Preparing for an interview is the key to success. It’s your responsibility to research the company and common interview questions so that you aren’t left staring blankly at the interviewer when he/she asks you to explain what your greatest weakness is.
But, you will also need to prepare for questions that are relevant to the specific role you’re being interviewed for as the interviewer will be interested to see why they should hire you.
To help budding web designers out we’ve searched high and low for the top interview questions for web designers.
1. 'Describe your creative process.'
A web designer is primarily creative because although his/her designs have a lot to do with website functionality, they are also responsible for producing something that is aesthetically pleasing to the user.
The key to answering this question is to give evidence of just how much creativity goes into your process. So, walk the interviewer through your process starting by how you conceive a creative and fresh design. Shape this answer around the problem you’re trying to solve and show your commitment to the project throughout the process.
2. 'What’s the first qestion you ask clients?'
Your answer to this interview question needs to demonstrate your expertise in design. Answer in a way that proves you are reliable and can be trusted to carry out a project independently. Some great examples of first questions to clients include:
- What isn’t working now?
- Why are you optimising?
- What isn’t working on your current website?
3. 'How do you incorporate current design trends in your work?'
A great web designer needs to be up-to-date with the trends in their industry at all times. And you shouldn’t just be aware of these trends; you should be able to incorporate them into your work so you can offer your client a unique, sleek and modern design. Make sure that you’re able to explain how you can put your own spin on these trends.
4. 'How do you ensure that the Developers can understand your designs?'
You won’t work on your own, and it’s important to showcase that you will be able to work with developers efficiently. To do that show that you’re at least familiar with some basic web development principles to ensure that your designs won’t be creating problems that developers can’t solve. Make sure you answer this interview question by explaining how you will work with developers to deliver designs in the agreed file format and level of specification.
5. 'Is there a particular market area you specialise in?'
Many experienced web designers end up working in a specific sector. Recent graduates, on the other hand, are more likely to work with different website formats. What’s important here is to show that your work is versatile, but that you are also experienced in a specific sector.
Ideally, you will have created lots of websites in that field, but if you haven’t, make sure that you mention how versatile your work is and how you’ve been able to design websites for different sectors in the past.
6. 'How do you reduce a page’s loading time?'
There are lots of right answers here, and it’s a great opportunity for you to impress the interviewer; this stuff is really your bread and butter. Some of the best answers are reducing image size, removing unnecessary widgets, HTTP compression, etc.
7. 'What do you have to offer our company in terms of artistic achievement?'
Your job is to design a fully functional website that’s user-friendly and simple to navigate. The real challenge is to make the website aesthetically pleasing, too, and this can be of particular importance to an employer in the arts sector.
This question is designed to draw on your artistic experience and expertise; do you have any formal qualifications in art and design, or have you undertaken any courses in the field? If you have a portfolio of artwork, it’s well worth taking it with you so that you can illustrate your answer to this question.
8. 'What made you want to become a web designer?'
Make sure that you don’t make this answer about money or not wearing suits to work, don’t even think about mentioning that it was the career path laid out for you by an aptitude test. The interviewer is interested to know that you’re genuinely interested in the industry. Do that by sharing an interesting story which helped you discover your passion for web design
9. 'How much time do you spend planning and researching?'
If you have ever worked as a web designer, you’ll know that clients (and employers) are interested in speed. Your employer will want to know that you don’t waste everyone’s time by spending a very long time researching and planning. But, they also want to know that your decisions are calculated and that you’ve taken into account different factors before starting work. It’s important to point out that the amount of time you dedicate to each project depends on the project itself, but generally speaking, spending between 3 and 10 hours is the norm.
10. 'Do you analyse current traffic before making decisions?'
It’s important for web designers to work closely with marketing teams as the data they provide can offer an insight into what is and isn’t working on a website. A thorough analysis of a website’s metrics is essential for this so it would be beneficial if you had experience with SEO tools. Understanding, for example, why a page has a low bounce rate and why another has a high bounce rate can help you create web pages that generate more traffic and thus make yourself an indispensable member of the team.
You shouldn’t only prepare for these interview questions as the interviewer will be interested to find out how good a fit you are. It’s important not to learn the answers by heart as this will stop you sounding natural. Simply understand the questions so that if you do get asked, you’ll know how to answer.
What other web design interview questions can you add to this list? Let me know in the comment section below.
This article was originally published in November 2014.