Questions Product Designers should ask during an interview.

Interview questions for designers

Below is a bank of questions I reference during interviews. Obviously, not all these questions can be asked, but since each interview is unique, having a reference-able list is always helpful. Feel free to use these as a guide or inspiration when interviewing.

Tip: When interviewing, do the research on the company. Look for their vision and mission statements. Look at Glassdoor, see their ratings, review the feedback. Doing research on a company is mandatory to ensure you can get behind their purpose — even with well established brands.

General questions

Where I start when first interviewing, usually in screening calls. These questions give insight into others perceive working there. How others ‘perceive’ working at a company is the closest you get to actually knowing what the culture is like.

  • Do you love working here, why?
  • What are some of [company name] UX principles
  • What is [company name] mission?
  • How is [company name] going to win?
  • Who owns the Vision?
  • Whats one thing about the culture here you like the most?
  • Can you explain to me what [Company Name’s] Vision means to you?
  • How does the organization support your professional development and career growth?
  • Is risk-taking encouraged, and what happens when people fail?
  • What role does [company name] values play in aligning teams on outcomes?
  • What’s one thing you would change about the company if you could?
  • In what ways does the company practice user centered methodologies?

Role focused questions

Next, I start here when talking with designers and design management. These questions give insight into how ‘design’ is done at the company.

  • What are the main challenges this role will face?
  • What one of the biggest areas on improvements you think this role could help with?
  • When is design brought into the decision making process on a new idea or feature?
  • How do you measure quality?
  • How do you deal with consistency and scale?
  • What are the main challenges you deal with as a manager on a day to day basis?
  • What’s the best part about being a designer at [Company Name]?
  • Is there a culture of critique? If so, what is it like?
  • How is work shared/viewed with members of the Product team?
  • Do you have any design tenets? If so, what are they?
  • What’s one of the biggest hurdles the design team would say they have?
  • How do you deal with consistency across product teams?
  • How do you communicate designs/progress up the chain?
  • How does work get prioritized?
  • How do you ensure your staff has autonomy, purpose and mastery?
  • Do you feel empowered to stop ship something? If so, can you give me an example?
  • Do you feel other members of the product team (Engineering and Product) are bought into the “design” process?
  • What are some of the cool projects you’re working on today?

Research focused questions

These questions give insight into how Design works with Research. How research measures work and the means to which they conduct user research.

  • Where does research come into the process?
  • Is Research centralized or de-centralized?
  • Who assigns priorities for Research?
  • When do you use Attitudinal vs. Behavioral?
  • How do you balance the qualitative with quantitative?
  • How does the team measure success?
  • Who conducts usability tests?
  • Who defines metrics for success?
  • Who manages access to customers or users?
  • Do you use NPS and if so, what are your thoughts on that?
  • How often do you playback to execs on findings?
  • Who creates the end to end vision of what the users wants/needs?
  • How do compromises work between date driven results vs actually solving user problems?

For Product Management

These questions give insight into how product management is done and how they perceive working with design.

  • How are priorities define and communicated?
  • How do you measure quality?
  • What do you see is UX’s role?
  • What are some of your biggest challenges?
  • What analytic tools do you use to track Product goals?
  • What would you like to see from the person taking this role?

For Development

These questions give insight into how development is done and how they perceive working with design.

  • How do developers perceive the design team?
  • How does dev collaborate with Designers?
  • What about the technology excites you?
  • What are some of your biggest challenges?
  • What would you like to see from the person taking this role?
  • What’s the #1 thing you’d improve working with the Design Team?
  • How often do features get shipped?
  • Can you do A/B testing?
  • What analytic tools do you use to track user interactions?

Working with Dev/Prod is all about relationships — establishing trust, collaboration and healthy debate.

Fun questions

Probably some of the most important questions you can ask.. These questions will give you a sense of the personality of the individual(s) you will be working with.

  • What’s the last song you listened to?
  • What would your direct reports say is the best thing about working for you?
  • What’s the last book you read?
  • If you had to pick one, which one would it be and why?
  • New York Penthouse off 5th ave
  • Beach front chalet off French Rivera
  • Log cabin in the Swiss Alps
  • Country House tucked away in Stowe, VT

Like them, have suggestions? I’d love to hear your feedback!

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