to shed more light on the UX writing and content design interview process, which can seem mysterious.

If you’re trying to get your first content design job, remember this: It’s possible!

Be truthful. Be yourself. Be confident.

You’ll find something that’s right for you.

Part 1: Carry yourself well in job interviews

“I wish I would have had some of this insight when I was exploring my career transition.”

In the past three years, I’ve often looked back at my entrance into content design.

I didn’t have formal training. I didn’t take a UX course or attend a boot camp.

When I explored beyond journalism, I knew I wanted to write. But as I entered my first UX interview process, I was rather clueless.

I’m amazed that so many prospective career changers these days are much more advanced.

In the clip below, I spoke about memories from interviewing for my first UX job. I also touched on specific questions and how to carry yourself throughout a late-stage interview.

Above all, be yourself. Think about transferable skills and your experience in cross-functional environments.

You can do this! A little confidence goes a long way.

Part 2: Look for red flags

“That’s what I’m interested in—having a job that fits what I want in life.”

Likely, you’ll encounter red flags in your UX writing/content design job search.

Companies are so different. Situations are so different. Hiring managers and potential teammates are so different.

When interviewing, ask yourself this: Does the position align with what I want my day-to-day lifestyle to be?

After all, there’s more to this world than work.

In the clip below, I spoke about red flags to look out for when interviewing. I also touched on how I believe balance and happiness play a vital role in whether we’re effective in a job.

View interviews as two-way conversations. Trust your instincts.

If an opportunity feels right, you’ll know.

Part 3: Develop an awareness of design tools

“Don’t put a lot of pressure on yourself to learn a certain tool.”

After developing an interest in UX, you’ll hear about multiple design tools.

Here’s the good news: You don’t need to be deeply familiar with any of them to get a UX writing or content design job.

Good hiring managers look for people who are smart, adaptable, and can grasp new concepts quickly.

Tools can be taught.

It’s harder to teach effective soft skills that make someone dependable within a job.

In the clip below, I spoke about how you’ll likely work with numerous tools throughout your career. I also touched on how a company will invest in your development if you’re hired.

It’s good to gain an awareness of popular design tools. But, remember, tools change with time.

They’re only a small part of the story.

Part 4: Understand the importance of referrals

“Referrals go a long way.”

If you’re trying to break into UX writing/content design, consider expanding your network.

Meet people. Learn UX principles. Gain work samples. Create content about your experience.

If you develop a reputation as a curious, passionate person, good things can happen.

In the clip below, I spoke about the value of referrals in the UX writing interview process. I also touched on how it helps to develop an awareness of specific companies that interest you.

Don’t force anything, and don’t be too eager. But never be afraid to start a conversation with someone.

Seek knowledge that will help you as you continue your journey.

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