You’ve been perfecting the art of UX, you’ve built a solid portfolio and you’ve received your first invite for an interview. You’ve likely gone through a screening and interview process before, but you may still be a bit nervous about this one. The truth is, pursuing a UX design role isn’t much different than any other job, though the line of questioning in your upcoming interview will be a bit more unique to this specific field.
In any job interview, the employer wants to gauge your ability to problem solve. They want to know how you think and why your individual personality stands out in an ocean of other potential candidates. Sure, you’ve laid out your skill set in your portfolio, which clearly demonstrates your ability to find solutions to UX challenges. But, to an employer, it’s less about the solutions you’ve found but the process by which you’ve arrived at them.
Take a look at some of these common interview questions and some words of wisdom for selling yourself to a prospective employer.
How do you define UX design?
Hint: they don’t want a textbook answer. Your interviewers want to know who you are as a designer, and what UX design is to you. Use this opportunity to stress your user-centric perspective and passion for understanding people as a foundation to your work.
What does your design process look like?
No right or wrong answer here. Everyone approaches problems a bit differently, but what matters here is your ability to describe the logic behind your decisions. The company wants to know that you can identify and differentiate the various UX problems and choose a solution appropriate to that scenario. Structure your response around the idea of “asking the right questions” when problem solving.
If you’re confident enough to throw yourself a curveball, ask your interviewer for a specific problem their company is currently faced with and describe how you would approach that challenge.
What has been the most interesting project you’ve worked on?
Think something up in advance; even if you’re not asked this question specifically, your response can easily be adapted to fit other questions. Use this as a chance to tell a story and sell your background and ingenuity by discussing the unique problems presented in a previous experience. Talk about what the project was, but more importantly, explain why it was interesting to you and what you learned from the experience.
Explain a time that you struggled with a project.
Not every challenge you face is going to have a clear solution, and the important thing here is your willingness to admit that not everything comes easy to you- because it doesn’t. This is a great chance for you to describe your excitement and enthusiasm when faced with new design challenges and walk your interviewer through how you arrive at solutions. Everyone tries and fails at something, but there’s always a key learning takeaway that makes you a stronger UX designer, and that’s the story you want to tell.
Why should we hire you?
Even if you have little experience, what matters is your passion to learn and grow. Explain what you can contribute to the team. It’s okay if you haven’t mastered the ins and outs of UX design completely, as long as you have the attitude and drive to succeed. Whatever you say here, do it confidently!
This is a highly technical field, and a competitive one at that. Don’t be intimidated by the competition, because what you have to offer a company is your unique design approach, self-confidence, and willingness to learn and grow.