31 UX Designer Interview Questions to Hire the Right Candidate

Like most business decisions you make as a team, hiring a UX Designer is not something to take lightly. An ideal UX Designer candidate is someone who understands your company’s vision, as well as the characteristics, behavior and needs of your customers. They’ll also have the knowledge, skills and empathy needed to create a satisfying user experience. ✨

As a company founded by and run by designers, we understand how important UX is to your business. We also understand how important the hiring process is for your team. That’s why we’ve created this checklist of the top 31 UX Designer interview questions to ask your candidates. Ready? Let’s start interviewing.

<div class="inpage-callout-container"><p class="inpage-banner-text">💡 Remember: A job interview is a two-way street—your candidate is also interviewing you about what its like to work at your company. They need to feel certain that joining your team is the best decision they can make. Be ready to answer candidate questions and share information that’d get them excited about joining your team.</p></div>

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<h2 class="h2-small">1. Tell us about yourself and your journey in UX design.</h2>

We know—nearly every interviewer has “Tell me about yourself” on their list! But it's a great starter to get everyone warmed up. Here, you're asking about your candidates' experiences, uniqueness and career journey with UX.

This question allows candidates to explain:

  • Why you should hire them
  • What they expect when hired
  • Their educational background
  • Professional experience
  • Previous jobs
  • What made them choose a career in UX design
  • What they can offer

What to listen for: Candidates who are passionate about UX design and can articulate the unique qualities they’ll bring to the table. It would be a nice bonus if they throw in a tidbit about their personal life at the end! Don’t forget to share your own background and perhaps a personal detail here and there—it’ll help the candidate open up.

<h2 class="h2-small">2. What does UX design mean to you?</h2>

Simple and generic definitions belong to the dictionary and not in the interview session. 😌 You're here to listen to candidates who are passionate about UX design, right? A nice UX definition should have some spirit and a perspective based on experience.

What to listen for: Candidates who take fresh and creative approach to UX design using empathy and user-focused strategies to achieve results. Candidates should also describe their understanding of UX concepts and how they can affect your business and customers positively.

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<h2 class="h2-small">3. How is UX different from other design disciplines like UI design?</h2>

This is a brilliant question to help you learn if a candidate understands the nitty-gritty of UX design. Whether or not they define other disciplines, it is important to look out for what makes UX design stand out.

Contrary to popular belief, UX design goes way beyond making products look appealing. It’s broader and focuses on capturing the "big picture" of user experience. Also, UX design involves user research, analyzing data, evaluating and testing the efficiency of results. It overlaps and works hand-in-hand with other design disciplines.

What to listen for: If your company centers on UX design, then note candidates who can clearly distinguish between UX design and other design types.

<h2 class="h2-small">4. How do you define good UX design?</h2>

A good UX Designer should understand the user and their needs (pain points) and build solutions to tackle them. Ask the candidate to give examples that illustrates their explanation.

What to listen for: Keep in mind that a product that satisfies users with a great UX is valuable, credible, accessible and useful. So, skilled candidates should know these features.

<h2 class="h2-small">5. Tell me about your most/least successful UX projects.</h2>

This question allows you to see areas of your candidates' strengths and weaknesses.

What to listen for: Honesty from your candidate about their weaknesses and also those who outline valuable lessons they learned from their least successful projects. Consider candidates who focus on enjoyable user experience and see it as an indicator of successful UX design.

📣 Hiring remotely? Check out these interview questions for hiring remote employees.

<h2 class="h2-small">6. Why are you interested in working with us?</h2>

This is a slightly obvious but still very important question to include it on your UX Designer interview questions list.

What to listen for: Those who can articulate why they are excited to enjoy your team and how they’ll use their tech skills to boost your customer’s user experience. If they’ve researched your products and your website and already identified areas for improvement, even better.

<h2 class="h2-small">7. What are the important skills a UX Designer should have?</h2>

This is a pretty straightforward question, but it can still get tricky. Some candidates may give a list of stiff technical skills like UX research, wireframing and information architecture. While these skills are UX design skills, we believe soft skills are equally important.

What to listen for: Apart from technical skills, UX Designers should ideally have superb communication skills, empathy, team spirit and a curious mind.

<h2 class="h2-small">8. What makes a good UX designer?</h2>

Okay, you'll have to cut your candidates some slack here. 🤗 Many things make great UX Designers, and they may not name them all. It's better to note answers that connect to UX design skills. For example, a candidate may define an ideal UX Designer as one who has:

  • A deeper understanding of how people think
  • An idea of what customers need
  • Fundamental UX design skills
  • Collaborative skills
  • Superb communication ability, and so on.

What to listen for:  Depending on what you are looking for in a candidate, different answers may be valid.

<h2 class="h2-small">9. What’s your understanding of design thinking?</h2>

A UX Designer should have a mentality for design and creativity. Design thinking is the continuous process of understanding users, providing creative solutions to user problems and testing results.

