How to Effectively Interview a UX Designer

August 30, 2023

Looking for guidance and insights on how to interview a UX designer? We understand that interviewing a UX designer can be challenging. You have received dozens of applications, and you need to find the best candidates. How do you decide who to interview? What questions do you ask UX designers? How do you evaluate their answers?

Let's explore the topic of how to interview UX designers in more detail. To begin, it's crucial to truly grasp the meaning of UX design. At its core, UX design is about crafting products that shine in being easy to use, accessible, and enjoyable overall. This skill is super important for businesses that want to give their customers value and be better than their competitors. As more people realize the importance of UX design, there will be a bigger need for skilled UX designers in the future. As reported by Adobe, 87%1 of managers have identified hiring more UX designers as the primary agenda for their organizations. But how do you find and interview a UX designer to meet your needs and expectations?

In this article, we will guide you through the steps on how to interview a UX designer. We will show you how to prepare for the interview, what questions to ask UX designers, and how to evaluate the results. Whether you are a recruiter or a hiring manager we believe this article will help you conduct effective UX design interviews and hire the best talent for your company.

Ready to learn more about how to interview a UX designer? Let’s explore together!

Step 1: Understanding the Role of a UX Designer

Before you start interviewing a UX designer, it's important to know exactly what a UX designer does and what abilities they need to make products that are easy to use, accessible, and enjoyable.

A UX designer's job involves understanding what users want and need, and coming up with solutions that meet or even exceed those expectations. Typically, a UX designer follows a step-by-step design process that includes researching, analyzing, brainstorming, creating prototypes, testing, and making improvements:

  • User research: The ability to conduct qualitative and quantitative research methods, such as interviews, surveys, observations, analytics, etc., to gather user data and insights.
  • User analysis: The ability to synthesize and interpret user data, such as personas, scenarios, user journeys, user stories, etc., to define user problems and goals.
  • User ideation: The ability to generate and evaluate multiple ideas and concepts, such as sketches, wireframes, mockups, etc., to solve user problems and achieve user goals.
  • User prototyping: The ability to create and refine low-fidelity and high-fidelity prototypes, such as paper prototypes, interactive prototypes, etc., to communicate and demonstrate design solutions.
  • User testing: The ability to conduct usability testing and user feedback sessions, such as moderated or unmoderated testing, A/B testing, etc., to validate and improve design solutions.
  • User iteration: The ability to iterate and optimize design solutions based on user testing results and feedback, such as making changes, adding features, removing errors, etc., to enhance user satisfaction and loyalty.

UX design has a significant impact on the success of a product in terms of both business outcomes and user outcomes. UX design can benefit product success by increasing customer satisfaction, reducing development costs, and enhancing competitive advantage.

Certainly, a UX designer should also possess soft skills and domain knowledge that align with the company's culture, vision, and goals, including:

  • Communication skills: To understand, present, and collect feedback on design solutions.
  • Collaboration skills: To work with other designers, developers, or stakeholders.
  • Creativity skills: To generate and evaluate multiple ideas and concepts.
  • Critical thinking and problem-solving skills: To identify and solve user problems, validate and improve design solutions, and make rational decisions.
  • Domain knowledge: To create products that are relevant, appropriate, and effective for the target users and the business goals.

According to a survey conducted by the Interaction Design Foundation, around 73%2 of hiring managers worldwide pinpointed communication and problem-solving as the leading skills they look for in potential UX candidates.

Let’s move forward and dig into more details on how to prepare for the UX designer interview.

Step 2: Preparing for the interview

Before you conduct the UX designer interview, you need to prepare yourself and your team for the process. Here are some steps to follow:

Crafting a clear job description and role expectations

You should write a clear and detailed job description that outlines the responsibilities, skills, and qualifications of the UX designer role. You should also specify the expectations and goals of the role, such as the type of projects, the deliverables, the timeline, etc. This will help you attract and screen the right candidates for the role, and also communicate the value proposition and benefits of working with your company.

Identifying the core competencies and qualities required

You should identify the core competencies and qualities that you are looking for in a UX designer, based on your company’s needs, objectives, and culture. You should also prioritize and weight them according to their importance and relevance. Some of the common competencies and qualities of a UX designer we discussed in Step I.

Reviewing the candidate’s resume and portfolio

Before the interview, you should review the candidate’s portfolio, resume, and cover letter. Look for evidence of their design process, problem-solving skills, and communication skills. You should also prepare a realistic design challenge that reflects your company’s goals and context

Forming an interview panel and assigning specific roles

You should form an interview panel that consists of people who are relevant and qualified to evaluate the UX designer’s skills, experience, personality, and fit. You can also assign specific roles and responsibilities to each panel member, such as asking questions, taking notes, observing behavior, giving feedback, etc. This will help you conduct the interview efficiently and effectively, and avoid any duplication or confusion.

Preparing the interview environment and materials

You should prepare the interview environment and materials that are suitable and conducive for the UX designer interview. You should ensure that the interview venue is comfortable, quiet, and well-equipped with the necessary tools and devices, such as a laptop, a projector, a whiteboard, etc. You should also prepare the interview materials that are relevant and helpful for the interview process, such as the resume, the portfolio, the questions, the rubric, etc. This will help you create a positive and professional impression on the UX designer, and also facilitate the interview process.

