On Jan 30, 2023, I received an offer from LinkedIn for the 2023 Product Design Summer Internship.
LinkedIn’s application process was the longest I’ve ever done: a total of 4 rounds.
In this article, I want to share my application process and takeaways. I hope this will help whoever’s interested in applying in the future.
On November 15, I cold applied to LinkedIn’s product design internship position.
But before that, a product design lead at LinkedIn (Molly Knight) was able to refer me for the position. She talked to the hiring manager to make sure they look at my application.
Then, during my thanksgiving break, I received an email from a LinkedIn recruiter:
And that’s when the process began.
In early December, I hopped on a 30-min call with the LinkedIn recruiter.
I created an interview prep document with potential questions that may be asked. Then, I wrote out bullet points for the main questions:
Feel free to copy this template here!
It’s important to note that in the email, the recruiter said:
Be prepared to walk through a case study in your portfolio and discuss why you’re interested in a role at LinkedIn
Something good to keep in mind.
Here are other resources that I found helpful:
The STAR method is a popular response technique in behavioral interviews. It stands for:
I used this method for a while, but for LinkedIn, I tried a new framework: SAIL.
This is like STAR, but here’s the structure:
See what’s the difference?
I took out "Task" and added "Learnings". I believe learning is crucial to say when describing a project or experience.
I don’t think one is better than the other. So choose whichever one feels more comfortable for you.
After the call, on the same day, the recruiter said I’ll be moving to the next round!
A week later, I hopped on two 1:1, 30-minute calls to each present a case study.
One of my favorite parts of the process was the recruiter always provided interview details.
The team wanted a 20-minute presentation on one case study. Then, they will assess the designs by the following criteria:
Thus, I listed out my main projects and roughly ranked them based on the criteria.
In the end, I presented my TChat case study since it scored the highest.
Turned out, for the first 1:1, I didn’t even present my case study.
We ended up…chatting.
It felt more like a casual behavioral interview. And I got the chance to ask a ton of questions.
For the second 1:1, I did present, and the interviewer asked me questions such as:
I cannot stress this enough.
It’s important to practice. But it’s more effective to practice as if it’s the real deal.
If it’s virtual, open up Zoom. Turn on your camera. And share your presentation. Practice until you can present smoothly for 20 minutes.
At that point, you’ll feel so much more confident. Trust me.
After the two 1:1 interviews, I discussed the next steps with the recruiter. Then, I was given the one-week design exercise on December 16!
From Dec 16 - 23, I worked on the take-home design challenge.
Not gonna lie - it was stressful. It was the only thing on my mind for the week.
But, it turned out to be my favorite project thus far.
If you want to check out my entire presentation, reach out via LinkedIn!
Remember: You only have one week. So I’ll highly recommend following a process.
Here was the process I used:
Once you have your process, plan out each day what you’re going to do.
Or else, you’ll soon realize you have one day left. And you haven’t started designing yet.
So plan ahead. And don’t forget to include time for creating the presentation deck.
If you feel like the prompt is vague, you’re not alone. And that’s for a reason.
The design team wants to see how you define your target audience with rationale.
Keep that in mind when doing research.
This is what I learned when I interned at Roblox.
Always document your design decisions.
This was tremendously helpful for me to organize my thoughts. It also helped me build my presentation.
Accessibility is huge in LinkedIn design. So, it’s a plus if you show that you considered accessibility in your designs.
Here were some resources that I looked at when doing the take-home assignment:
After I submitted my presentation on Dec 23, the recruiter got back to me on Jan 3rd about the status update.
I really appreciated how the recruiter consistently updated me. And a week after, the recruiter said the team liked my design exercise, and I will be moving to the final round!
On Jan 26, I did the final round interview, which consisted of
Since I’ve already created the design exercise + case study presentation, it wasn’t too much work for me.
Yet, the recruiter did say to add personal touch in the beginning.
Thus, I added 6 fun facts about me, which included this slide:
Now, talking for 45 minutes straight is no easy task for an introvert like me. So, I practiced a ton.
For this round, I prepped for all the common interview questions.
Also, I wrote down questions to ask the interviewers. The two that I think really worked were:
Since before the day I practiced a ton, I felt confident.
In the end, I presented within the timeframe for each project. And after each project, I received a mix of feedback and questions. Here were some of the highlights:
But overall, it seemed like the panelist enjoyed the presentation!
For the first 1:1, I actually already spoke with the manager before. So, she was very kind to share her screen and show me her design system work at LinkedIn.
And it blew my mind. Super cool stuff.
For the second 1:1, it was one of the panelists. And she asked me specific questions about the project and past experiences such as:
At the end, I thoroughly enjoyed both 1:1s.
Also, I remember after the last call, I just collapsed on my chair thinking
Oh my goodness… It’s over. I’m finally done.
Then, on Jan 30, I received a call from the recruiter telling me that…
I got the offer!!!
Seriously, LinkedIn’s process was long. This was a great practice for future full-time application process.
But, being very honest, I’m very, very thankful of my recruiter. He always updated me on the application status and vouched for me to the design team. When I had questions, he quickly responded and would even offer to call.
Now, though I did not accept the offer, I genuinely enjoyed the interview process. And I’m grateful for everyone I talked to during this process.
Finally, I hope this was helpful for future LinkedIn design applicants. You got this!
Thank you for being awesome and reading this far! :)