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Interview Questions for a Web Designer

One of the most intimidating parts of any job search is the interview process. This is when a hiring committee has come the closest it can to making a decision and is looking to narrow the field to its final choice. Nailing an interview can be the difference between getting the job and being part of the last round of cuts, which makes it incredibly important that you prepare for the process. While every interview is going to be different, there are a few things that you can generally anticipate at any given one.

What to Expect in a Web Designer Interview

For the most part, design interviews for entry-level positions will be a Q&A session with a hiring manager or a few members of a hiring committee. They won’t tend to last a significant amount of time, and they will be designed to help the hiring manager understand who you are and what your design skills and goals are. You may end up having to undergo multiple interviews, either to speak to multiple managers or to demonstrate your specific technical skills to team leaders who will need to oversee your work. Each interview will have a clearly defined purpose and it is very possible that you will only need a single interview to get an entry-level position.

Top Interview Questions for Web Designers

While every interview is going to be different, you can rest assured that there are specific genres of questions that almost all interviewers will ask. Being prepared for these questions will make the interview process significantly easier, particularly if you can anticipate the kinds of answers that hiring managers will expect to hear. It is also a useful practice to have a mock interview or two since this will help you prepare for answering common questions and answering more specific or esoteric questions. You should also prepare a few specific anecdotes or personal stories about your work that you wish to share and attempt to work those into your answers. Guiding your interviewer can be a very useful talent to master.

How would you describe your design style?

Since web design is a creative field, you’ll be expected to be able to describe both your process and your style as a designer. Interviewers want to know whether or not your design sensibilities fit in with their firm, and they will want to hear you describe your own style with deliberateness. This question may also ask you to explain your design process since that will also be a vital part of your work at the firm.

How to answer

Good answers to this question will focus on your ability to deliberately and consciously explain what it is that makes your voice as a designer unique. You will want to be able to point to specific aspects of your designs and specific designs in your portfolio that speak to your voice as a Web Designer. You’ll also want to be able to describe why you made some of the decisions you made and you’ll want to describe what aspects of the process are most important to you. If you prioritize a certain kind of visual design or if you are proud of the accessibility of your portfolio, this is where you should make that clear.

What do you consider the strongest/weakest elements of your skills?

Many design jobs will require entry-level designers to spin a lot of different plates as they work on multiple projects or assignments. Hiring managers will want to know what kinds of work you are most comfortable with and what aspects of the design process cause you the most problems. This can both serve as an extension of the previous question, and it can help hiring managers gauge whether or not you are likely to end up gravitating towards a specific kind of work while you are employed by their company. Finally, it also helps hiring managers get an honest assessment of your weaknesses as a designer.

How to answer

Most importantly, you’ll want to answer questions like this honestly. Don’t be cute, and try to avoid being frank about what you think your strengths and limitations are as a designer. If you find that your programming skills are a bit rusty or that you aren’t able to quickly redesign entire prototypes, you should say this. Similarly, don’t apologize or try to downplay your imperfections as a designer, but instead, try and frame these weaknesses as something you are looking to improve upon or that you are making efforts to address. This is also a good time to talk about how you’ve overcome design hurdles in the past.

You should also be willing to use questions like this to discuss interesting design choices you’ve made or projects you hope to be able to work on. This is a good place to start directing your interviewer to the kinds of questions you’d hope they’d ask by piquing their curiosity with some interesting design work you are proud of.

How do you go about responding to feedback and revising your work?

One significant challenge for new designers is often the process of receiving feedback and iterating on a design. While most designers will receive feedback over the course of their training, responding to feedback in a classroom is a different process from responding to feedback in a work environment, as there is a much more coherent idea of what a finished product should look like on the job. This means that many designers may struggle early on with iterating upon a design to meet a client or department’s needs, and the hiring manager will want to know whether or not this is going to be a concern going forward. This question largely isn’t intended to determine whether or not you can respond to feedback but to gauge the process you use and whether or not you can respond to feedback at the pace that the firm may need it addressed.

How to answer

There are two ways to answer this question. If you do have a specific process that you undertake for revising work, you should explain that process step-by-step. This will demonstrate that you have a system in place to respond to feedback, and this will allow the hiring manager to determine whether or not this system is a good fit for their studio. In addition, this answer will allow you to demonstrate to the hiring manager that you take a systemic approach to the design process, which may be a selling point in some cases.

If you don’t take a systemic approach to the revision and iteration process, you may wish to use this time to provide a case study of a difficult or challenging project you were working on that required substantial revision. This is both a good way to direct hiring managers to aspects of your portfolio that you want them to focus upon, and it is a good way to suggest that those designs have undergone deliberate changes and revision processes in order to reach the state they are currently in. This is valuable for prospective designers looking to highlight the time and energy they put into their work.

Walk us through your design process

A common interview question will be to describe your own process, particularly how you take a project from start to finish and how you overcome creative hurdles and challenges. The structure of his question will vary depending on how many different job responsibilities you will be taking on in your new position, as some companies may also want to know how you work with teams of designers, how you work alongside developers, or how you take the step from building a prototype design to working on the programming side of the equation. At its core, though, this question is designed to have a candidate explain their process and where they find themselves most and least comfortable on a design assignment.

How to answer

You’ll want to use this question to do two things. First, your answer should address the question, and it should demonstrate how you go from receiving an assignment to the prototype design phase all the way through programming a webpage. You can use this opportunity to speak to your multiple skills and talents, aiming to convince managers that you can pick up and enter a project at any stage of the design process. You should also be aiming to highlight your strengths, possibly by pointing to specific designs you are proud of in order to direct a manager’s attention to your work.

At the same time, you want to ensure that your answer doesn’t present you as someone who is too stuck in their own ways. The workflow and assignments you receive as an entry-level Web Designer are likely to be fluid, so an answer that suggests that you can’t break out of this design process may actually hurt your chances of getting the job. This is especially true if you are applying for a position that will have you regularly working in teams with other designers and developers since an overly committed design process can be a hindrance in these scenarios. The ultimate goal is to produce an answer that demonstrates conscious attention to process that also demonstrates your flexibility as a designer.

Why do you want to work at this company?

This is a common question that gets asked in almost every job interview, regardless of the field. It is designed to ensure that prospective employees have taken the time and energy to research and explore the company for whom they are interviewing. This will let a hiring manager know that you are taking the job interview seriously and that you have at least thought about how you plan to fit into the company or organization’s culture. They are almost certainly not looking for a ‘correct’ answer to this question. Rather, they want to know that you are trying to position yourself as a good fit for their company, not just for the existing job opening. In addition, they are likely using this question to hear you talk about the soft skills you are bringing to the table

How to answer

The best way to answer this question is to understand that it is likely to be asked and to prepare for it. You’ll be researching the company or organization you are applying to during other steps of the process, and after you’ve gotten word that you will be getting an interview, you should return to those materials to prepare for this question. You can’t really answer it without having done research on the position, so you’ll want to ensure that you have done that. Once that is taken care of, you’ll want to answer this question in earnest. Where do you see your style and voice fitting in with the company?

A few shortcuts are to look to see if the company has a specific style or clientele that they advertise in their promotional materials or if they have a few flagship products or websites that you may want to explore. This can give you a feel for the work they produce, and you can craft an answer to place yourself within that existing style. If there is a significant project they’ve worked on recently, you can mention wanting to work on projects in that vein. If they have a mission statement or a manifesto, you can read that and pepper in some of that language to indicate that you will fit well into the goals of the organization. Don’t be overly effusive in framing your desire to work at the firm, however, since hiring managers are likely to be good at detecting insincere praise.

Learn the Skills to Become a Web Designer at Noble Desktop

Students looking to build the technical skills they need to become Web Designers may want to consider the options available to them for professional training and skills development through Noble Desktop. These classes provide students with live training from expert instructors and include hands-on training and practical experience using real-world design samples. These classes are available at Noble’s Manhattan Campus or through live online instruction. No matter the delivery method, class sizes are kept small so students won’t have to compete with one another for their instructor’s attention. As a bonus, every Noble course comes with a free retake option, meaning you can take the class again within a year. This is ideal for students who want to receive more instruction and for students who want more time to gain hands-on experience that they can parlay into better job opportunities.

Students interested in becoming professional Web Designers will need a lot of skills training. For novices, Noble offers a Web Design Certificate program that will teach students how to use common web design software applications, how to code their designs in basic HTML/CSS and JavaScript, and how to use WordPress for more advanced webpage design. In addition, students enrolled in this class will receive one-on-one career mentoring assistance and professional development seminars, including portfolio-building exercises. This is an ideal course for any student who wants to start a new career in the field of web design. Noble also offers more targeted programs, such as the UX/UI Design Certificate program, which prepares students to design interactive interfaces for digital applications and products. This focused career-program de-emphasizes the importance of learning to code and emphasizes the importance of tactile user experience design.

Students who have a measure of professional training and are seeking to expand their skills may want to instead consider enrolling in one of Noble’s skills bootcamps. For example, in Noble’s Figma Bootcamp, students will learn how to use Adobe’s Figma software application to build interactive prototypes of web designs in order to test their functionality before beginning the coding process. This is an invaluable tool for any Web Designer to know how to use, and in a bootcamp, you can focus on learning individual skills to improve your own career standing.

Learn more in these courses

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