How to Prepare for a UX Interview

Once you’ve obtained the necessary UX skills and created your UX portfolio, you’ll then need to know how to prepare for a UX interview. Learning and practicing your unique responses to the most common UX interview questions can help you go into any interview with confidence—and hopefully come out with a job offer!

Common UX Interview Questions

Overall, there are typically 5 types of questions asked in a UX interview:

  1. Basic screening questions
  2. Technical UX questions
  3. UX process questions
  4. Culture fit & working style questions
  5. Curveballs

Take copious notes on these common questions, and get a better understanding of how to talk about yourself and your work. If you’re enrolled in UX Academy, you’ll practice these questions with your Career Coach in Career Services.

Basic Screening Questions

Before most face-to-face interviews—which may be conducted in person or via video call—a recruiter or Human Resources manager will probably ask some basic questions to get more insight into who you are and how you approach your design work. Here are the kinds of question you’re likely to encounter during the screening process:

  • Tell me about yourself.
  • What tools do you use?
  • What is your process and approach to UX Design?
  • How did you get into UX Design? What’s your interest in the field?

Technical UX Questions

In the second phase of most interview processes, the questions get more technical and focus on your detailed knowledge and understanding of issues in UX design. Here are some more examples of questions to expect:

  • Can you explain what “User Experience Design” means, using non-technical terminology?
  • Describe your design process, and the methods you use.
  • What are some apps or websites that you love?
  • Who are your design heroes? What are your favorite apps for UX? Explain why.

UX Process Questions

These questions are asked to elicit information about how you approach design problems. By this stage of the hiring process, the hiring manager probably already has a good idea of the final results you can execute from studying your portfolio. What they need to know now is how you got there, and how well you can explain the process you followed.

Give some thought to how you would answer each of these questions:

  • How do you get into the mindset of a user and anticipate their needs and actions?
  • Describe a basic UX design process. Would that process be different depending on the type of project, for instance responsive website versus mobile app?
  • What are the basic philosophies or principles that inform your designs?
  • Have you incorporated usability into the design and testing process?

Culture Fit & Working Style Questions

One important, and often overlooked, aspect of the hiring process is ensuring a candidate fits into the company with little-to-no friction. Interviewers will ask a series of questions pertaining to your working style to determine if you're a good fit to join the team. 

Below is a list of questions likely to come up:

  • Why do you want to work here?
  • Why should I hire you?
  • Do you prefer to work alone or with a team?
  • Tell me about an assignment that was too difficult. How did you handle the situation?

Curveballs

Although they’re often called curveballs, these questions are really just about how you’d handle certain tricky situations—either hypothetically, or by talking about an example from the past. Most of the time, the questions will still stay relevant to UX design, but they may also be more open and generic.

  • Tell me about a UX project you’ve worked on that didn’t go as well as you’d hoped.
  • Can you describe a time when the requirements changed in the middle of a project, and how you handled that?
  • Have you ever faced a situation in which your feedback/recommendation was not taken? How did you handle the situation?
  • Give me an instance where you delivered something exceptional, something that made you really proud of the result.

Here are some excellent resources on commonly asked UX interview questions:
10 Questions You’ll be Asked in UX Interviews
UX design interview questions
15 Essential UX Interview Questions
119 UX Interview Questions
Some Tricky UX Interview Questions
7 Questions You Can Expect in Your First UX Interview

Design Challenges

Many companies now include design challenges as part of the interview process, both on-site and take-home. You’ll likely be given a set amount of time to complete a project, and then will be asked questions about your approach in the live UX interview.

Here are the questions employers will be asking themselves when reviewing your work:

  • How do they define the problem? 
  • Do they understand user goals and tasks?
  • Do they think visually and generate many ideas before narrowing down a solution?
  • Can they articulate their design process?
  • Can they critique their own work?

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