IXD302 Interview Preparation

A great post I found on this topic was 12 UX Designer Interview Questions and Answers. The following example questions were included

Tell us about yourself? 

This question really means, tell us why you are right for this role, so keep your answer relevant. An ideal answer to this type of question will tell the interviewer about your journey with UX design, it might also include why you are interested in UX, what got you started in UX. When answering this question you need to consider the specifics of the role you are applying for and adapt your answers to include examples of your experience with the required skill set. As the roles we are applying for are placement roles there will be an awareness of the fact that we don’t have a lot of experience. I will therefore use this as an opportunity to talk about my degree and masters in Psychology and relate this back to a human-centred approach in design and my emphasises on user research.

What is UX Design?

Here they apparently want to know if you understand the value of the role. This is a great place to start talking about your process and emphasise the importance you place on meeting the needs of the user. I plan to answer this type of question by jumping right into my process and talking about completing user research, identifying problems and solutions and insuring you are actually identifying the problem, not just the symptoms. I will also attempt to draw on specific examples of user research that I have completed to date and talk about the positive impact they had on the final outcome of the project.

Tell me about some of your favourite examples of good UX.

This question is not just talking about what you like about this example it is about demonstrating your knowledge of best UX practices. The example I intend to use for this question is AirBnB. Using Airbnb I can point how they tap into the mental model of how people actually plan a holiday as presented by Joe Leech who has researched the area. I can also discuss how they design their website and app to be user-centric in that they don’t just market accommodation but an entire experience.

UX vs UI

What is the difference between UX and UI? 

This question is really asking, do you understand what UX is and what it is not? Here my key explanation will be that UI deals with the athletics of the interface while UX deals with the functionality of the entire product and how it meets the users need from beginning to end. I will also attempt to use this question as an opportunity to discuss important features of UX that I feel specifically relate to the role I am applying for.

Walk me through your workflow?

The real question being asked here is, what’s your thought process when solving problems? Here I will essentially talk through the entire creative process beginning with empathising, define, ideate, prototyping and test. I will have to explain that I have not had the opportunity to do user testing yet however I can display my overall understanding of how user testing works and how it carries you back through the process. Here I can point to the approaches that I am currently learning (I will have a larger base to choose from when interviews begin) and explain how I have used them in the context of a project.

What kind of research methods do you use?

This question is actually asking how you validate your design decisions. Here I will point to the following methods.

  • Competitor analysis
  • User/Job stories
  • Google Trends
  • Material Design
  • User Research- interviews, focus groups, observational studies, desktops (talk about limitations)
  • User testing

Again, I have not completed any user testing when interviews begin I will have to state this along with the other approaches I have not actually used however I still believe demonstrating an understanding of these approaches will be very helpful.

How do you respond to negative feedback?

This question is really asking if you are a team player. This means you need to use this as an opportunity to talk about successful collaboration. I respond to this question by referring to feedback from lecturers. I feel it might be more helpful to be able to discuss negative feedback from peers in a team setting however I don’t currently have the experience to draw on for that. Yet, I still think displaying a clear understanding of why it is important to get negative feedback and how this is the only real way to learn should be relevant.

Image of The Galaxy project

Tell me about your most/least successful UX design project?

This equation is asking you what your strengths and weaknesses are. This will be easier to approach from the favourite project perspective. Here I can discuss my The Galaxy App and refer to the comprehensive competitor research I completed as well as the UI research completed on google’s material design to help me create an outcome that will fit with peoples mental models of how to work similar app UI’s.

For my least favourite project, I will talk about my first website and my struggles to design a website that I could actually build. This was something I rectified during the project which will be a positive. I can also conclude that now given my understanding of building websites this is not as much of a problem as it used to be however UX designers will always need feedback from software engineers on what is possible and what is not, therefore an awareness of this may also not be a bad thing.

How would you improve the UX of our product?

This question is really asking if you have researched the company. I doubt this type of question will be phrased like this given we are only applying for a placement. However, I do need to try to get as good an understanding as possible about the companies product/ services as well as their values and overall ethos and be able to discuss this.

An inspiration wall

 

Where do you find inspiration?

This is asking: Are you passionate about UX design? Are you a lifelong learner? Here I can discuss my interest in psychology and how this relates to my interest in understanding the user. I can also talk more about Joe Leech and how he combines psychology and design as well Don Norman as he often pulls in psychological theories and ties them to design in The Design of Everyday Things.

Do you have any questions?

This is actually asking are you engaged and curious? For this question, I will ask about the day to day roles and responsibilities of the position, if everyone is still working from home and if they can provide me with any feedback on my portfolio website. As these are the questions I really want to know the answers to.

The above questions have been so helpful in providing me with a strong foundation of what information I need to know before moving attending an interview. This will be an ongoing work in progress and my answers will change depending on the company and role I am applying for. Yet, the fundamentals are covered here and this will be something I continue to refer to before attending an interview.

Recapping on process and design thinking

As I wanted to be clear that I was mentioning all of the items in the design process I wanted to recap on design thinking. I found the above video so helpful from AJ and Smart really helpful in giving me a quick overview of this. I can now ensure that I mention each of the items in the design process as I am talking through my own approach in projects.

Design influences and good examples of UX

Airbnb

My favourite design example has got to be Airbnb. I think it’s a beautiful website and interesting that they not only help uses to book accommodation, but they also help them to plan their holiday via booking their accommodation. This is an interesting UX approach that I think will be fun to discuss in an interview. They also have an interesting article on building a visual language that I can refer to as well.

When it comes to designers I find influential I think Danny Spitzer-Con has done some really interesting work on projects like Flipboard and Binge that could be interesting to talk about. I think having a couple of sources like the above to discuss and refer to in my interview will help to display my interest in the field of UX design.

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