Just scored your first interview as a newly minted UX Designer? Congratulations!
Whether you completed a UX Design bootcamp or finished a degree program, you’re already well on your way to designing awesome, intuitive technology that helps your users have a better experience. To prepare yourself for the journey of landing your first UX Design role, it’s important to brush up on the UX interview questions you might be asked in your initial phone screen, virtual interview, or in-person interview.
We’ve gathered some of the top UX interview questions and some tips on how to answer them so you can get prepped for your upcoming interview and #LandTheJob.
Here are the questions we’ll explore:
- How do I prepare for a UX interview?
- What are some of the most common questions asked in UX interviews?
- How should I answer common UX Designer interview questions?
How do I prepare for a UX interview?
Preparation is key to helping you walk into any interview with confidence and a sense of calm. Here are a few things you can do to better prepare yourself for a UX interview.
Take the time to look back at your previous projects and practice explaining them. Record yourself on a camera phone or webcam so you can watch your explanation back. Try to remain neutral as you compliment and critique yourself and make note of any areas you want to improve. This can be a helpful way to gather your thoughts and figure out how to summarize your experiences.
Mind the details
When communicating with the hiring manager before your interview, you’ll want to pay extra attention. They’ll likely send over details about what your interview will look like — such as if it will include a presentation, app critique, or design challenge. You want to show up as your best, most-prepared self — this will help you do so!
Gain confidence through practice
Interviews are nerve-racking for even the most confident among us. A good way to deal with pre-interview nerves is to practice, practice, practice. In addition to working on your answers to questions or running mock interviews with a friend over Zoom, you can try confidence-boosting activities or calming modalities. Practice deep breathing exercises or a confidence meditation for a few minutes. These quick DIY exercises can calm you down and remind you of your badassery before you head into the meeting (or Zoom) room.
12 Common UX Designer Interview Questions
It’s important to remember that every interview is going to be a bit different depending on the company and the kind of work they do. This is especially true for UX Design work because it can fit into every customer-facing industry. However, there are questions you’ll face regardless of the company interviewing you. Here are 12 common UX Design interview questions you may encounter on your job hunt.
“Tell us about yourself.”
Regardless of the industries you’ve worked in, you’ve likely encountered this question before. Back in March, we dedicated a whole blog post to show you how to answer it. It’s an open-ended prompt that can lead us into rambling if we’re not careful. You’ll want to focus on telling an engaging story about who you are professionally while keeping brevity in mind. Then, close with what you’re looking for, relating it back to the position in question.
“Tell us about a project you’re proud of.”
This is your chance to shine. Your interviewer is asking this question to get a feel for your passion for UX. It’s also an invitation for you to show off a bit. Tell them in detail about a project you really enjoyed working on or one that may have been challenging but turned out to be a success. What made you proud of the work you did on the project? Was it the problem you were able to solve for users? Was it the intuitive design you ended up creating? Was it the teamwork and collaboration you participated in throughout the project? Don’t be afraid to showcase your passion, talent, and drive when you answer this question.
“Tell us about a recent project that challenged you and how you were able to approach and solve the problem.”
Your interviewer is trying to learn more about your strengths, weaknesses, and problem-solving skills here. Explain the problems you encountered and why you found them challenging. Stay objective and don’t turn your answer into an emotional rant (even if the project in question was exceptionally difficult). Then, explain your process for navigating the challenges. Were you able to successfully work through the problem? Did your user research help you gain clarity on how to best solve it? What part of the design process did the problem occur in? Did you collaborate with others to come to a solution? How did the project turn out in the end? In addition to showcasing your problem-solving skills, your answer also demonstrates your design thinking process to the hiring manager.
“What are your favorite UX tools?”
This question gives your interviewer some insight into what tools you’re familiar with and enjoy using as a UX Designer. It also gives them a window into your design process and what tools help you solve problems. UX Designer Mike Locke suggests mentioning a collaboration tool here as it will show you’re a team player and value your experiences working on designs with others.
“What’s your UX Design process?”
While User Experience Designers generally share the same processes, each designer brings their own unique perspective and creativity to their process. Your hiring manager wants to know what your thoughts are on user research, interaction design, prototyping, design thinking, and more. How do you approach problems? What tools do you typically use? Who do you work with in the design process — Product Managers, UI Designers, etc.? Or, are you used to working alone? Are you incorporating current trends into your work? Are you on top of what’s happening in the industry?
