Virtual Career Fair

Virtual Career Fair

Project title
Designing for the First-ever Virtual Career Fair
Product designUIUX

HackerRank’s First Virtual career fair is a remote university recruiting event where students from across the United States can connect with potential employers.


4 Months : Jun 2020 - Sep 2020

The Problem

Historically, 400,000+ student developers and 1,200+ schools have relied on in-person career fairs to find internships and full-time jobs every year (Data from National Center for Education Statistics). But given the impact of COVID-19, in-person career fairs around the country have been forced to cancel to enact social distancing.

The Challenge

How can a platform supersede the traditional career fairs to tackle COVID-19 and other problems?

Digging Deep

We dug deep into the problem and apprehended that there was a bigger problem at hand than just COVID-19.

For both employers and job seekers, traditional career fairs are artificially limiting: restrictions around budget, travel availability and time mean that only a fraction of available job seekers and employers are able to connect successfully.

While first impressions at a career fair are often based purely on resumes, we wanted to leverage data from the HackerRank platform to create a skill-based experience.


Project Flow

Working in a fast-paced start-up doesn't give you enough time to spend on research. They focus on iterations and feedback, all within a short period.

On the brighter side, every review and iteration gives you a better understanding of the purpose, end-user and the goal. It also gives you an idea of what's feasible, developable, business aspects, and many other things.


Understanding the Users

To design for the Fair, we spoke to mainly two sorts of people.

  • Job Seekers
  • Employers

We conducted interviews with job seekers and employers to learn more about the traditional career fairs and see how we could provide a smoother experience with the online variant.

We got many insights, and with those, we laid down all the pros & cons, pain points, and other information we may need while building the product.


Design Goals

How might we design a platform that replaces the existing career fairs?

How might we design a platform that replaces the existing career fairs?

For Job Seekers:

  • Have a competition during the Fair's time to give everyone an equal shot at getting hired.
  • Introducing an end-to-end flow from logging in to getting an interview.
  • Company profile showing more details about the company, location and the role description.
  • A list of employers with search and filters.

For Employers:

  • Build a company profile and showcase their brand to thousands of candidates.
  • Live events to interact with students.
  • ATS to keep track and contact students.

User Flow

We extensively brainstormed on the features, information, and flows relevant and essential to our user. Keeping all of them in mind, we determined that the user flow's high-level structure should go like this.



Based on the user flow and the information architecture, I had sketched out some concepts for the pages. Due to short deadlines, the sketches were just made for sharing the idea and receiving feedback.


Final Screens

The final deliverables of the project were:

  • User flows.
  • High fidelity mockups for all the features & pages.
  • Micro-interactions and prototype.

for both web and mobile screens.

Landing Page

Landing page for the career fair explaining how it works and what the next steps of a candidate are.


Exhibitors Page

Directory of all the companies participating in the virtual career fair. Each company has a specific page with more information about the company and the open roles.


Schedule Page

A list of all the events scheduled during the career fair. The events are sorted day wise to keep track of everything happening on a certain day.




We ended the fair with 20,000 signups from 1000+ schools. 8,000 of these students sent in at least one application for a total of 72,000 applications submitted.

Challenges during the Project

I faced a lot of hurdles during the project. Some of them were visual, and some were on the flow and experience. Each one of them was intriguing, and figuring out a solution for them taught me a lot. Some of my favourite challenges were:

  • Designing cards with variable text is a difficult job. Considering the perfect use case breaks your design when the worst-case arises. Always try to design for the worst case.
  • image

  • I had placed the checklist of an application on the top, thinking it would be most visible there. To do this, I had to push the third section of the application to the right. After testing, we knew that people took the checklist to be actionable. Use the law of common-region when you are designing a screen with elements on the same level. When you put similar things together, they appear to be in a group, and our brains tend to think that they have the same action/purpose.
  • image

Design Learnings

This was my first big end-to-end project. I had learnt a lot about design and processes, and here are a few of my learnings. Most of them are already known but experiencing them for the first time was different.

  • Spend a lot of time researching and sketching instead of directly bouncing on to the hi-fidelity mockups to reduce the number of re-iterations and effort.
  • Not everything you design can get developed. Always check how feasible the design is with any developer. There are some restrictions when you work in a company with a structured UI-Kit, and it takes some time to develop an entirely new component.
  • Make more with less. - A lesson my mentor, ex-boss - "Musho" used to say. The more elements you use, the more complicated it becomes.
  • You think you have the perfect design until the stakeholders/managers see them. Make sure you have versions for you to justify why the design you chose is the best one. (Pro Tip: Do include a not-so-good one).
  • Take some time-offs in between, especially when you are working on a big project. Looking at the same thing over and over again refrains your brain from thinking different.