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My Favorite UX Interview Questions

I realize this is a jackpot for anyone I interview for my growing team, but kudos to the candidate that researches their perspective employer enough to discover it! Here’s my top 5 interview questions for UX candidates:

1. “Walk me through your design process

I mostly a) want to make sure you HAVE a design process and b) make sure you start with exploration and competitive landscape and end with detailed design and user testing. I also want to see that you incorporate user testing throughout the process.

2. “Tell me about a time the business goals conflicted with the user goals and how you resolved the situation

In the end, the business needs to achieve its goals. Often times, newbies to the field are idealistic in thinking the user’s goals should always come first. On some projects, my objective is simply to do no evil to the users and help the business be successful. This is my way of understanding a candidate’s organizational maturity and if they will play nice with the business stakeholders.

3. “Why are you leaving your current job?

I want to understand what drives them to look elsewhere. If the same situation exists on my team, I know this person isn’t a good fit.

4. “What is your favorite part of User Experience and why?

In some ways this is a quiz to see if they understand the sub-disciplines of UX but more than that, I want to understand where their passion lies.  If they love user research and this role won’t consist of a lot of user research then I want to make that clear. Also, if they love an area that I need a lot of support in this is a way to show them that this is a good fit for them.

5. “How do you know when your design is done?

This is by far my favorite question. I look for an answer like “when it meets a predefined set of business and user criteria”. Bad answers include: “when I run out of time”, “when the client runs out of money” and “when the business says ‘that looks cool’ ” (yes, I’ve heard all three of those).

What are some of your favorite questions?

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  1. Shane
    February 18, 2011 at 12:45 am

    You asked me all of these many years ago, but this one is one we can debate.
    5. “How do you know when your design is done?“
    My answer in 2006 was “When it has to be”…that answer is not flip, but instead it is a very clear answer of how to work within the time provided…as it is hardly enough. Criteria are ever shifting, and the criteria for success in the business world is something I am not always comfortable with…but we have to ship. So you ship the best darn product you can within the time and resources allotted. I know I provided an explanation, as the look on your face was one of near horror. I can’t recall it, but what are your thoughts on this point of view?

  2. February 20, 2011 at 8:33 pm

    @Shane – I remember interviewing you way back in 2006, and for the record, we hired you and I tried to hire you again a few months ago despite my horror with your response 😉 This might be one we just agree to disagree on. I feel strongly that there has to be some criteria set so you know that you are releasing something of worth that the customer will deem valuable.

  3. December 1, 2011 at 3:53 pm

    What questions and parameters you consider during your form designing. This is to evaluate that the person is not living in only current scenario, and he/she take cares of all aspect of developing and designing their designs. Usually I expect answer such as “Complexity of task”, “Criticality for the business to complete the form”, “Correct path for form completion”, “Alternative ways of completing or achieving the same goal”, “External information need during completing the form/goal”, etc.

  1. March 20, 2011 at 4:40 pm
  2. July 27, 2011 at 9:53 pm
  3. August 23, 2011 at 7:06 pm

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