“What’s your involvement with user research?”
Have you been actively involved with user research in your past positions or during your education? Your potential employer is wanting to know more about your history with the research aspect of UX and how comfortable you are working and empathizing with your users. How do you set research goals? What are your methodologies for conducting research? How do you measure and use the data you collect? If you don’t have much experience with this aspect of User Experience Design yet, it’s ok. Now is a good time to stress your empathy skills or experiences you may have had in other customer-facing or research roles.
“What inspires you as a UX Designer?”
This UX interview question provides another chance to showcase your passion for the job. You can use this as an opportunity to discuss some of your favorite designers, industry trends, or other places you go to find inspiration. Does travel inspire the way you design? Are you spurred by meeting new people from different backgrounds and learning to empathize with their experiences? What are your favorite design books? Share all of that here. The company is mainly looking to learn about your design thinking process and gain more insight into your enthusiasm and how you think about design with this question. There are no wrong answers here.
“How would you enhance the UX of our product?”
Here’s another spot where preparation can really set you up for success in the interview. Study the product and brainstorm ways the UX could be improved beforehand. By the time the question comes around, you’ll be able to speak in-depth about how the interaction design or overall user experience could be improved.
“How do you react when clients or senior executives don’t like your design work?”
One of the next big design interview questions you might hear concerns how you respond to criticism because it says a lot about you as a designer and a person. A great designer knows how to take feedback constructively and balance the needs of the client or senior executives with classic UX principles. Your hiring manager wants to know if you’re able to handle criticism objectively. Share an example of a time this happened previously if you have one. Did you ask the client or senior executives to explain what elements of the design they didn’t like? Did you explain why you made certain design decisions based on tested UX principles? Did you honor their comments in the next iteration? Cover all of this and any other related details in your answer.
“Why should I hire a UX Designer?”
Use this time to make your case for the importance of UX within a company. UX Designers play a key role in ensuring customers or users have positive experiences using a product, service, app, or website. The user experience plays a key role in the success of a company’s product and, importantly, in company profits. Bad UX can cost current customers and cause a potential customer to give up and look elsewhere. Use an anecdote to illustrate why UX is so essential for the bottom line. We’ve crafted one you can share below:
Take an online clothing store, for example. You get online to look for a black leather jacket. A website with bad UX might lack a clear cut search tool, leaving you (the user) to scroll through pages and pages of clothing. The clothes aren’t categorized either so you’re not really sure which page the black leather jacket is on. Let’s say the website is also super slow so now you’re feeling really frustrated. After a couple of minutes of this, you still can’t find what you’re looking for so you give up and find another online shop with better UX, locate the jacket style you want, and make a purchase. The first online shop just lost a sale and you likely wouldn’t think to shop there again because of your bad user experience.
You can also share more details about how UX is a good investment for the company. This excerpt from TopTal is a great place to start: “A great UX designer would discuss how investing in UX improves performance, reduces errors, increases ease of use, attracts more users, increases adoption rates, elevates the brand, increases trust in the system and user satisfaction, reduces development costs, reduces redesign costs, decreases support costs and reduces training needed, etc. which all increase the ROI.”
“How do you make sure your designs are accessible?”
Accessibility is a huge topic in user experience circles lately and for good reason. According to UX Collective writer Avinash Kaur, “Accessibility allows users of all abilities to understand, use, and enjoy the web. As designers, it is our responsibility to make sure we design in a way that is usable to all users irrespective of their situation, abilities, or context.”
UX Designers are tasked with providing quality user experiences through products, apps, and websites for everyone. Talk with your interviewer about the ways in which you value, advocate for, and are actively producing inclusive design work.
“Do you have any questions for our team?”
This is a great time to get your questions answered. Ask about business goals, the company’s design process, or any other burning questions you have. This is also a great time to ask about company culture. Asking questions shows your hiring manager that you’re interested in the position and the company, so always have some ready to go. Your enthusiasm and curiosity can really shine through when you ask quality questions to close out the interview.
Want even more tips on how to land a UX Design job? Check out these blogs:
- What’s the Difference Between UX and UI?
- How to Build a Strong UX Portfolio
- Questions to Ask in Your Next Tech Job Interview
- Why You Should Consider a Career in UX Design
Ready to jumpstart your career as a UX Designer or Coder? Learn more about our 12-month Software Engineering and 6-month UX Design programs, or check out our free beginner’s coding program Kenzie Free.