User Experience (UX) design focuses on the interaction between real users—people like you and me—and the websites, apps and everyday products we use in our day-to-day lives. A great UX designer should be able to empathize with the end user and understand how they might feel when they use a product or a service.
This capability is crucial, as the interaction a user experiences while using a particular application will be the major determining factor in the reach of a product.
So get ready to demonstrate all of these aspects in your interview. We’ll walk you through some common interview questions, and help you get that UX design job you’ve had your eye on.
The UX Design Process
Understanding the process of UX design - and how to describe it - should be first on your list in your interview prep. Let’s take a look at each stage of the process in the steps below. These are the six steps a UX designer will take to build an effective, user-friendly product.
- Understand the Idea
A great user experience comes from understanding what users need. When a UX designer receives a brief from a client or business stakeholders, they must research the plan thoroughly. This will have a big impact on the design of a product. The analysis should include case studies as well as collecting user personas, which will throw in different perspectives leading to the creation of multiple use cases. The results of the use cases can further be analyzed to arrive at a final result.
The role of a UX designer is not limited to creating appealing visuals. UX research is one of the most important steps in UX design. It’s UX research and user testing that will help you make informed design decisions. A designer should also be able to identify existing competitors in the market. They should critically examine their applications and note the pros and cons. This market research will help you understand technical constraints in building a product.
Producing authentic and original sketches for a product is an important step. Most UX designers make erroneous decisions by building their product design idea around a standard template. This kills the originality of the UX designer and the brand. UX designers need to put their heads down and come up with innovative designs, brainstorm, get feedback from stakeholders, and improve.
This is more or less an extension of the previous step. Here, UX designers consider the images, icons, and text styles that will be used in an application. They will then create prototypes to get the look and feel of the final version. Each prototype is critically evaluated and ranked based on feedback.
Validating a product happens in the testing phase. The final prototype is tested, and any modifications needed are noted. Usability testing—where the application is tested among select users—is done during this phase.
In the implementation step, changes that were noted down during testing are reviewed and modified. In this phase, the product or application will move from the UX designer onto a developer. The developer sees the flowchart of the application and writes code to develop a functional product.
UX Design Interview Questions
Any job interview is a test of both your technical knowledge as well as your non-technical skills (also known as soft skills). If most of the candidates have strong technical skills, your non-technical skillset will become the differentiating factor, and vice versa. So you’ll want to do well in both rounds to secure a UX designer job. This can make the job-hunting process challenging.
Below is a list of typical questions that a UX designer is likely to encounter while appearing for an interview. Keep in mind that this is not an exhaustive list, but these are some of the most important questions to begin with.
- Tell me about yourself
This is the first question that any candidate usually faces. Through this question, the interviewer will assess the confidence level of the candidate. So treat it as an opportunity to show your enthusiasm and positivity as you talk about yourself, where you come from, what you’ve studied, why UX design interests you, and any hobbies relevant to this interest.
- Why does UX design interest you?
This question seeks to understand your passion for design. Explain how you developed your interest and what features of UX design appeal to your interests. You could discuss people who have influenced you, particular moments in your life that triggered an interest in design, the types of patterns or colors you love, or your knack for solving problems creatively.
- Why have you chosen UX design as a career?
Through questions like this one, the interviewer wants to hear about your passion for a particular profession. So it’s probably best to steer clear of answers like “It pays well”. Potential responses could revolve around the theme of:
- Software interests me
- I love to use my creative sensibilities to solve user problems
- I’m fascinated by icons, images, and designs that interest users
- What interests you about working here?
You should know about the company you’ve applied with. Research them online, visit their website, read about their previous projects, and get an understanding of their values, mission statement or company culture. When your knowledge of the company comes through in your responses, it’ll show your enthusiasm and leave positive impression on the recruiter. Try to be specific about one particular thing that will hit the target right.
- Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
This question might be a test to find out how committed you are to the field of UX design. The interview may mention five years from now, or 10 years. Don’t be afraid to be specific in your answers, for example “being a product manager” or “running my own consultancy”. Show that you’ll be using this opportunity to learn more about the field.
- Take us through your portfolio.
This is the point at which the recruiter will test your actual skills. There’s nothing more impressive than having a rock-solid portfolio. Besides demonstrating your core skills, it’s also a showcase of your presentation skills. It’s essential for a UX designer to be able to present and explain their designs to a client. Be sure to practice beforehand and try not to fumble. Provide an in-depth explanation of your most interesting project, what you’ve incorporated into it, and why it interests you.
- What tools do you use, and which one is your favorite?
Tools are like extra hands for UX designers. All UX designers have one or two favorite tools picked up from the myriad out there in the design ecosystem. Explain the ways it has helped you to create good UX designs. Talk about what makes it the go-to tool for you and why it has a special place in your skillset.
- How would you convince a client who doesn’t like your design?
As mentioned earlier, soft skills are essential for UX designers. This includes good communication and people management skills. You need to have an understanding of how to make a client understand your designs. Be sure to say you will collect feedback and scrutinize it with the team to understand what went wrong.
- What are your favorite apps, websites or games?
This is a deceptively simple question that actually provides an opportunity for you to dissect your favorite application and explain what makes it user-friendly. Talk about aspects such as the design, layout, icons, images, or usability that made you fall in love with the app. Use names they know (like Google, Facebook, or YouTube) so they can easily reference your answer and compare their own experience with the app.
- Tell us your strengths and weaknesses.
This questions asks you to demonstrate your self-awareness make reasonable self-assessments. For strengths, you should mention how creative and empathetic you are, as these are expected traits in UX designers. For weaknesses, consider mentioning how a less creative role would stifle your interest or you’d struggle to maintain a sense of intellectual curiosity in a mundane job.
Getting Hired as a UX Designer
The job of a UX designer requires you to be creative as well as technically proficient. This combination is what stimulates interest in this career path. All you need is originality, authenticity, and the right technical skills to build a great career in the field of UX design. Delivering stunning products with exceptional market reach is all about understanding your end users and making good design decisions.
Choosing the right course to help you master the principles and tools crucial to UX design will help you to progress in your career. With Thinkful’s UX / UI Design Bootcamp, you can learn career-ready skills alongside one-on-one mentorship, interview prep and community support. Talk to an adviser today to work out a plan that works for you.