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Hiring a UX Designer: Interview Questions to Ask

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Undoubtedly, when you want to hire a UX designer for your company, start-up, project, venture, or business, you might feel just as nervous as the candidate. It happens because you want to be sure that the person is perfect for your vacancy.

In this article:

 

No worries. As a UI/UX design and development agency, we know that each specialist is a treasure. And the biggest challenge is to find it, among others. Here is a full guide on how to interview your UX designer in the best way and hire a true expert.

Preparation for the Interview

Be clear in your expectations. Think in advance about the following questions:

  • What type of experience is valuable for you?

  • What skills will you look for in your candidate?

     

Also, try to describe the role and expectations in one line. For example, “a junior UX designer who knows the basics of visual design and can learn more with a mentor’s help to deliver better user interfaces” or “a UX designer with 2–3 years of experience in creating projects with regular user testing exercises”. It will help you to attract the right candidates with the perfect combination of skills. 

 

Another part of the preparation for the UX designer interview is a search of the such attributes as:

  • Teamwork. Design is akin to a team sport, so you are looking for a player who can fit in well with your existing team;

  • Communication. Your UX designer should be able to communicate with people inside the company and on projects, so check his/her communication skills properly.

  • Problem-solving skills. Hiccups may appear anywhere in design, so a UX designer should successfully and patiently deal with them. 

  • Specific design skills and experience. The requirements for these attributes should vary according to the project and your design team’s specific needs.

 

Once you prepare, make a list of tasks and questions to ask a UX designer in an interview. We’ve come up with a few guiding points to make sure you’ll talk about the important stuff. Let’s get started.

Interview Questions for UX Designers

An illustration of a deerstalker hat, a smoking pipe, a hand glass and a CV

The main task of the UX designer interview is to make a complete picture of the candidate. Experienced HRs and Art-directors check 4 main aspects and ask questions according to them.

 

Therefore, you have 4 types of questions for UX designers:

  • Questions about the candidates;

  • Questions about their design works;

  • Questions about the design process;

  • Questions about their personal goals.

 

As a result, you’ll get enough information to decide whether to choose the candidate or not. We’ll provide you with the example-questions from each category.

UX Designer Interview Questions About the Candidate

  • Can you please introduce yourself? In this question, UX designers will give you an overview of their education and experience. Be ready — the answer may be brief. It shows the candidate can be selective, and you'll get a chance to dig deeper with subsequent questions.

     

  • What are your strengths? Confident candidates can quickly identify the areas of UX design in which they are the strongest. Otherwise, they're not self-aware enough. Some of the candidate's core strengths should align with the requirements you set out in the job description, so check the answer thoroughly.

     

  • Why did you choose the UX design? How did you get into design? If a candidate responds by listing the personal benefits and tells stories from childhood, that's a warning signal. You want to hear about the crucial attributes of a designer's job that attracted them. 

UX Designer Interview Questions Сandidate’s Works

  • Which of your portfolio pieces do you like the most? Why? This question can help you determine whether an interviewee is prepared for the interview. Those who can show off a couple of portfolio pieces and talk about them with enthusiasm can adequately assess themselves and take criticism about their works.

     

  • Give me an example of how you experienced and solved a design challenge. The answer will show how the interviewee works, deals with the inevitable setbacks in any design project and resolves the challenges. 

     

  • Please, walk me through the design thinking process. The answer to this question can show the designer’s logic in creating the works for the portfolio. Expect the interviewee to explain design research, testing, prototyping, modifying, etc.

UX Designer Interview Questions About the Design Process

a coffee cup and files, CVs, documents and pencil on the table

  • How do you define the UX design? Google's definition of the UX design isn't the right answer in this case. A skillful designer has a clear explanation of the UX design and can give real examples of it in action.

     

  • What is your design process? Check different ways of conducting user research (qualitative and quantitative) and various design processes. Talk about user personas, information architecture, usability testing, user flows, etc.

     

  • How do you handle negative feedback or disagreement? Feedbacks can't always be positive. And designers have to be ready that sometimes people don't like what they've designed. So, handling negative feedback may be quite challenging for some of them. 

     

    As an employer, ask about a hypothetical situation where the candidate has to deal with this issue. If a designer solves the problem and moves on, his level of emotional intelligence is high.

UX Designer Interview Questions About Personal Goals 

  • What are your plans for the next 5 years? UX design is a fast-moving field, so you’re looking for candidates with ambitions to improve and grow.

     

    If you are looking for a person to join your design team, don’t hesitate to ask this — you’ll find out candidates’ vision of personal growth within the company.

