Originally posted on my Twitter in Indonesian 👉🏻 Link to thread
Since 2016, I had a dream to try to work as a designer outside of Indonesia at least once, but always failed, until finally it became true in 2021. I want to share my experience on doing an interview as a designer in a company from outside Indonesia. Who knows, it can be insights for those who want to try.
About design interview abroad 👇🏻
Disclaimer: These are all my personal experiences since 2016. There might be differences with others.
Apply to 76 companies in Techinasia, 70 unsuccessful, 6 connected but all of that 6 failed in the interview process. That doesn't include those via linkedin. Stupidly, the failure has never been reviewed and improved. Even more random apply to more companies. Total interview maybe 20s.
Also, in 2018, I was actually considered based on hard skill, but it was dropped because my English was very bad. Note that the reject letter is like that.
Until finally, at the end of 2020, I got an interview invitation from one of the company from Dubai that made me renew my portfolio. And ask for help from my friend Briandito to review my portfolio. At that time, I was also have the intention to try to apply to Bray's office.
These are some of the lessons that I've learned from the interview journey that I've been through.
This is what I haven't done before, never asked for feedback so I don't know which part that I can improved. There are also some companies that give feedback automatically when they rejected someone. Just write it down, continue to use it as an improvement for the next interview.
This is a lesson learned again from my supportive friend Briandito. In every company, there must be the same questions that come out. So, write down the pattern, so you can prepare the best answer when asked later.
This is very, very helpful so that you doesn't get clueless during the interview. By making an outline, I know where my answers are going. Incidentally at that time, the pattern list was copied from Briandito again, so all I had to do was make an outline from there. That's how good he is.
Compared to a lot of local Indonesian companies, the take home test is one of the main assessments in the hiring process. From what I've experienced in many interview sessions for foreign companies, it's a bit different.
A total of approximately 75% of the hiring process that I attend, it's not a take a home test. Just the portfolio presentation and whiteboarding challenge. That's why this is one of the main consideration for the companies anyway.
There are even some that are only portfolio presentation without any other test. That's why the selected works shown in your portfolio are very important.
I also feel like my failures in the past were simply because of bad portfolio (also my English of course). Cannot communicate outcome, thought process, etc. In the portfolio that I'm presenting that made me got an job offer here, I try to apply the great porto by Budi Tanrim. ️
During the interview, there was a question “did you ever design for JP users? You seem to have limited knowledge about JP market”. Luckily, I've read a lot before about the fundamental differences in design and behavior between JP and ID/Global people.
It seems that if several points above you do, it seems that there is no need to be too barbaric to apply randomly to the overseas company. Just choose a few who have a vision and mission that relate to your personal goals. Continue to show them in the interview session, if you "share the same value".
This is important, I always stutter when I do the whiteboarding challenge several times. Always jump to the solution because I'm too nervous. You should stay cool, explore the context and problem first, then look for a solution. But at this stage, being calm is quite difficult for me haha
This are great tools for whiteboarding design practice: https://designercize.com/
You can pick a random challenge according to the level of difficulty, it's good to be able to help you calm and think more structured when doing whiteboarding.
During the interview at my current company, it lasts for 3 months and has 10 interview stages, it's really long. But each stage is only 30 minutes, there are 45 minutes only when it's just the portfolio presentation.
Anyway, I hope this useful for those who want to try 🙏🏻
End of Thread. Thank you for reading!