How to Succeed at a Job Interview: UX/UI Design Edition

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Are you looking for a position as a designer in a professional UX design agency? If so, you will surely have to send your CV to as many places as possible and patiently wait for an answer. However, most likely, before being hired, you will be invited for a job interview. In this important step, your potential employer assesses not only your knowledge and experience, but also your personality, motivation, and presentation skills. So to do well, one should prepare as much as possible. Keep reading to find out what you need to know to succeed in your next interview.

What to Expect From a Job Interview

If you are an aspiring professional, a job interview might seem like another exam, and at this point in your life, you’ve taken countless. But this assumption is not completely true. You were invited to a physical meeting, and that means that you have already made a good impression. Lack of confidence at this stage will harm your chances. Therefore, you should be confident and use the opportunity to meet your employer (and the team if possible) to understand whether you share a common vision and similar goals. After all, you spend a lot of time at work, so compatibility is essential.

Unfortunately, it’s impossible to become more self-confident after reading an article on the internet. It’s impossible to transmit great presentation skills through a screen. So, we aren’t going to focus on that. However, here you will find some questions that are often posed to UX/UI designers so that you can prepare witty and meaningful answers and make a great, lasting impression.

Questions That Are Often Asked to a UX/UI Designer

Professional UX/UI design agencies like to ask three types of questions:

  • These are asked at any job interview and are not necessarily design-specific. You might be asked to talk about yourself, your hobbies, why you left your previous job, etc. They seem very simple, but many interviewees find them very tricky. There are no obvious right or wrong answers, so if you don’t have much experience going through job interviews, you never know what to say.
  • Knowledge & Fact-based questions. These are the questions that you usually expect at a job interview; however, sometimes they aren’t asked at all. If you’re not being interviewed by HR but instead the head of the UX/UI design department, the interview will be different. They will not waste your time with basic questions about the theory of what you’re interviewing for. They will assume you know what you’re doing, given your portfolio. All this being said, you should always be ready to answer such questions just in case.
  • Practical questions. You might be asked to come up with a solution to a problem, analyze a case, or talk about a case study from your practice. These are the questions that usually finalize the decision and get you accepted or rejected.

Now let’s have a closer look at each category and see how you can approach each question.

General Questions

Here are some useful tips on how to answer typical general questions.

Tell Us About Yourself

Do not try to compile your entire life into a three-minute presentation. While the question is general, your employer still expects you to talk about your life in terms of your career growth and facts that will help to form an opinion about you as a specialist. Therefore, your love life and achievements in sports are not a great topic for this short speech.

If you feel nervous, practice at home, with a mirror or a friend. Formulate a couple of versions and see which one better demonstrates your skills and passion for UX/UI design.

Why Did You Leave Your Previous Job?

Even if you did leave your previous job because your boss was rude or incompetent, don’t say that. Never complain about your previous colleagues – it sheds a poor light on your attitude.

It’s better to use the most neutral option possible and say that you have exhausted your opportunities for further growth and would like to work on more complex and interesting projects.

Who Do You See Yourself Being in 5 Years?

What is the point of this question? To see that you’re committed to staying and working in the same position or, at least, in the same company. If an interviewee can provide a detailed plan of how they plan to develop in their particular field, that’s great. However, if you can’t, you can still discuss the projects you hope to complete or the skills you hope to obtain. Of course, saying that you are going to start freelancing, go on maternity leave, or leave the company to work at Coca-Cola are not amazing options.

What Are Your Disadvantages?

The worst answer you can give: “I don’t have any.” Everyone has flaws, and it’s important to talk about them confidently and with humor. Also, show that you’re working on changing them. For example, if you are afraid of public speaking (which is sometimes an important skill for a UX/UI designer who works in a team), say that you have already started going to acting classes only if that’s true. Honesty about your weaker points not only demonstrates humility, but allows for an open conversation. This wins huge points with employers.

Why Do You Want to Work With Us?

When you go to a job interview, you need to know as much as possible about the company or business beforehand. To answer the question above, you might want to mention the significant cases or experiences of the company that has attracted you. It’s best to list why particular aspects of the company are important to you and how your personal growth is interwoven with the growth of the company in question. By framing your trajectory as indistinguishable from the company’s, it demonstrates a seriousness on your end.

UX/UI Design Questions

Are you sure that you know everything you need to know about UX/UI design? A job interview can often prove it otherwise.

What Empirical Principles Do You Know?

Developing upon the topic, the interviewer may ask which of these principles is closer to you and why. These questions demonstrate general erudition and feature your approach to work.

You are often asked about a particular principle. Among the most popular are:

  • Pareto’s Law, which states that 20% of the efforts yield 80% of the result.
  • Occam’s Razor: when choosing from several options, you should give preference to the simplest.
  • Parkinson’s Law, according to which the work fills the entire time allotted to it.

What Programs Do You Work In?

Answer honestly. Even if you don’t know a specific program, but are well versed in the design processes and put together a good portfolio, you can still be hired. This is much better than lying and making mistakes during your first week of work.

Tell Us How You Build the Design Process.

It is worth discussing based on a real example. Open your best case study, and tell its story: it is important to divide the story into stages, talk about specific problems and solutions. Do not be afraid that your approach is different from the processes adopted by the company. In essence, the employer is simply trying to understand whether you can organize your work and solve problems effectively.

What Do You Know About UX Design?

The better the applicant understands UX, the more probable it is that they won’t understand how to answer – it’s simply impossible to put all of one’s knowledge and research into a one-minute speech. One option is not to focus on theory, but one practice instead. Discuss your experience and projects, and if there are none yet, remember the successful cases that you liked, and explain why you remembered them.

How Do You Conduct Design Research?

The employer wants to know about your real experience and understand how well you know the process of working on a given project. Design studies help create a product that is useful to the user and can solve their problem. If you had such an experience, share it; if not, tell about the methods you know and examples of their use. For example, about usability testing or A / B tests: both of these methods help understand what problems users face and how they work.

What Is Your Role in the Team?

Creating a UX/UI design is enough work for several specialists, so the employer needs to understand whether you can fit into the team and how you interact with the team. Answering this question, you can tell how you worked with your colleagues at your previous place of work, and if this is not the case, give an example from your personal life where you were involved in teamwork.

How Do You See the Future of Design?

You need to show that you are up to date with the latest industry news and follow what is happening in the industry. Imagine and describe how the world will look in five to ten years, based on today’s breakthrough design developments. You can fantasize, but always rely on facts.

Do You Have Any Questions?

There should always be questions. Ask what awaits you after the interview, ask questions about the team and design processes. If this is the first interview of several, then it is too early to ask about salary. This should always be discussed at the very end of the process.

Answering Practical Questions

Don’t be alarmed when you’re asked to provide a solution to a concrete problem. This is how the employer gauges your knowledge and skills in practice.

An example task might be: “beautifully announce a house demolition.”

People tend to react very strongly to such announcements, and the reasons are understandable. Firstly, people do not like to lose their usual comfort for a rather long time. Secondly, these types of announcements are almost always written dryly and incomprehensibly; therefore, to understand when the house will be demolished and what you should do, you need to read them until the end. Solving this problem means thinking about how to submit the information so that the user immediately sees what is required of them. In this case, people are more concerned about timing and reasons, while other information is not so important.

Conclusion

A job interview is often perceived as a hard test of all your abilities as a UX/UI designer. However, if you look at it as an opportunity to present yourself and possibly learn something new, it will be much easier for you to succeed. Now you know how to approach answering the most popular and tricky questions and can easily impress your future employer with your knowledge and skills.

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