I am about to start interviewing for an open UX position. I have a resume of a rookie and a pro. Just wondering your experiences. Go with the rookie? or the Pro?

A rookie I can mold and don't have to unlearn bad habits. A pro might work faster. A rookie might be more energetic.


4 Answers 4


Just a few thoughts

The key is to get the best UX Professional you can afford. I've interviewed and employed both rookies and experienced UX professionals over the years and the one thing that has always swayed it for me is how motivated they are - not toward the company but towards their profession.

What do they do in the spear time? What have they written about the subject? How does their work (even if it's limited) stand up?

A rookie will need support - can you or an experienced member of the team give it to them? If not (I personally believe) it's not fair on them at such an early stage in their career - unless they are super motivated.

With an established professional your organisation has the added benefit of being able to learn new things from their previous roles. Is your organisation receptive to that or do they have to be assimilated completely into your organisational culture?

(as said in previous answers) Interview both but do so with your eyes wide open about the level of support you need to commit to their on going learning and their commitment to change towards your organisation.


  • I like the idea of looking at Motivation as a primary factor, specifically, their spare time. Thank you.
    – Glen Lipka
    Commented Nov 10, 2009 at 19:58

I would certainly interview both of them. Somebody has to hire the rookies so that they'll become pros, but I think the decision ultimately comes down to your exact needs. If you want someone to bring specific skills to the table, then the pro might be the right choice. If you're looking for man power, the rookie could meet your needs at a lower salary and you'll also get the satisfaction of helping a new professional develop. The rookie might also think about things differently and challenge the status quo a bit more and that would certainly be beneficial.

  • On the whole, I hear a leaning towards rookie unless I have very specific needs. Manpower might be the right description.
    – Glen Lipka
    Commented Nov 7, 2009 at 0:36

totally depends on your needs & availability.

a) Need someone to hit the ground running and to work independently? Yes, then hire the pro.


b) Got time to nurture, mentor, supervise a rookie? yes, then hire them.

I'd always want to hire the rookie, but if you don't have the appropriate time to support and mentor them then hiring a rookie to do a pro's work is not fair to the rookie (or your clients).

in my experience, if you think about it that way the choice is usually pretty clear.


It depends on a situation.

If you need to finish a project with very strong time restrictions or there are some other huge risks then for sure you'll better hire the pro. If you're looking for somebody to work for a long time then maybe it's better to grow up the rookie.

And I completely agree with Evan: interview both.

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