What to listen for: Candidates who understand the design concept and think accordingly. Moreover, they should have an intuitive problem-solving mindset and a knack for questioning assumptions and testing ideas.

<h2 class="h2-small">10. What do you think is the future of UX design?</h2>

What to listen for: It's crucial to understand how knowledgeable your candidates are about the UX design industry. Also consider how enthusiastic they are about discussing future innovations and developments.

📣 The ultimate guide to diversity and inclusion in the workplace

<h2 class="h2-small">11. How do you like to work and collaborate with other UX Designers, Web Developers or Product Managers?</h2>

With this question, you can test the collaborative and interpersonal skills of your candidates. UX design involves teamwork and interacting with others to achieve results.

What to listen for: Candidates who collaborate and build healthy working relationships with others make excellent UX Designers.

<h2 class="h2-small">12. Do you consider yourself a team leader or player?</h2>

Your UX designer may, in time, become a leader or a valuable player on the team. How well the candidate can work with a team is important.

What to listen for: Whether or not they are open to growth and change. Not everyone has to be a team leader, but if you're looking for a manager, you may want to give the candidate a second thought.

<h2 class="h2-small">13. How do you advocate usability and accessibility in your workplace?</h2>

Persuasion and the ability to promote usability and accessibility in businesses are important skills that UX designers should have.

What to listen for: Ask these questions to identify candidates with these skills and how best they can use them to convince other members of the team of an innovation or project.

<h2 class="h2-small">14. How do you deal with critical feedback?</h2>

As humans, it's normal to feel bad when we get a negative response from our clients or teammates. How would a professional handle that ? You'd like to know.

What to listen for: Candidates that aim to handle users’ poor reviews by focusing on the bright side, like the valuable insights they’ve gained to help improve their work. You want a UX Designer who sees such responses as constructive criticism to help them grow

<h2 class="h2-small">15. How would you explain a complex idea to a frustrated client?</h2>

This situation can be frightening, but it’s likely to happen, so it’s a good idea to include the question in your list.

What to listen for: Empathy and patience are important soft skills you should look out for when seeking a UX Designer. To better understand user pain points, the UX Designer should try to put themselves into their clients’ shoes and take proper action to solve them.

<h2 class="h2-small">16. Walk me through some of your past projects.</h2>

We're back to classic questions and prompts! But you can’t skip this one because it gives you an idea of the skill set of your candidates. Here, they'll explain their abilities and how well they've used these skills to achieve excellent results.

What to listen for: A clear and concise explanation of the steps they took and some reflection on what went well and what was more challenging. Bonus points if they say what they would have done differently, knowing what they know now. Watch out for their problem-solving skills and how well they integrate technical skills.

<h2 class="h2-small">17. Can you tell me about your design process?</h2>

Here, you can get a better understanding of a candidate's ability to approach problems, arrange and prioritize tasks to provide solutions. There should be a similarity to what you expect in your design process.

What to listen for: Candidates who know how to create action plans and organize projects. This shows how well they can manage time and budget while running tasks.

<h2 class="h2-small">18. How do you conduct universal design?</h2>

Universal design is one of the many approaches UX Designers employ to satisfy user needs. Your candidates' answers may differ, but watch for those who align with your business principles.

What to listen for: Candidates should combine technical skills to create flexible, simple, valuable and easy-to-use designs. Some candidates may mention features that aren't what you expect but are creative enough to impress you.

<h2 class="h2-small">19. How would you improve our product/website's UX design?</h2>

By asking this question, you're simply asking to learn how much research your candidate has done about your business. This helps give you an idea of how eager they are to be part of your team.

What to listen for: Proactive candidates will research your website or app, pick out possible hitches and suggest workable solutions. The more you discuss, the easier it will be to identify those who clearly define the value they can provide if given the role.

<h2 class="h2-small">20. What tools do you use for your work?</h2>

Your business probably has specific tools it uses for UX. Whether it's Figma, Sketch, Slickplan or Adobe XD, not every candidate would have the same toolset.

What to listen for: If the tools your candidates are familiar with align with your business, that's a good sign. That said, it's okay if their tools aren't the same as yours. Pay attention to candidates who are curious about your tools and are ready to adjust and learn how to use them.

<h2 class="h2-small">21. How do you add features to a product/website?</h2>

Proper decision-making during the design process is vital. UX Designers combine those skills with their technical skills to improve a UX design. By using available information to evaluate add-on features, they work with the team to create better designs.

What to listen for: Candidates with a proven track record of making excellent decisions with a team to achieve results—especially those who are careful about balancing user and business needs.

<h2 class="h2-small">22. What are your user research methods?</h2>

This question allows you to appreciate how your candidate can conduct research and analyze data to come to workable conclusions. Research and analysis skills are important for a UX Designer because user research is an integral part of UX design.

What to listen for: Here, you'll identify candidates who have brilliant research methods and designs to use for different projects. How do these methods get testable results?