Are you ready to discover how to interview a UX designer? Let's move together to the next step and design effective interview questions.

Step 3: Designing Effective Interview Questions

Once you have prepared for the UX designer interview, you need to design effective interview questions that can help you assess the UX designer’s skills, experience, personality, and fit. Here are some types of questions that you can use:

Open-ended questions: These are questions that invite the UX designer to share their thoughts, opinions, experiences, and insights in detail. They usually start with words like “what”, “how”, “why”, “when”, “where”, or “who”. For example, you could ask:

  • What is your UX design process and how do you apply it to different projects?
  • How do you conduct user research and what methods do you use?
  • Why did you choose UX design as your career and what are your professional goals?

Situational questions: These are questions that present the UX designer with a realistic scenario or a problem that they might encounter in their work and ask them how they would handle it. They usually start with words like “imagine”, “suppose”, or “if”. For example, you could ask:

  • Imagine you are working on a new feature for an e-commerce app. How would you define the user needs, design the user flow, and test the usability of the feature?
  • Suppose you receive negative feedback from a user who is unhappy with the product. How would you respond to them and what actions would you take to improve the user experience?
  • If you had to redesign an existing website or app that has a lot of usability issues, what steps would you follow and what tools would you use?

Hypothetical questions: These are questions that challenge the UX designer to think creatively and come up with innovative solutions for a hypothetical problem or a situation. They usually start with words like “what if”, “how would you”, or “how might we”. For example, you could ask:

  • How would you design a smartwatch app that helps people manage their stress levels?
  • How might we use gamification to increase user engagement and retention in an educational app?

Follow-up questions: These are questions that follow up on the UX designer’s previous answers and ask them to elaborate, clarify, or justify their responses. They usually start with words like “Can you explain”, “Can you give an example”, “How did you”, or “What was the outcome”. For example, you could ask:

  • Can you explain how you measured the impact of your design solution on user behavior and satisfaction?
  • Can you give an example of a project where you faced a challenge or a conflict and how did you overcome it?
  • How did you validate your assumptions and hypotheses in your user research?
  • What was the outcome of your usability testing and how did you incorporate the feedback into your design iterations?

Scenario-Based Questions and Problem Solving: Another type of question that can help you evaluate the UX designer’s problem-solving and design-thinking skills is scenario-based questions. These are questions that present the UX designer with a real-world UX challenge that they have to solve in a limited time. For example, you could ask them to:

  • Design an app that helps people discover hidden gems and local experiences in popular tourist destinations
  • Design a landing page that increases conversions for an online course
  • Design a chatbot that provides customer support for an online store

To conduct scenario-based questions effectively, you should follow these steps:

  • Present the scenario and the problem clearly and concisely
  • Provide any relevant information or constraints, such as user personas, business goals, technical limitations, etc.
  • Ask the UX designer to think aloud and explain their approach and rationale
  • Observe how they apply the UX design process, methods, tools, and outcomes
  • Measure their creativity and innovation in their solutions
  • Give feedback and follow-up questions to assess their performance

As you embark on the journey of interviewing software developers, JB Hired is here to provide support. Explore our thoughtfully curated compilation of best interview questions, designed to help you pinpoint exceptional talent within the field.

Step 4: Evaluation

Once the interview is done, it's time to assess how well the candidate did using certain predetermined standards. Think about their ability to think critically about design, their creativity, how easy their designs are to use, how they look, and their technical skills. Also, consider how well they fit in with your company's culture and values. It's important to compare the candidates fairly and choose the one who matches your needs. Getting input from other interviewers or people involved in the process can help you make a better choice

  • Review the candidate’s answers to the open-ended and behavioral questions. Look for signs of their UX design knowledge, skills, and experience. See if they can explain their design decisions, justify their choices, and provide examples of their previous work. Assess their ability to handle feedback, collaboration, and conflict.
  • Review the candidate’s performance on the design challenge. Look for how they approached the problem, what questions they asked, and what solutions they proposed. Evaluate their design thinking, creativity, usability, aesthetics, and technical skills. See if they followed the UX design principles and methodologies, such as user research, information architecture, wireframing, prototyping, and usability testing.
  • Review the candidate’s fit with your company’s culture and values. Look for how they interacted with you and other interviewers, how they expressed their personality and attitude, and how they aligned with your company’s vision and mission. See if they share your company’s values, such as innovation, collaboration, or customer satisfaction.

Looking to boost your candidate closing rates? Be sure not to overlook our comprehensive guide on how to improve candidate experience.


And now we are coming to the end of this article on interviewing a UX designer. We hope you have enjoyed and learned some useful tips and techniques to help you interview the UX designer. By following the steps in this article, you should be able to effectively and confidently interview a UX designer. A good UX designer can make a huge difference in your product’s success and user satisfaction.

On the hunt for the perfect UX Designer? JB Hired is here to lend a hand. Our expertise lies in identifying top-tier UX designers within the industry. Contact us via the form below to schedule a free consultation. Let JB Hired take the lead in locating exceptional UX designers who are the right fit for your requirements.