With more candidates who "look good on paper" failing at startups, it's time to reconsider what qualities make someone an excellent fit for the job.
If you've recently been hiring (or read any business newsletter), you're probably aware that the job market is hot, hot, hot. The competition to attract and retain talent is stronger than in decades, particularly for technology companies.
Product designers are in high demand and have lots of options. For those in charge of hiring, ensuring long-term employee satisfaction and retention begins with selecting the best designer for the job.
My favorite product design interview questions
Here are some of my favorite product designer interview questions to ask to gain a deeper understanding of your candidates and answers that candidates can consider when interviewing.
What’s an example of a user experience that you think is broken?
A passionate product designer shouldn't have to ponder this; if they care about user experience, they'll have an answer ready.
Make them critique the experience from various perspectives, and then ask them to speculate on how it came to be that way.
How to answer it?
Consider any product or service that you use daily. It could be your design tool, notes app, todo app, or something else.
Where do you come across problems that you'd be happy to fix? What is it about this product or service that you dislike? What features do you believe are lacking that you would benefit from?
Can you give an example of something recent that inspired you?
This is essentially the inverse of the previous question, allowing the candidate to discuss a user experience — or a single aspect of one — that they find brilliant.
You can then ask them if and how they applied that inspiration to a project they were working on. Questioning candidates to "provide an example of a time when..." is another excellent way to assess their introspection and willingness to discuss times when things didn't go as planned.
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