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We are hiring a Senior UX Researcher to join our team and I have been given the task of coming up with a design challenge/task that the candidate will have to do at the third stage.

The idea is to create a task that they will need to complete within a week and put in a Presentation to present back to the team in the third round. Design challenges for Product/UX Designers are easy enough to come up with but does anyone have any ideas of challenges for UX researchers to assess their Research methods and skills?

The best example I found on the web was this one from Google: An Alzheimer’s Association received partial funding from Google to research how Google Home could support people with Alzheimer’s in managing daily responsibilities and staying in touch with those people they care about. In only four weeks and to get funding for the entire project, you need to demonstrate Google Home’s potential to improve these people’s quality of life. Your Research Plan — presented in 5 to 8 slides — should include details about the timeline, selected research methods, participants and expected outcomes.

Would love to hear any other examples you may have.

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    I dunno if that's a great example question. It's very much expecting an answer of "Google home is great for this!" regardless of whether it is or not. I.e. a leading question
    – mgraham
    Aug 19 at 7:10
  • Yeah, I see your point, it was the only one I could find online.
    – BoneStarr
    Aug 22 at 5:51

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I would strongly recommend you pick a research problem that is relevant to your organization, perhaps one that you've already finished, and have the research candidate walk through it face-to-face in the interview, rather than taking it home. Here are the reasons:

  • A good UX researcher will be asking you a number of questions to clarify the problem to be explored. That's easy to do in a conversation, harder to do when they're off on their own, not seeing you again until the presentation.

  • Take-home projects can be completed by anyone; you have no way of knowing if your candidate did the work, or hired someone else to do it. (Yes, people do this.)

  • Similarly, if creating a presentation deck is going to make or break the candidate, you might over-index on hiring someone who is awesome at designing/giving presentations, but who might not be the most skilled researcher. It's fair to require good presentation skills, but again, an eager candidate might outsource the deck and you might not get a fair assessment of their competencies. You can ask for examples of past work to assess presentation design skill.

A thorough conversation that includes hypothetical situations will help you identify candidates who truly possess expertise vs. those who crowdsource and do a ton of "desk research".

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