How to Increase My Chances for Joining Netguru as a Designer – Recruitment Guide (2022 Update)
Out of over 900 applications received in 2021, we hired only 19 designers. That means only 2% of our candidates completed the whole recruitment process. It’s very competitive, but we’re looking not only for great designers, but also people who would be the right fit for our team.
I spoke to our designers and the recruitment team to get some insights on what we expect from our potential designers. Here are some tips on how you can increase your chances of joining the world-class Product Design Team at Netguru.
Your application plays a key part
The application you send to us is a crucial factor in determining whether you will meet our recruitment team. As a designer, you probably know that what matters is not only the content, but also the form. Think about it when preparing your resume and portfolio.
Build a strong portfolio
Your previous work experience is important, but the designer’s real business card is their portfolio. Here are the key elements that we take into consideration while reviewing your portfolio:
- Including data and KPIs in your case studies – show us how you measure your work and assess potential risks, research the market and users
- Following best practices for grids, typography, and color harmony
- Applying good principles of interaction design and making your animations feel natural and well-paced
- Thinking holistically and considering also the technical, market, and client/budget limitations
- Paying attention to accessibility that goes beyond using the right contrast
We want to know what kind of projects you were part of and what your contribution was. Our designers work in close cooperation with clients. Not only do they execute clients’ ideas, but also act as advisors. That’s why it’s also worth mentioning in your CV if you’ve got experience in consulting, educating, and evangelizing clients or internal stakeholders, as well as describing the impact of your work on the business.
At the beginning of the recruitment process, we always verify the candidate's portfolio. Be mindful of it and share with us a portfolio you are proud of. Choose a few recent projects and build case studies around them. It's always a good practice to show your portfolio to fellow designers and ask them for feedback.
People Experience Specialist
Show who you are, not who you were
You should include projects you’re the most proud of, but don’t go too far back in time. Product Design is a dynamic field, so we expect our designers to continuously broaden their knowledge and develop their skills. If you send us work you created more than 2-3 years ago but none you’ve done recently, this won’t be to your advantage.
We encourage candidates to include the best and most up-to-date projects in their portfolio to show a spectrum of their skills – from early UX to high-end UI.
Showing outdated work is very often a determining factor in rejecting an application. We are interested in how you’re doing right now as a designer, rather than what you accomplished 5 years ago. Don’t get me wrong – I don’t want to say you should not include older projects at all, but show your best and most recent projects first.
Product Design Director
Take care of the form
The form is as important as the content, especially in design. A poor presentation of your work will speak against you. Your application should be in line with the industry’s guidelines and design best practices. Give more attention to polishing the form, thoroughly describing your case studies, and giving them some explanation and context. Keep in mind that your design should not only be aesthetic, but also (or even primarily) functional.
Tell us about yourself – we want to get to know you
It is true that we receive a big number of applications every month, but our recruitment team reads each one of them. We pay attention to your experience and hard skills but also enjoy learning about your hobbies, interests, and who you are as a person. A short bio will be much appreciated!
Of course, eye-catching applications with well-placed crucial info have an edge. Being able to present yourself by choosing the most important competencies that you believe are your strengths is a skill we appreciate as well.
Know your field
Design is a very wide area. Nowadays, the term includes UI or UX design, illustrations, interaction design, and many more. They all have quite a lot in common, but each area is unique at its core. Whatever position you’re applying for, you should know the differences between them. You don’t have to be an illustration specialist if you want to become a UX designer, but you should know the key characteristics of this field, too.
It is natural that at the beginning of your career, you might still be unsure which path you’d like to take. Netguru will give you a lot of opportunities to discover your potential and develop the skills in the area that fits your preferences and abilities best.
The right culture fit is a must
Having thousands of followers on Behance and Dribbble and an amazing portfolio with top-notch brands might not be enough to land yourself a job as a designer. Being a good designer is not all about outstanding skills and the knowledge of tools. Product design is a team sport. You will not score if you don’t communicate and cooperate effectively with your teammates.
