Dont Be Afraid To Pause
Stopping before you answer a question in a job interview isnt a bad thing!
Some questions, especially those related to your projects or even expectations, demand that short pause. Dont be afraid to give yourself some time to think through before answering. Discussing work is never the place to hurry, so set the steady pace that will help you provide only the best answers.
So, this is our take on how to prepare for a design interview.
We hope these tips will help you nail your future product design interview, but if you want to bulletproof your interview skills, book a call with us!Youll get an opportunity to practice with professionals and receive actionable feedback.
Design Pattern Interview Questions
Positions that involve writing complex code can be more knowledge intensive than behavioural or situational roles. A trained and watchful interviewer can gauge your level of preparation and add a few points to your interview scorecard. Preparing for common questions relevant to your role and skills can give you confidence during the interview. In this article, we list some commonly asked design pattern interview questions and share a few example answers to help you prepare for your interview.
How Do You Learn From Negative Feedback
First, try to relate the answer to the project that didn’t go as planned. Then address what were the internal user and customer feedback and how you improved upon that. Taking negative feedback as constructive criticism is very important to being a designer. This is a bias which often a lot of designers face towards the designs which they create.
Make sure to tell that feedback is critical while designing and that is how user experience of product is improved. Take criticism on work, not personally and detach yourself from your designs.
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Don’t Wait For Vacancies To Appear
There doesn’t need to be an actual job vacancy in order for you to get work. If your experience and skillset will help a studio or agency win business, improve its offering or bring an innovative approach to the table, then that studio may try to make a space for you.
Added value cannot be underestimated. Creative agencies are busy places, so if your details hit the right screen at the right time, you could make someone’s life easier and bag your dream job interview.
Select The Interview Method
Will you be conducting in-person or remote research? Do you want to record the sessions and do you have the proper software to do so?
Dont forget to think about the research method itself. Primary research can be the most common in design research, but youre usually choosing between gathering two types of primary information: exploratory or specific .
You may also want to do evaluative research, looking at a specific problem to evaluate usability and interaction. This usually involves having people use your product or service and think out loud as they interact with it.
Image from Inside Design: Wealthfront
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Dress For The Occasion
One of the ways how to prepare for a design interview is to dress accordingly.
This rule applies even if the interview is happening in the comfort of your home. Good company research will help you determine whether you should wear a suit or not. A general rule of thumb is to match the smart-casual dress code. Wear clothes youre confident in that are appropriate for the possible future workspace.
Make sure your clothes are tidy and you look well put, at least for your upper half.
Nailing The Designer Interview
Interviews for creative positions can differ slightly from the typical job interview. Sure, youll probably still get many of the worlds most common interview questions .
However, there is also likely to be an increased emphasis on the strength of your portfolio and questions about your creative process and track record. You will want to be comfortable with how to sell your work and answer any design-specific questions that may be thrown your way.
Selling yourself to an interviewer is uncomfortable for nearly everyone. Creative professionals can have a particularly hard time promoting their strengths.
Its understandable to want to let your work speak for itself, but a large part of being a creative professional involves skills that may not be related to your creative abilities.
Youll need to be able to demonstrate to your interviewers that you not only produce amazing creative work, but you also have the additional skills necessary to thrive in the position.
Selling yourself can be done subtly and authentically, without displays that may feel smarmy or disingenuous. Be honest with yourself about the value you are bringing to the table. You made it into the room on the strength of your abilities. Own your accomplishments and speak about them with confidence.
Youll want to give as thorough an overview as possible of your abilities. In addition to the time management and organization skills we discussed above, you should also be prepared to speak about the following:
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Why Is Documentation Control Necessary
The interviewer most likely will want to evaluate your perception of following standard procedures when documenting changes and integrations to system design. You can use your answer to show the interviewer that you value the importance of documenting each project as well as your experience evaluating which approach to take for documentation.
Example:”Documentation control is a crucial part of my job because it enables other IT professionals, staff and users to view each component of a module within a system design. I have extensive experience with this aspect of the job, and I worked to keep each documentation updated to reflect all recent progress within a specific system design.”
How To Prepare For The System Design Interview In 2022
For many software engineers, the System DesignIinterview remains a mysterious challenge.
Most engineers have never actually worked on large-scale systems before, so having to explain how to build one seems daunting. And because system design interview questions can be so open-ended, it is hard to know the right way to prepare.
Before I spent eight years working on distributed systems at Microsoft and Facebook, I definitely felt this way. But now, as someone who has participated in hundreds of system design interviews, I can assure you that there is a way through.
