There are two schools of thought when it comes to web designer interview questions. Some companies opt for very technical interviews, while others focus more on the web designer as a whole and how they'll fit into an existing design team.
While there are some benefits to technical interviews, figuring out how a web designer will fit into your company culture, how they think about the design process, and their design philosophy will give you more insight into their potential success than simply whether they know the difference between h1 tags and h2 in HTML.
After all, most of the technical aspects of designer jobs can be easily found online. But how a good web designer thinks can’t be Googled.
With that being said, here are 10 of the best web designer interview questions and answers to help you hire the right candidate.
Art by Anton Kakhidze
1. Outline your design process. What steps do you take?
Experienced web designers have learned what steps they should take for the most efficient and effective design process.
When answering this question, it’s less about the exact steps and the order they come in, and more about whether the designer has figured out their process. This is often something that comes with experience and experimentation, so don’t be surprised if more junior web designers don’t have as structured of an answer to this question.
2. How much UX knowledge and experience do you have?
Good user experience is essential to any good web design. If the user experience is poor, it doesn’t matter how visually pleasing the design might be; it’s a failure.
Depending on the exact makeup of your team, you may have someone in a dedicated UX designer role. But every web designer you hire should have at least some basic understanding and experience with UX design and why it’s so important. Note, UX interview questions may differ in nature from a web design interview.
Art by Olga Zalite
3. How do you respond to criticism from a client or other stakeholders?
Feedback, including negative design feedback, is part of the web design process. There’s virtually no avoiding it. So how a web designer responds to criticism of their work is paramount to their success.
How does the interviewee handle negative feedback from clients? Do they know how to incorporate that feedback into their web pages, how to work with the client to come up with a solution, and even when to push back and defend their ideas?
These are vital skills for any web designer, regardless of their experience or skill level.
4. Which projects are you most proud of?
This question offers valuable insight into what kind of work the web designer enjoys most. Sometimes a project is mentioned because of the end result, but it’s often because of the process they used to get there.
The answer to this question shows you what parts of the process a designer values most and which web design tasks they’re most likely to enjoy. This can, in turn, give you information about how they’d best fit into your existing design team.
The project they’re proudest of can also give you an idea of the overall types of web design tasks they enjoy working on and their preferred aesthetic. If this is wildly different than the types of work they’ll be doing for your company, they may not be the right fit.
Art by Bulma illustrates
5. Can you walk me through a particularly challenging project?
Not all web design projects run smoothly. Some are challenging from the start while others run into roadblocks and hurdles all along the way. The way a designer faces and concurs those challenges is important to their success. Do they face challenges head-on, with excitement over finding solutions, or do they try to avoid challenges and step around them?
6. What do you think the next big trend will be in web design?
Web design trends come and go every year. The answer to this question offers insight into whether the interviewee stays up to speed on developments and trends within the industry. It can also show where they focus their design learning and inspiration.
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7. Where do you turn for inspiration when you’re stuck?
Web designers need to maintain their creativity to solve design problems and challenges, but our creative wells are not infinitely deep. Knowing where to turn for inspiration, whether that’s other designers, their environment, or some unexpected source, is important to staying productive and on-task regardless of any creative blocks.
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8. What design publications or blogs do you read regularly?
Good designers are constantly learning and improving their skills. If the designer being interviewed isn’t regularly reading up on their profession, their skillset may stagnate.
The answer to this question can also give insight into where their web designer skills are currently. Are they reading lots of beginner-level publications or more advanced ones?
9. How do you manage multiple projects simultaneously to make sure all deadlines are met?
Not every web designer works on more than one project at a time, but many do. And sometimes it’s necessary. The answer to this interview question shows how the designer prioritizes their time and efforts to make sure all of their work gets done efficiently and on time.
10. What would you change about our website?
This can be one of the most important questions you ask. There’s always room for improvement in every web design project, and asking a designer what they’d change about your web page shows you a few things.
First, it shows whether what they value in your website aligns with your company’s goals. Do they have an understanding of what your users want? And what your company wants to achieve?
Second, it shows how they’ll approach future work with your company. Are they willing to point out real flaws and inefficiencies, or do they try to cater to what they think you want to hear?
Good designers are willing to (tactfully) point out problems and then come up with solutions for them.
Art by Niniwanted | Jenny Lelong
Bonus: What’s your process for working remotely on a web design? How does it differ from your process when working in person?
If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that being able to work remotely is a valuable skill for a lot of different professions — designers included.
If you’re hiring for fully or partially remote web designer jobs, this is vital information to have. But even if you’re not expecting employees to work remotely, this can let you know how the web designer adapts to change and whether they understand how to manage their work without constant direct supervision.
Tailor these web designer interview questions to your needs
To make the most out of your web designer interview, use these questions as a guide and tailor them to your specific hiring needs. Remember that the best web design interview questions should focus on both soft skills and hard skills.
Ready to hire a top web designer for your business? We recommend using specialized design job boards like Dribbble to find and hire top creative talent online.
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