     

  • What’s most exciting about this role? It is another chance for candidates to show their enthusiasm and motivation for being hired. Those who had a good preparation, pick out at least one thing they’re really like. 

The Most Common Interview Questions for UX Designers in Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Amazon

Giants like Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Amazon use numerous methodologies for creating specific questions for UX designers. We choose the most common and interesting interview questions, so you can use some of them while interviewing your UX designer.

Facebook

  • Tell about a time when you tried to do something but failed.

  • Name one feature/component of the Facebook interface that a competitor does better. Why and how?

  • How would you communicate your findings with different stakeholders?

  • Tell about a time when you had to ask for help.

  • Pitch a new product. How would you research it?

Google

  • What’s the difference between Informational Architecture and UX?

  • What would you redesign on Craigslist/Amazon homepage?

  • How would you design an interface for a 1000 floors elevator?

  • How would you balance between the requirements of the user’s goals and business goals?

  • Imagine you have 3 different UIs and you want to define the best one. How would you do that?

Microsoft

  • Show us an example of a website with a great design.

  • What is your role in the team?

  • How do you come up with the ideas in the ideation process?

  • You have a disagreement with your teammate about good UX. How do you approach the situation?

  • Pick a product, identify a UX problem, and describe how you would conduct research.

Amazon 

  • Describe the process of creating a wine website from scratch. 

  • What would you add to the design of a new search for a library? 

  • What metrics would you use to evaluate your design? 

  • How do you form positive relationships with stakeholders? 

  • What is your greatest strength? 

How Do We Hire UX Designers at Cadabra Studio? 

an illustration of a detective that is running towards a board with CVs of candidates

Typically a design interview process consists of a primary interview with an HR and Art-director. This interview usually is about 60 minutes long. There is a scheme of the interview at Cadabra Studio that we change every 6 months. We do this because some questions aren't relevant anymore, and others don't help us make a correct review. 

 

The main goal of all interviews for us is to learn about the candidate as much as possible. Our team doesn't ask many questions about guidelines, sources of inspiration, etc. We want to see a personality.

 

All the questions are divided into 3 types: 

  • Questions about hard skills. Here we check how the UX designer organizes the workspace, uses software, and creates a handoff design for developers.

     

  • Questions about soft skills. Usually, the Art-director gives situational tasks to get a hypothetical response. Also, we ask to speak about the designer's 3 prominent triumphs and failures over the last 6 months. It helps us to understand their goals and values. Also, we check whether they are open to criticism or not.

     

    Besides, the questions about previous working experience help to check soft skills. If a candidate wasn't happy about the previous job's management, we ask to describe what suggestions they made to improve the situation.

     

  • Questions about critics perception. It is like a role-playing game, where the Art-director pretends to be a client and asks a designer to do a presentation of one of their works on the portfolio. An imaginary client also asks to explain the project's concepts, primary goals, and design logic.

      

Then a client makes suggestions about some improvements in the project design. Sometimes, design solutions don't meet business needs. Therefore, we check whether the designer can explain and justify their design decisions or not.

 

We don't give any preliminary tests to candidates because sometimes candidates cheat. The task is to understand how a person thinks and communicates inside the team. And there are 2 ways to check that:

  • The candidate shows the creativity level. The Art-director gives a task from our design challenges (e.g., to complete a picture in 2-3 minutes). In this way, we сheck decision-making skills and flexibility.

     

  • UI/UX-tasks (15-20 minutes). In the UI part, we pay attention to accessibility, whereas for the UX part, the Art-director asks to design screens with filters, do a website design, or sort complex data sets. The candidate has to display predefined guidelines to users logically. Another task is a mobile adaptation of complex data sets. 

 

Tasks are given to each candidate individually, so you can't prepare in advance. During the interview, the HR and Art-director can leave the room to let a candidate concentrate, so they perform better results. 

 

Our main interview methodologies are courtesy and openness. Questions are created based on the demands of the design team. After each interview, the HR and Art-director make a written review so that a candidate can learn about their strengths and weaknesses. In case of rejection, the review helps to provide the candidate with explicit reasons.  

Final Words

The candidate may have a strong theoretical base; however, the practical implementation will be poor. Your task as an employer is to check the way of thinking and evaluate the level of motivation. 

 

Each question in the UX designer interview is a part of the candidate's persona. The cooperation period depends on the full understanding of the candidate. We interview each candidate thoroughly, so our design team consists of skillful and dedicated specialists that make outstanding projects and design solutions.

 

We hope this guide will assist you in hiring UX designers. Share your insights and experiences with us. Contact Cadabra Studio if you have any questions or need an expert consultancy concerning the effective interviewing of UX designers.

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