In this post, I will discuss:
What interviewers are looking for in a System Design Interview
How any developer can prepare to confidently answer System Design questions
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What Is Design Thinking
Design Thinking is a very important term that all UX designers should know about and it could be a knowledge testing question which might also, be a crucial one for selection for the job. Design thinking is a method for solving problems in a practical and creative manner. Its about uncovering insights into the unmet needs of your target audience. Its a form of the solution-based process with the intent of producing a constructive future result.
Do not go totally textbook here rather tell that its an approach where the people are kept first and their desires, needs, behavior influence the whole process of designing a product. So summing up do include the basic steps of the process:-
Take up a case study which you did and explain different phases of the process and methods which you followed at each step. Remember to tell the Why behind conducting a certain activity in the process.
What Is User Documentation And What Should It Include
With this question, the interviewer may want to evaluate your knowledge of various documentation processes, as well as your understanding of what each aspect should cover. Use this question to highlight your experience and skills with creating user documentation as well as using the data to drive your system designs.
Example:”User documentation is a means of providing instructions and information for users who interact with the system. Appropriate user documentation in my experience should include a system overview, including overviews of system menus, contents, data entry screens and other processing instructions. This should make the user experience smooth and reduce issues with user interaction.”
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What Drew You To Pursuing A Profession As A Graphic Designer In The First Place
I chose to pursue a career as a Graphic Designer because it matched my creative energy and allowed me to demonstrate my abilities. Since I was a child, Ive enjoyed drawing and painting. Graphic design allows me to turn my passion into a business and produce visually stunning designs that influence people. With a bachelors degree in graphic design from ABC College and a diploma in design, I believe that graphic design is the ideal job for me.
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What Factors Do You Consider When Designing A Service
The interviewer likely wants to know your process for designing and implementing this type of project. You can use your answer to highlight your experience and unique approach to design.
Example:”First, I consider the client’s approach to communicating with the system or the API. Then, I would integrate an application layer to host and store URLs in the persistence layer, which is the overall database that I would need to integrate to run the system.”
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Give The Viewer What They Want
Ben Cox, head of the Central Illustration Agency , reveals what it takes to create a cracking portfolio: “The trick is to empathise with the client at all times. If you were an art director in need of an illustration in a hurry, would your portfolio or site deliver an inspiring and accurate view of your visual language within the first few pages or clicks?
“Would that impression then last throughout if the client decided to spend more time exploring your work? Excite them, yes, but make their job as easy as possible.”
What To Expect In A System Design Interview
System design interviews are typically 45-60 minutes long, beginning with a very broad prompt, like “design Twitter. Then you’ll be expected to generate a high-level design, showing the different system components that will be required, how they’re connected, and any trade-offs in the approach you’ve taken.
The frequency of these interviews will depend on what role youre applying for. As a rule of thumb, the more senior the position, the more system design interviews youll have.
If youre applying for junior positions, your interviews will be more focused on coding, and youll usually have a maximum of 2 system design interviews. You may not have any. If you’re applying for a more senior software engineer role, or for a software development manager position, then you should expect system design interviews to be much more heavily emphasized.
In addition to software engineer interviews, system design questions are also used for TPM interviews, and potentially in recruitment for other technical roles as well.
If you already have a system design interview scheduled at a specific company, consult the relevant link below to learn more about the company’s process and to see their previous questions. This is not a comprehensive list of all companies that use system design interviews, but it does cover some of the biggest companies in the industry.
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Plan Your Interview Set
Youd be amazed at the number of times a candidate has turned up a few minutes late for an interview, or with a laptop that is just about to run out of power. It goes without saying that its imperative that you turn up on time for an interview.
If the interview is being conducted remotely dont forget to install and test any software beforehand and to find a nice quiet spot for the interview. Having to shout over the background noise of a busy café does not exactly set a great first impression.
Types Of Design Challenges
Design challenges are used by companies like and Airbnb to demonstrate how the designer approaches problem-solving and identify their design process. In the majority of cases, you will encounter your design challenge in the second or third interview with a company.
The reasoning behind the design challenge is to get a greater insight into the applicants thinking process. A design challenge gives the interviewer a glimpse into your thinking process as you approach a design problem.
