8 questions we’re about to ask you during the UX job interview
As a part of a growing UX team, I’ve happened to sit at the interviewing table (or behind a computer screen, to be precise👩💻) many times during the last nearly two years, talking to plenty of inspiring designers. I believe that thanks to this opportunity I’ve learned to ask the right questions and created my own checklist of what topics we should cover to make the decision on our side.
What needs to be stated here is that our company is not really the come-and-go type of environment and our retention rate of designers is nearly 90% (calculated as an average for the last 3 years) which means we choose our colleagues carefully.
That being said, the company’s responsible for the right choice of the candidate. But I firmly believe it’s not one-sided and it should be a dialog, really. We hope to attract people who also search for their best fit. Make sure you think about your position and what you want to get from the job. Think about the questions beforehand and ask about anything that’s important to you. No question is wrong.
Hiring process is a dialog and you’re responsible for a good choice just as the company is.
So what are the questions we hope to help us find the best candidate?
Disclaimer numero 1: mentioned questions and tips aren't there because we want you to craft those answers in order to please us. If you've ever been to any UX job interview or not, it’s always a good idea to revise your standpoint and opinions beforehand so you show up somewhat prepared.
Disclaimer numero 2: job interviews, approaches, questions, etc. definitely differ. This article covers just my own experience and how we currently do it in Kentico.🙃
Let’s dive in, shall we?
All the hows and whys.
Why do you want to join us?
Why do we ask? We’re curious about your shift, motivation to leave your current job, or switching careers. Explaining your thinking behind the scenes helps us get to know you and your ambitions.
What do you know about us and our company?
Why do we ask? We call it a bad impression when you show up not knowing a thing about the company they claim they want to join. Just another job, innit? Give it a thought and run some desk research. I’m sure you’ll find some answers and come up with a few questions too. Don’t be afraid to ask. It’s a dialog, remember?
How did you become UXer and why?
Why do we ask? Describing your journey that led you to UX sheds light on your past (and maybe future) career and that also helps us understand your motivation to stay in the field.
Depending on what level of seniority we search for, we need to evaluate your knowledge of UX.
Describe your experience/career path shortly
Why do we ask? This gives us a bigger picture of your background and that is always useful to know. The motivation you’ve decided to shift your career path or stay on one is insightful. We get a hint of what you’re good at or what might be on your wishlist in the future.
Describe the project you worked on
Why do we ask? The answer gives us insights about what was your bread and butter at work (in translation: what can we learn from you and what we need to teach you, too). Additionally, the way how it’s answered also tells us a bunch of things like the ability to describe the work briefly and stress important things, effective communication, and the ability to clarify stuff.
What is the ideal design process you’d like to exercise?
Why do we ask? This question probes the theoretical knowledge about parts of the design process and gives a lot of space for additional questions (Why would you do x? When is the job done for you, then? etc.).
Some teams are unicorn designers, some of them are highly specialized contributors so we want to find out where we stand with you and how you fit into the mix.
What parts of the design process do you enjoy the most and what do you enjoy the least?
Why do we ask? If we anticipate a lot of pixel pushing/research in the next project while you hate pixel pushing/research, there’s a warning sign for both of us.
What does a UX designer do?
Why do we ask? This question may sound very simple and even silly but has worked wonders for me. We want to make sure we’re on the same page about the job description and find out your expectations about the role.
We often also ask additional questions to get a better picture of the motivation to grow or personality traits, e.g. What would you do if you wouldn’t need to work anymore x dream project x dream job? Do you educate yourself in the design field? How?
As for the first round, that’s it. If a candidate proves to be a good fit for us and wants to proceed with us, we soon meet up for a more practical round. Both meetings last about one hour each. We also don't want candidates to do any “homework” at home for us. Though many companies still do as far as I know 🤷♀️.
Thank you very much for reading my article!
I’m definitely curious about your experience during job interviews on either side of the interviewing table so feel free to share your thoughts in the comments!