Love UX? These are my favorite interview questions

Thx to Jerrod for jogging my thoughts on this, it’s a great ask that all UX folks should ask them themselves.

“Can you share your favorite interview questions that you ask Jr UX Design candidates that help you to determine if they are a good fit for you team?”

In my opinion, interview questions are a great way to put someone on the spot and hear how that person organizes and articulates their response. The content of the answer is very important as well as how the message is being delivered.

How did you get into user experience?

  • This is more about understanding WHY they love UX and helps characterize where their roots are with the craft. There are a mix of creative types in the UX space across many domains. How they describe their passion is really meaningful to understand the character of who you are hiring.

What inspires you to craft user experiences?

  • In my opinion, a natural UX leader is motivated to help/facilitate people to do something better, make it easy to understand something.
  • Some people recognize that they love representing the target audience needs and connect with an empathy-driven approach to design thinking that can really influence a project team to stay on the same page.

What do you think user experience means?

  • This is a good question to understand the person’s strengths and focus areas that naturally extend from what inspires them.
  • This is another opportunity to really evaluate in their answer how well they articulate what they want to accomplish by practicing user experience. Of course some people want to be certified and/or upgrade their paycheck — I look for folks that see UX as a tool (a conduit) to make life easier, simpler or something really meaningful (those are the good ones).

As a UX’er, are you more logical and/or abstract when you problem solve?

  • Wording needs to change with actual question but the idea is to evaluate how the person understand themselves. UX is a spectrum of crafts from hard logic (personalization, design system thinking) to abstract (journey/persona creation, sketch process). Of course people can be in the “middle” and I think those folks are naturally strong at user experience.

Explain your design thinking / problem solving approach?

  • The typical methodology is a user-centered design lean/agile process and that is table stakes now. The market has evolved to make other disciplines in our world more user-centered. In how they respond, I look for leadership and knowing when and how to apply methodology not just what it is.
  • UX folks geared to transform business cultures, products need to have professional consulting skills as well like being client facing — knowing how to push back intelligently and having a business/tech sense to keep UX design thinking relevant in terms of feasibility and confidence to challenge clients.

How do you collaborate with your team?

  • I try to frame this based on work they share and really get under the hood with them on how they actually work with other creative / strategy etc team members to solve complex problems. Back in the day the UX person was more cubicle. These days they are front and center and/or leading teams to push them through collaboration, sticking their neck out to make sure everyone is on the same page.
  • This goes back to finding that “communication” trait in the candidate — the best UX folks are amazing communicators/facilitators within teams, with clients, in pitches.

If you could join our team, what do you want to be known for?

  • Looking for strengths to build on and see if those match my team needs. Also makes person identify with what they feel are confident and/or excited to focus on.

BTW I’m sure there are many more questions not listed here.

Please keep in mind, as general “user experience” questions, the outline above is more of a guide — feel free to add more questions, topics in comments. Thx.