Design job interview questions to AVOID

Have a design interview coming up?

So, toward the end of the job interview, the part when they ask you if you have any questions… should you ask some?

Heck yes you should. Absolutely.

Early on in my design career, when they would ask me if I had any questions about the job I was interviewing for, I would just respond with something along the lines of “hmmm… no, I don’t think so”.

Big mistake.

At the time, I was unaware that I was sending the wrong message with my failure to ask any good questions. Not asking the right questions in a UX job interview can easily send the message that you did zero research on the company, are too indifferent to give a crap, too lazy to prepare any questions, or too desperate for the position to actually ask any questions.

The person interviewing you always wants you to ask them questions when they ask. They aren’t just being polite. For years now, I’ve been on the other side of the desk as the one conducting the interviews, and I can easily say that I always expect candidates to ask questions. It’s disappointing when they don’t. However, you want to make sure that you’re not asking the wrong type of questions.

Here’s the type of questions you’ll want to avoid asking…

  • Avoid asking questions in the initial interview that revolve around your benefits. Asking too many questions about things like the remote policy, vacation days, healthcare, conference budget, etc., could send the message that you’re more focused on your needs than adding value to the company. I recommend asking questions about the specifics of benefits later in the hiring process after you receive a job offer. Note; If you disagree with this viewpoint and feel as though you must ask about benefits, then ask sparingly.
  • Don’t ask questions where the answers are readily available on the company website. If you’re asking how big the corporation is, or what clients the agency serves, make sure that information isn’t merely a click away. Asking questions that are clearly posted on the company website could easily send the message that you didn’t do any research about the company.
  • Avoid asking questions about how soon you could expect a promotion. Right now you are interviewing for the job at hand, not a future possibility down the road. Asking about a hypothetical future promotion during an interview implies that you wouldn’t be satisfied with the role you are interviewing for.
  • Don’t ask about background checks or drug tests. Assume they have both. This question would immediately be cause for concern for the interviewer.
  • Avoid asking what the job pays. Salary questions and negotiation also need to come later in the interview process after a job offer is received. Asking about salary range in the initial UX interview sends the wrong message and also severely limits your ability to negotiate later on after receiving a job offer.

So there you have it, those are the questions to AVOID asking in your next design job interview.

But what about how to answer the #1 toughest design interview question they’re sure to ask in the interview?

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