<h2 class="h2-small">23. How do you balance business needs and technical limitations with good design?</h2>

You probably want a UX Designer who can balance your business and user needs. Of course, there will be technical limitations. But creative candidates will find a way to produce an excellent, productive design.

What to listen for: What to expect here is how your candidates can combine creativity with technical skills to create new ideas, implement them and get results that strike a balance.

<h2 class="h2-small">24. Can you tell me about the challenges of designing for mobile compared to designing for desktop devices?</h2>

This question allows you to test the knowledge of your candidates about the design of mobile and desktop devices. A UX Designer should recognize the similarities and differences of both types of design and their working principles.

What to listen for: Your candidate should realize that when designing for mobile and desktop, some factors make them differ, such as screen size, content orientation, interactive design, content prioritization, drop-down menus and more.

<h2 class="h2-small">25. Where do you go for UX design inspiration?</h2>

Here, you'll learn whether your candidates are aware of the latest developments in UX design. You'll also know their personality and their preferred design methods. Sources of inspiration can be UX YouTube channels, blogs, websites, TV shows, Twitter accounts, podcasts and famous UX Designers.

What to listen for: Candidates' enthusiasm when discussing their source of inspiration. Also, consider their passion and will for improvement. You'll also need to understand why they love those sources of inspiration from a UX standpoint and how it aligns with your business goals.

<h2 class="h2-small">26. Tell me how you would fix a flawed project.</h2>

Fixing flaws on a project requires a good measure of creativity and skill. This question gives you insight into your candidates' problem-solving skills. You'll also know how productive they can be after resolving project issues. How do they locate problems? What methods or approaches do they take to fix them? You can give an example of a flawed project to help set the scene for your candidate.

What to listen for: Note how they react when the task becomes frustrating or when thinking of the best way to fix the issues.

<h2 class="h2-small">27. How would you handle a rejected proposal or recommendation?</h2>

Rejections are bound to happen in a workplace. Ask this question to learn how your candidate will handle knock-backs. Negative feedback can be disappointing, so watch for those candidates who can deal with it objectively, focusing on the bright side.

What to listen for: Candidates who try to reduce the chances of rejection by providing data-driven results. And those who avoid sentiment and subjective recommendations. Check their persuasive skills and how they use them to demonstrate their results or recommendations.

<h2 class="h2-small">28. How would you respond to a team member who disagrees with your processes?</h2>

It is important to see how well candidates handle disagreement and potential conflict because this can lead to a breach in communication and affect teamwork.

What to listen for: How your candidate responds to disagreements, their temperament and subsequent actions. They should aim to pay attention to opinions that counter their ideas, processes or results. A good designer should be willing to listen to their team members. They should also evaluate how to utilize these inputs to create better designs.

<h2 class="h2-small">29. Tell me how you would respond to a sudden change in project requirements?</h2>

A sudden turn of events is one of the frustrating things UX Designers may face while running a project. A change in your users' or business' needs or inadequacy of tools and other requirements can bring about new challenges.

What to listen for: It's important to appreciate how well your candidates react and handle such situations. Also, you want to know how quick and efficient they can be to manage time and make needed changes.

<h2 class="h2-small">30. What would you do if your teammates think your project is not practical?</h2>

When you work on a team, you’ll want to know how much your candidate values collaborative work and constructive criticism.

What to listen for: candidates who are willing to accept ideas from other team members and reevaluate the project with a different perspective. They should be able to adjust their methods to achieve the business's design goals.

<h2 class="h2-small">Have you ever disagreed with your team’s idea or recommendation? What did you do?</h2>

As we said before, failing to agree with an idea or recommendation might happen.

What to listen for: How candidates would communicate their objections and provide ideas that differ with their team's.

Top skills of great UX Designers

And finally, keep these top skills in mind to help you in your search when you’re interviewing for your next UX Designer:

UX technical skills to look out for:

  • User research and usability testing
  • Visual design and design software
  • Agile
  • Prototyping
  • Wireframing
  • Visual communication
  • Information architecture

UX soft skills:

  • Communication
  • Empathy
  • Collaboration
  • Presentation
  • Organization
  • Curiosity

Hire the right UX Designer with Homerun

Be sure to be clear on what you’re looking for in a UX Designer, as it will guide you during the interview process. Many candidates might have the right skills and seem to be the right fit, so be sure to focus on those whose core values resonate with that of your company.

Now that you’ve got the right UX Designer interview questions, it’s time to arm yourself with the right tools.

Homerun helps you organize and streamline your entire hiring workflow, and make a good impression with UX design candidates. With Homerun you can:

  • Share feedback on the candidates with the rest of your team
  • Get a visual of the hiring workflow
  • Email candidates and invite them to final interviews
  • Share UX design assignments
  • Keep everything related to the hiring process organized in one place

As a company created by designers, we get your business' need to hire the right UX Designer for your team. Our goal? To build high-quality experiences for you and your candidates while helping you to hire the best fit for your team. 💪

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