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Why Do You Want This Graphic Design Job
Stripe has a fantastic reputation. I have a few former colleagues working here, and Ive seen how much Stripes mission to increase the GDP of the Internet bleeds into everything you do. Youre also trendsetters in the design industry and clear evidence that great design can be a differentiator. I recently helped Intercom overhaul their entire visual design identity and differentiate them from other CRMs and chatbots, and I believe I could contribute significantly to the visual design and improvement of Stripes design identity, particularly across your growing portfolio of products.
Why this is a good answer
Hiring managers love candidates who are passionate about company values. This goes far above the job. Highlighting an aspect of their culture shows youve done the research. This particular candidate has also highlighted that theyve worked as a brand designer for another highly successful company, which implies they understand the problem deeply and have relevant experience and skills to have a great impact.
Go For The Right Format
Displaying your graphic design portfolio in traditional print is now outdated, and employers wont show much interest. Its a good idea to showcase your work on an iPad because it is a much more comfortable and convenient way to display your work.
Otherwise, you can keep both with you a printed portfolio or an iPad. Photoshoot and illustration look great on iPad. If you have a work sample done on a different piece of paper, you can go for the printed one.
Its up to you to know you want to present your graphic design portfolio, choose the best format and go for that.
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Key Graphic Design Interview Questions & Answers
Prepare for your graphic design interview with our list of top questions and answers.
While your day-to-day would typically consist of solo work, graphic designers should be able to work well with coworkers and clients. Like your strength and/or weakness question, its best to answer truthfully so your manager knows your preference.
- Tell me about yourself.
- Why do you want to work for us?
- Where do you see yourself in five years?
- Why did you choose graphic design as a profession?
- What makes you a good graphic designer?
- What are your strengths and weaknesses?
- Describe a time when you had a conflict at work.
- What qualities and skills should a great graphic designer have?
- Do you work better alone or in a group?
- How do you incorporate feedback into designs?
- If I asked you to design x, which software would you use? What is the use of x in Photoshop? What is the shortcut for x in CAD?
What I Learned Through Hundreds Of System Design Interviews
The experience of working on web-scale systems at Facebook and Microsoft taught me two key skills to approaching the System Design Interview:
Heres the counterintuitive part: in the System Design Interview, companies are not actually trying to test your experience with System Design.
Successful candidates rarely have much experience working on large-scale systems, and interviewers know this. Again, this is a discipline that has only been around for about fifteen years, and like everything else in software engineering, it is evolving rapidly.
The key is to prepare for the SDI with the intent to apply that knowledge.
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Polling Sse And Websockets
Polling, server sent events, and WebSockets are all techniques for streaming high volumes of data to or from a server. Its important to know their differences when designing a system.
We don’t have the space necessary to explain each of these topics here, but we’d encourage you to spend a little time reviewing our to get a high-level understanding.
What Kind Of Design Projects Do You Love To Work On
The purpose of this graphic design interview question is to get a better sense of who you are, your passions, the way you work and the types of assignments you enjoy. Talking about the projects you like working on the most shows your range of skills and experience. You can talk about your past work projects along with both freelance and personal work. Make sure to discuss the assignments in detail and what you loved about each one.
Tip: By describing the projects you enjoy working on, you can discuss the skills you used to accomplish each assignment, showing your proficiency, organizational skills and strong work ethic. If you specialize in a specific area, you can highlight how you want to do more of this type of work which is the reason you applied for the given job in the first place. You can also tie-in the companys portfolio and comment that this is the quality and variety of work you wish to work on in the future.
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Job Interview Dos And Donts
The focus in this piece is on specific preparation for a graphic designer job interview. But framing this focus is a bigger picture of preparing for job interviews in general. As there are many good resources for that online already, rather than rehash them, heres a list of some of the most useful:
It doesnt matter how well prepared you are for specific questions youll encounter at a graphic designer interview if you show up late, dont know the name of the person you are meeting with, havent done your homework on the company, or forget to bring a printed copy of your resume! So dont skip those things!
Do arrive early, dressed professionally, resume in hand, exuding energy and friendliness. Listen closely and make eye contact. Take notes . Thank the interviewer at the beginning and end of the interview for their time and consideration.
Dress professionally for interviews. What does that mean for a graphic designer? It doesnt mean dress stuffy. But it also doesnt mean sloppy. A good resource is the article Interview Attire for Designers: What to Wear at the AIGA Houston website.
Study a potential employers website to see what the culture seems like. Suit-and-tie is rarely the dress code for graphic designers. A button-down shirt or a nice sweater is usually right for a top along with clean, dark jeans and clean, nice shoes. But, again, have a look at the companys website for clues.