We’re looking for independent designers who can take ownership of their work and are team players. The best candidate is someone willing to share their knowledge, help others, ask for help, accept feedback, as well as collaborate with colleagues from various backgrounds, nationalities, and cultures. Your skills and experience are important, but we need to ensure efficient communication and partnership in the team to live up to the expectations of our clients. It’s a required condition we verify during the recruitment process.
Communicate clearlyAt Netguru, we believe that communication is key to making projects work. That’s why we value the communication skills of our future candidates. We want to make sure that – when working on a project with a client or other Netguru teams – you will be able to communicate well and ensure smooth project delivery.
Here are some tips we advise you to follow:
- Speak clearly and coherently when conveying your message. The best way to answer the situational questions is by following the STAR method.
- Be polite and respectful.
- Be honest and never lie about your skills or experience. Admitting that you don’t know something is a much better way to go.
Showcase your potential
As we’ve mentioned before, we value great talent, but we’re also aware that designers applying to Netguru are at different stages of their career. Even if you don’t have enough experience for the position yet but your portfolio shows that you’re going in the right direction, it’s worth trying! We remember the people in whom we saw a potential and try to stay in touch or recontact them after some time and encourage them to apply once again.
Currently, we have a team of over 80 Designers (Product, UI, UX Designers, and Illustrators) who form a great team and try to share their knowledge and develop all together.
Prepare for the interview
Take some time to prepare for the interview. This advice applies to all vacancies at Netguru – not only to the ones in the Product Design team.
Do your homework before the first conversation with our recruiter:
- Read about the projects we do and our clients.
- Have a look at our profiles on Dribbble and Behance to get familiar with our style and see even more projects we have delivered so far. This may help you implement some changes to your portfolio as well.
- Read the job description and think about how your experience and competencies answer the requirements listed there.
- Take it as a given – we will ask about your motivation. 😉
- Prepare some questions for us as well – we like the interview to take a form of a conversation.
Prepare for the interview, ask questions, be proactive, be honest, and show curiosity. Don’t be afraid to admit that you don’t know everything. Sharing lessons learned from your projects demonstrates maturity and self-reflection, which every recruiter will appreciate.
Senior Product Designer and Team Leader
Prove your soft skills
Designers at Netguru frequently switch between projects. They work on tight schedules and with demanding clients. For this reason, you should be able to handle stressful situations and deal with problems effectively. On top of that, you should present your ability to collaborate with other teammates and clients. As a designer at Netguru, not only will you have to design interfaces and experiences, but you will also have to convince the stakeholders that your ideas and work are worth considering and implementing. Finally, we value constructive feedback in our team and being open to what other people think. Before the interview, think of a few situations from your own experience that prove the above skills. Speaking about them will increase your chances of being hired.
Don’t be afraid to show that you’re only human
It’s natural that in the recruitment process, you want to show the best of yourself, but bragging about what an amazing designer you are is not the way to go. It’s important to be aware of one’s advantages, but you need to know your weaknesses or shortcomings, too. Nobody is perfect, and we’re looking for people who are self-aware and continue working on themselves, improving, and learning. It may sound strange, but we’ll appreciate it if you openly share with us what you still can’t do or don’t like doing in your job.
We want to meet you as a teammate, therefore during a technical interview, it’s important for us to get to know your design work in Figma or Sketch from behind the scenes. We want to see what logic you follow when you design, how you communicate your solutions, and how you argue your decisions.
Lead Designer and Senior Team Leader
Pay attention to your English skills
We work with clients from all over the world, so fluent command of English is necessary for us to ensure proper work quality. Hence the whole written communication and the majority of the face-to-face interviews during the recruitment process is run in English.
Nevertheless, we don’t want to lose promising designers who don’t feel comfortable speaking English yet and need some assistance in this matter. If the rest of the recruitment process goes well, we would like to cooperate with such exceptional designers, offering them Language Development Path during their trial period. Their progress in language proficiency will be crucial during the first three months of work, and we will verify it on a monthly basis.
Are you ready to apply?
We hope that the tips provided in the article will help you prepare for applying to Netguru as a product designer. If you have further questions, don’t hesitate to drop us a message. And if you’re ready to apply, check our career page.