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Why give up on a selection process?

How attitudes can damage the professional image of UX/UI Designers

Why give up on a selection process?


Digital products are definitely where companies around the world have been investing their time and money on. While many were once on the fast track to the famous digital transformation, the new world has forcefully accelerated this reinvention process, so that it is no longer a trend, but a need to survive in the marketplace. To meet this high demand, companies seek qualified UX/UI Designers to lead, discover, create, test and implement their products; but when it comes to choosing the ideal candidates, even if they have different levels of maturity and expertise, they face a serious and constant problem: The dropout during or soon after the selection process. In today's article we will see how this behavior can be highly damaging and how to avoid it.



I want that job. Really?

As we commented in our article How to fail a selection process for UX/UI Designers, a selection process requires your full attention. It's not about being X type of UX/UI Designer and wanting Y type of position; but about applying wildly to any and all opportunities that come your way, without having understood the proposal in order to have a real interest. For this, it is advisable that you select a few (only the ones that really match your profile) and invest time, dedication and specific preparation for them. Once you understand the importance and size of the dedication expected for an effective application, you should think about a crucial point:

How badly do you really want this position?

Looking beyond technical skills, we must consider that people are very different from each other. The indicators of decision making for a UX/UI Designer's interest in working at a particular company can be very varied: The financial proposition, the benefits offered, the visibility and "glamour" of the position, the culture with employees, the products themselves, and more. At this point, there is no right or wrong: You just have to put these indicators on the table, define the relevance of each to your profile and professional goals, and build a decision based on this analysis.

The bad news is that this mentality is rarely used by most candidates. While companies have been investing heavily in job openings for UX/UI Designers, we repeatedly see the phenomenon of quitting - either during the process or after they have already been selected, professionals choose to break away from the opportunity, leaving a huge void in the company's expectations and planning.



Oh, I don´t want it anymore

Imagine a scenario where you receive positive feedback from a selection, being notified that you have been selected for a position. Yey! After a lot of celebrating, preparing and taking the necessary decisions and actions to start your new job (such as quitting your current job, moving to another city, etc.), you receive unexpected feedback from the hiring company saying that the position no longer exists, and that your hiring has been canceled. Immediately, the feeling is one of indignation, frustration, and disappointment, right? Well, that is exactly how a company feels when a candidate quits the job. I list below the most common cases that motivate such quits:


I didn't really want it

As it is well known, candidates tend to apply to many vacancies without at least reading their job descriptions carefully. So, if they are selected, it is clear that the company considers a genuine interest in the vacancy and follows through with the process, already expressing reciprocal interest in their profile. The longer it takes for the candidate to be frank and notify that in fact there is no real interest, the worse it will be for the company to make the right decision and finalize the selection process.


The selection process is very demanding

As we mentioned in the article How to make room for Junior UX/UI Designers, it's due to previous bad experience in recruiting, selecting and building their teams that companies end up creating very complex and long selection processes. As much as the intention is to minimize the mistake of hiring badly, such processes end up causing interested candidates to give up - Possibly, the most relevant reason is that during the long evaluation period, UX/UI Designers are found, evaluated and hired by other companies with a more effective and faster process.


I’ve been hired by another company

This is the most problematic case. As candidates tend to participate in several selection processes simultaneously, among several offers, one is the favorite. But if the positive news comes first from another vacancy (which is also interesting, just not as interesting as the ideal vacancy), for fear of losing the offer, they accept. Shortly after, the positive result of the ideal job also comes, causing the candidate, without blinking, to abandon the job that they had already accepted. By this time the company has already made plans, made preparations, and created high expectations, so their loss and frustration will be inevitable.

In this case, the best thing to do is to make clear your participation in other selection processes - it is undoubtedly better that the contracting party is aware of your real moment (so that they can anticipate and deal with this situation as they see fit), than to be surprised with an abrupt withdrawal.



Silent loss

Consider that in all the scenarios mentioned above there is a "silent damage"; such attitudes can be highly damaging to your professional image. As much as the UX market is indeed growing fast, we are still talking about a small market, where many contractors know many other contractors, and certainly, comment among themselves about their selection processes in search of recommendations and indications. So these are small losses that you may be accumulating, which in the not so distant future, may become barriers to the next big step in your career.

According to our article Find Your Own Professional Value, companies look not only for capable hands and minds, but for committed people. If during the selection process the company finds signs that raise red flags about your reputation and credibility, accept them or not, they will be relevant indicators that will certainly play against you.



Transparency is fundamental

If you are being contacted by several companies and recruiters at the same time, celebrate! This is a good sign: Your value proposition is convincing, your profile generates interest, your professional presentation matches your level, you were well-recommended, and more. In order for you to preserve your professional image and to ensure the best possible behavior in front of such recruiters, be sincere and transparent with everyone, always.

Such transparency even involves knowing how to say no.

That's right: If you are not comfortable with the proposed selection process, or the way you were approached, or you are not really interested in the position and/or the company, the best thing to do is to immediately decline. Be assured that a politely negative response on your part will not be frowned upon by contractors. It is much better to be honest in saying no, than to let your indecision become a problem that will hurt the company - and therefore you.




Treat a selection process with due attention. With the view that it is possibly the next step in your UX/UI Designer career, whether you are being offered a position or applying for it on your own initiative, be transparent and honest with everyone involved so that you reap the positive rewards of every decision you make.

About Mao Barros

Over 15 years in the Design field, working on visual projects such as graphic, illustration and Brands. For the last 10 years I've been working in digital projects as UI Designer, understanding UX and buildings processes using no-code tools to have a good deliverable to them.

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