From How to Get into UX, to Job Searching and Interviewing Tips

— A Video Q&A Series

Shu Jiang
4 min readOct 15, 2020


If there is one good thing I have to pick happened in 2020, it is that I got to connect with so many UX-ers every week through virtual coffee chats (with all my commute time saved given the COVID-19 situation).

I started offering 1:1 virtual coffee chat since April via UX Coffee Hours, a volunteer driven platform where aspiring UX-ers can connect and schedule free virtual coffee conversations with experienced UX professionals. It’s hard to believe it’s been half a year already. I feel fortunate to connect with people all around the world, and amazed by the passion and energy with folks joining the call at 2am local time in India. I have learned so much, and it further confirmed my belief that mentorship is a truly rewarding experience for both sides.

Among all the questions I was asked, here are some of the most common ones.

  1. I have a different professional background, how can I prepare myself and get my first UX job?
  2. How can I make my portfolio stand out? How many projects should I show? How much details to include?
  3. What can I do to prepare for UX job interviews?
  4. How to prep for the whiteboard challenges?
  5. How to master app critiques? What can I do if I have never used the app picked on the spot?
  6. What are some common mistakes that you’ve seen from interviewees, especially during the presentation?
  7. What advice do you have for the job searching process? Should I focus on sending as many applications online, or finding connections?

… …

So here are some videos I’ve created recently, in addressing popular questions and struggles I learned from the virtual coffee chats.

How to get into UX — 6 things to land your first UX design job or internship

With a background in architecture, when I first started looking into a career change to become a UX designer, I had many questions and felt pretty overwhelmed. Without a UX-related degree, I was not sure what I need to learn and what steps I should take to break into the field. It took me a lot of efforts searching online, and asking around. This video covers 6 things that I find most helpful to land your first UX job.

How to Build Your First UX Portfolio

How to build your first UX portfolio? Where to start with? How much time should you invest in it? How would you know it’s ready? The ultimate goal of building a UX portfolio, is to get you an interview and move forward in your job searching process. In this video, I talked about four things you would want to know when building your first UX portfolio.

5 Tips for Creating a UX Design Portfolio

This video covered 5 tips for creating a UX design web portfolio.

1. Quality, over quantity
2. What’s your role
3. S.T.A.R. — a storytelling framework
4. Showcase key UX skills
5. About you.

5 Tips for UX Job Search | How to Keep Going When the Job Hunting is Getting You Down

When you keep trying and getting rejected, when you think you are out of options, when you start to doubt yourself… you are not alone. Job searching is an intense process that can mess with your mood. In this video, I’m sharing with you 5 tips that I learned, about how to pull yourself through a rough UX job search, and make it effective.

How to prepare for a UX job interview: 3 Things you need to know

In this video, I talked about three tips on how to best prep for UX/Product Design interviews. I hope you take away some key tips for your next interview.

  1. Prep your stories in three versions
  2. Be an active listener
  3. Practice, practice, practice!!!

How to Prepare for Whiteboard Design Challenge

In this video, I talked about four tips on how to best prep for whiteboard challenge, as part of design interviews.

How to Prep for App Critiques

In this video, I talked about three tips on how to prep for app critique, as part of UX design interviews. Most of the case, the interviewer will pick an app on the spot. Like other design exercises, it can be stressful if you are not prepared. However, app critique is a great chance for you to shine, and show your critical thinking.

3 Things to Avoid at UX Portfolio Presentations in an Interview

You have passed the initial screening, phone interviews and finally get to the last round to present yourself to potential employers. Having been on the side as an interviewer a lot over the past few years, here are some common mistakes that you would want to avoid.

About Me

I’m currently a UX Designer at Google. I have a background in architecture, transitioned to UX a few years ago. Without academic background in HCI, my journey was sort of learning by doing. I’m passionate about helping students and aspiring UX-ers in their path towards UX related careers. If you are interested on getting a portfolio review or general career advice, please take a look at UX Coffee Hours, feel free to book a 1:1 chat with me or other mentors. I’d love to connect!



Shu Jiang

UX designer @Google l tech • design • music • art • food • travel | Connect with me: