The 8 Best Interview Questions For Designers and Developers

The 8 Best Interview Questions For Designers and Developers

Every candidate is different. As is every job and every interview.

But founders and team leads can pinpoint questions that apply across the board to find out what experience each candidate has, how they conduct work, and how they would fit into your team.

Here are eight interview questions you should ask all designers and developers during the interview stage.

Experience & Skillsets

What programs have you worked with in the past?

This is a standard resume question. You can read up on their specific application experience in their submitted resume, but asking it in person gives you a deeper look. Pay attention to what order they go in. The programs they list first are the ones they’re likely most comfortable with, while the ones they list on their resume but forget to mention in person are most likely ones where they lack in-depth experience.

This question also allows an opportunity to dive in and ask about how they’ve used each, what they like or don’t like about them, and which they hope to work with most often.

What industries have you done work for?

Don’t limit yourself to designers and developers who have worked in your industry. If you do, you risk missing out on some powerful talent and may even find your new hire falling into the old ways of their previous company’s needs.

Get an idea of what industries they’ve worked in before to understand how their unique experience can help your organization grow. This also gives you an opportunity to see if they’ll be bored or excited by the work you need them to do.

What have your past teams looked like?

The DNA of development and design teams vary depending drastically. Has this person been working independently or are they used to a detail-oriented process that involves multiple members?

It’s important to understand what they’re used to in order to understand their preferred management and teamwork style. Do they have the time management skills to run all projects? How do their skillsets normally complement others?

What project are you most proud of and why?

Looking back on everything you’ve accomplished and picking a highlight is an important step in the interview process. It gives you a better understanding of the type of work they value, the size of projects they’ve worked on, and what specific skillsets they enjoy utilizing the most. Did they enjoy the product because they were the lead on it? Did they simply love the aesthetics of their final work? Narrow in on why it was their favorite project.

Some other key interview questions on experience and skillset include:
  • Which websites or companies do you admire and why?
  • What are two things you would change to our current website from your experience so far?
  • What type of work do you love doing and what do you hate?

Interview questions to decide team fit

Personality & Team Fit

How do you approach a new project?

Vague questions can be uncomfortable for applicants, but they provide insight into their experience, their skillsets, their personality, and most importantly, how they fit in your team. Get them to walk you through their creative process, the questions they ask before getting started, and how they see other team members collaborating with them throughout the process.

Ask how they manage expectations and how they work to ensure important deadlines are met. This question can trigger some major red flags and help you avoid candidates who rely too heavily on others or are possessive of their projects.

What’s your favorite part of your day?

Are they passionate about developing a creative strategy or executing on the final details? Do they look forward to social breaks to find inspiration from teammates, or do they crave an afternoon in silence alone with their tasks and headphones?

This question helps figure out how they would jive with your company culture. It’s a good way to see if they’d be a fit for your organization, but it’s also an insightful one for optimizing their onboarding if you decide to extend an offer. If they like quiet, offer them a desk location away from the sales team. If they’re big into collaboration, re-evaluate how your team is currently set up to get a collaborative space working for them. You can also narrow in on the tasks at which they’ll excel or fall short and prescribe their workload accordingly.

Ask a behavioral-focused question.

Large tech companies are infamous for their approaches to interview questions. Google has been known to ask problem-solving questions to challenge a candidate’s creativity and resourcefulness. Shopify focuses on the “tell your story” approach, where candidates are asked questions about their life.

These types of questions may feel like a drastic change, but finding a problem-solving, behavioral question that fits your company is a great way to find your perfect match.

Some other key interview questions to gauge personality and team fit include:
  • How do you know when a project is finished?
  • If a project scope changes entirely midway, how would you react and adapt?
  • How would you handle conflict if someone disagrees with your vision on a particular project?
  • How can you ensure other team members understand their role in the project?
  • Describe your current manager and what you like or don’t like about them.

Lastly, always ask “How do you keep up with current industry standards, trends, and new tools?” This question speaks to their experience, scrappiness, skill set, and personality—all indicators of how they’ll fit into your team.

Finding the Perfect Match

There is no perfect, pre-determined set of interview questions for hiring developers and designers. Test some of these out, and always remember to focus on the areas that are most important to your organization. Is it better that they have a wide skillset or that they fit in with their co-workers? Is collaboration key to your company success or do they need to be able to work isolated?

Answering these questions will help you plan a better, more insightful interview process.


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