UXer asks UXer – recruitment questions, which you should be ready to answer

15 February 2016, Igor Farafonow

I’ve recently been going through my mailbox in search of some old materials and I came across an e-mail from 2012, from the time I was in the process of recruiting a UX Designer for the very first time. And that’s how it all started…

Since I’m an ambitious and involved person I wanted to come up with a recruitment model for my needs. So I created a set of questions (too many questions as it turned out) which I didn’t really ask during the interview (don’t ask why since I’m not sure myself).

I went through these questions and I must admit some of them are pretty interesting…Some are tricky, other require a moment of deep thought from a candidate, some don’t have a good answer… I add them here, maybe some of you will find them useful. But most of all, I’d like you to treat them as a moment of reflection, a chance to ask yourself “How would I answer?” :).

So, how would you answer below questions?

Opening questions:

Interpersonal skills, stress management, creativity:

  1. Tell us about yourself.
  2. Why the Internet? What got you interested in this area?
  3. What caught your attention in our job advert? Why did you apply to us?

Experience and general knowledge:

  1. You’re currently working in…- what is your current job about?
  2. Name some projects you’ve implemented. Could you present them to us? It would be great to see projects which have already been launched.
  3. Which projects made you the most proud? Why?
  4. Which projects do you perceive as your personal failure? Why?
  5. What does design mean for you? What is your view on the UCD methodology?


You’re hired to design a simple web app for a contact centre (e.g a radio station) – something similar to a live chat. What are the exact steps that you would take to implement this project?



  1. What do you think is the key element to the preliminary analysis? What kind of insight would be the most valuable for you?
  2. What is the role of personas in the preliminary stage of design? What personas would you choose for this project?
  3. Which module / element / functionality would you choose as a starting point for design?
  4. What should be the main purpose of this system?
  5. If you managed such startup – contact centre management app – what do you think would be the key aspect to advertise this product? Where would you find your clients?

Detailed knowledge / creativity / experience:

  1. What is User Experience for you? How would you describe the key elements of this job?
  2. What are the main rules of creating a good User Experience?
  3. (gamification – needed for this particular project) What do you think about using gamification in various online products? When gamification should or shouldn’t be part of the product?
  4. What comes to your mind as a good example of using gamification? What would be your inspiration for creating a gamification system?


Draw an information architecture and navigation for the website of a design office. Use the following structure of available data:

  • Offer: Kitchen, Bathroom, other;
  • Our implemented projects: Kitchen, Bathroom, Kids room, other;
  • Contact
  1. What do you think would be crucial to designing this website? What features should it have?
  2. What would be the role of navigation at this website?
  3. Can you imagine this system without navigation? Draw the same system without navigation.


  1. How should a perfect job for UX Designer look like?
  2. How would your perfect day at a perfect job look like?
  3. What influence should a UX Designer have on the business?


  1. How would you describe a perfect project team (project team – a team which aims at transforming an idea into an implemented solution)? Who would be the members of your perfect project team (name their job posts)? Which competencies should your particular team members have? What would be their goals? (This could also be used as a task.)
  2. What do you think are the biggest threats to communication in the project team?
  3. Name your biggest failures and successes resulting from choosing unsuitable / suitable team members?
  4. At which stage of design process do you contact IT team and why?
  5. You’ve created an innovative design, together with the guys from IT you’ve worked hard on implementation but the usability testing showed that users don’t like this idea at all, at the same time the launch is really soon. What do you do?
  6. Imagine that in the new office you can choose one department of the company that will share working space with UX department. Which team would you choose? Why?
  7. You’ve just sent your design for implementation to IT team and started working on the next project. Meanwhile, Product Manager sends you delayed updates to his project. What do you do?
  8. Who do you think should take part in designing a new business model for a fresh startup? What would be the basis for the design?


  1. Prototypes – black and white or colourful? Why?
  2. Lorem ipsum or the real content? Why?
  3. Target images or placeholders? Why?
  4. What is the first thing that is created on your prototypes?
  5. How do you create low-fi and high-fi prototypes? What is their role?
  6. How do you prepare specs? What are the threats to various forms of presenting the specs?
  7. What should be the elements of the perfect high-fi prototype? What should differentiate it from the specs?
  8. How do you react when IT team gives a lot of negative functional feedback to prototypes that you think are pretty good?
  9. Which grids do you know? How do you use them? What is the golden ratio and how can it be calculated?
  10. How many colours should an interface of a website consist of? How many colours should a Graphic Designer use?
  11. Which colours do you use most often while designing?
  12. What do you think about the so called graphics prototyping? What are its advantages and disadvantages, when should it be used?
  13. Why is interaction used in prototyping? What is the business objective to designing interactive prototypes?
  14. How much should a Graphic Designer take from the prototype?
  15. Has it ever happened to you that a Graphic Designer suggests a solution that is visually better but it’s not following the prototype? What do you do in such situation?

Market knowledge:

  1. Which startups / new sites have recently caught your attention? Why?
  2. If you’ve had a chance to invest in one Polish startup what would it be?
  3. If you’ve had a chance to invest in one international startup what would it be?
  4. If you’d like to buy stocks of one of the world’s leading tech giants, who would it be? Why? Who do you think has a great future ahead and who doesn’t?
  5. What do you think would be the next milestone in the tech world? Why?
  6. How do you think a UX Designer’s job would look like in 5 years?


You want to design a simple iPhone app that would be used for buying tickets to events (concerts, shows, etc.). How would you draw it:

  • using only native UI components
  • if you’d like to discard native UI components totally and come up with something sexy and innovative
  1. Who do you think would use the app most often and in what context?
  2. When should sexy new solutions be used and when should you stick to the native components?
  3. Which cool features could be added to the app to make it more attractive?
  4. What do you think about differences in GUIs for various mobile operating systems? Which one do you like using most?

Some of the above questions might be difficult, others may be tricky. Some of you might say that these are not questions suitable only for a designer. However, while recruiting a partner to the UX team I’d love to have a chance to discuss all these areas with him or her.

And how about you? How would you answer the above questions? I’d be happy to share my personal ideas on the above in the upcoming article 🙂

Igor Farafonow

CEO Uxeria

Architekt informacji, projektant. Od 2007 roku zajmował się niezliczoną liczbą projektów webowych, mobilnych i desktopowych. Aktualnie CEO w Uxerii. Prywatnie fan tajskiej kuchni, starych sportowych samochodów, fotografii oraz jamajskiego disco polo.