How do we hire designers? A bit about our process.

Right now, Zoosk is looking to hire a UI Designer. We’ve hired quite a few people in the last year and a half, and our process has evolved over time, so we thought we’d share.

Step 1: Reviewing Materials

The first step in the process is that the Director of UX (that’s me, Beth) reads every cover letter and reviews every portfolio that gets sent. If the resume looks promising, but a portfolio is missing, I’ll email the candidate to request one. Likewise, if the portfolio is light or out-of-date, I might email to check if there are more recent work samples available.

Step 2: Team Portfolio Reviews

The second step is that any portfolios that Beth deems promising for the position are sent to our three UI Designers, Pou, Charmagne, and Danielle. The three designers individually review every portfolio and cover letter, and then meet together to discuss who should progress to a phone interview.

Step 3: Phone Interview and (possible) Design Challenge

The third step is the phone interview, with either the director or a designer conducting it. The phone interview gives a sense of who the candidate is as a person, and whether he or she is a possible fit for the position. If these things check out, but the portfolio is light, we may give a design challenge at this stage. The candidate will have a week to complete it, and then we’ll discuss it either in another phone interview or in person.

Step 4: On-site Interview

If the candidate is outside the SF Bay Area, we conduct two phone interviews; if not, the next step is typically an onsite interview here in our SF office. We have four stages of the interview: UI Designers (1 or 2), Interaction Designers (1 or 2), a Product Manager, and the Director. We all have different things we’re looking for, but may ask some of the same questions to see how someone explains, for example, something differently to a designer vs a product manager. Our process is a lot of work, not just for the candidates, but for us, too! However, we get great satisfaction out of knowing that we’re careful, fair, and approaching the problem of hiring from as many angles as possible.


Interested in joining the team? Read the full UI Designer job description and apply!