A Few Questions for Your Design Role Interviewer

You’ll be presenting a couple of projects. Please leave time for us to ask questions and you will have an opportunity to ask some questions yourself at the end.”

Questions! Wow. The tables have turned.

Now what to ask…

It seems obvious that a prospective employee should be able to ask questions, but tech interviews have historically had so much focus on creating an IQ gauntlet that it’s easy to forget it’s not all about problem solving on the fly.

This is a problem! In this market, where it’s more likely that a candidate with decent experience will receive multiple offers (there’s lots of companies doing lots of work and they need more hands), by creating a normal atmosphere where a candidate can ask the questions they want, may really help sell the role.

But sometimes you might forget to ask the questions that you really want to. So I want to share how I think about and prepare for this segment of an interview.

The way that I prepare questions is by starting with a thing I’m trying to figure out’. This could be something that I’m worried, confused or excited about, but I need more info.

Eg. I wonder if its easy to ship things?

  • What’s the general steps you got through?
  • Something you’ve recently shipped that you are proud of?
  • How do you know when something is ready?

Eg. I wonder if I’ll have a decent quality of life if I work here?

  • How would you describe the culture? How does the team bond outside of work?
  • What’s a typical day look like?
  • Do you feel like you have time for deep work?

Eg. What does the work actually look like?

  • What are the main priorities for the team right now?
  • Do you think everyone has a good understanding of the companies current strategy?
  • How is work measured? How are designers measured?

Like all parts of the interview process, it’s more about not shooting yourself in the foot rather than going above and beyond. If you ask questions that are incredibly generic, or things that you could find out with a 1 minute google search, that’s a missed opportunity.

Bonus points if you can ask questions that are specific to the interviewer (“why did you decide to join the company” or what’s it like to work with you.”)

Good luck!

March 21, 2022