39 Product Design Interview Questions (With Sample Answers)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published August 11, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Understanding the specific questions an interviewer or interviewing committee may ask you can increase your confidence when you walk into your interview. The questions they use might cover general or detailed topics about your credentials, and preparing to answer specific questions ahead of time is valuable for increasing your chances of a smooth interviewing process. In this article, we list general and specific questions you can prepare to answer and provide nine product design interview questions with sample answers.

10 General questions

General questions can help your interviewer or interviewing committee get to know you better and help advance discussions early in your interview. Here are some examples of what these questions might be:

  • Why are you currently seeking a new position?

  • How did you learn about the position at our company?

  • Out of our six company values, which one do you believe best describes you and why?

  • Describe yourself in four adjectives.

  • What are your strengths?

  • What are your weaknesses?

  • Share a bit about your goals as a professional.

  • What first interested you in product design?

  • Are there any questions you have about the applied role?

  • Is there any additional information you want to know about our company?

10 Questions about experience and background

Your interviewer or interviewing committee may also ask you about your experiences and background to help them understand your credentials. Questions they ask can include:

  • Tell us about your education level and experiences.

  • Have you ever completed product design training?

  • Do you consider yourself a lifelong learner and if so, why?

  • How long have you been working in the product design industry?

  • Do you enjoy working individually or collaboratively?

  • Have you ever held a design leadership role?

  • What skills do you believe you have earned from your educational and professional experiences?

  • Do you have any product design certifications?

  • How many professional experiences have you engaged in regarding product design?

  • When did you complete your education and how long have you worked in each of your previous positions?

10 In-depth questions about product design

The interviewer or interviewing committee can also use in-depth questions to help them understand your specific knowledge and skills regarding product design. Here are some examples of what these questions might be:

  • Have you ever created a user persona?

  • Do you use user journey maps to help inform your design work?

  • Is there a method of design thinking you prefer?

  • Have you used A/B testing with prototypes before?

  • What design tools are you proficient in?

  • How do you usually approach navigation features for digital products?

  • Are you stronger at designing digital or physical products?

  • Tell us about a project you worked on where the design wasn't effective, what do you think went wrong?

  • Have you ever missed a product design and production deadline?

  • How do you handle constructive criticism regarding the products you design?

9 product design interview questions with sample answers

Here are nine product design interview questions with sample answers you can reference throughout your interview preparation process:

1. What is your definition of product design?

Your interviewer or interviewing committee may ask you this question to understand your perspective regarding product design. By having you share your own definition, they can determine whether they can align your definition with how their company defines product design. Prior research about the company you are interviewing for might help you better understand how to answer the questions effectively.

Example: "My definition of product design is gathering and analyzing consumer perceptions to iterate multiple prototypes for testing, with the ultimate creation of a well-design product to solve an existing problem space."

2. How does your design process typically begin?

This question can help your interviewer or interviewing committee understand your approach to beginning the product design process. This may be important depending on whether the company has process protocols in place. When sharing how you typically begin your design process, you might share multiple approaches to highlight your adaptability.

Example: "I typically begin my product design process with research and analysis. This helps me understand what other competitors are doing with their products and the perceptions consumers have about them. I also try to use this information to help identify challenges consumers face so I can ideate how to solve them."

Related: The UX Design Process in 5 Steps

3. How do you approach making user personas?

You may encounter this question if your interviewer or interviewing committee is curious about your approach to understanding product audiences. They might try to see how you use consumer data to develop user personas for your product design process. While discussing your approach to creating them, it may help to share about your data collection process.

Example: "When making user personas, I usually begin by gathering consumer data to understand who the product's target audiences are. To find this information, I search through the internal data my company has, as well as external consumer data online. Once I have this insight, I develop between four and six personas to represent different target audience groups. In each of them, I try to highlight information like demographic, personality, preferred channels and goals."

Related: What Is a User Persona? Definition and How To Make a UX Persona

4. How do you use user personas?

Interviewers or interviewing committees may also ask about how you use user personas throughout your product design process. When asking this, they might be interested in learning about how often you consider target audiences when making product decisions. To answer this question, you might provide an example from a previous experience.

Example: "I use my user personas throughout the entire product design process, especially at the beginning and end of each step. I found this strategy to be useful in my previous product design position because it allowed me to make sure the product was addressing consumer needs at all production points. For example, I was designing a carpet cleaner and designed the product with a built-in brush on the bottle to allow consumers to remove stains using only the bottle. I did this because a consumer challenge I found in my initial persona research was that consumers weren't able to get to stains fast enough with the number of materials they needed to grab."

5. What research methods do you use to gain consumer insight before designing new products?

This question can help your interviewer or interviewing committee understand the preferred research methods you use to gain consumer insight before designing new products. They may also ask this question to identify whether you rely on one method or use additional methods to help you. When answering, you might discuss multiple methods to feature your adaptability and proficiency using different research methods.

Example: "I usually use design thinking or empathy interviews to gather consumer insight before beginning my product design process. I enjoy using design thinking because it allows for innovative ideas to emerge from consumer ideation. Although, I also like empathy interviews because they provide me with details about consumer needs and wants regarding products. Typically, I try to use both research methods."

Related: What Is Design Thinking?

6. Describe a product you designed in a previous position.

You may need to describe a product you designed in a previous position during your interview to demonstrate your ability or skill sets. If you're asked to do this, your interviewer or interviewing committee might try to identify your product design style. Understanding this can help them determine whether you're a good fit for their brand and products.

Example: "In my previous role as a product designer, I worked on a project for a children's diving toy. While my team was examining the current diving toys on the market, we realized many options included colored sticks or rockets. We wanted to develop something more engaging for children learning to swim and dive. So, we prototyped different themed diving toys like under the sea creatures, play food and cars. We also revised them at each fidelity stage, which allowed the product to launch successfully."

7. If you had to rank your user experience and interaction design skills, how might you rate your skill level?

When interviewing for a company that specializes in digital product design, like mobile applications, you might need to discuss your user experience and interaction skills. Your interviewer or interviewing committee may ask you to rank these skills to help them understand how strong your abilities are in these areas. When providing your skill level for each, you can also share information explaining your reasoning.

Example: "I have advanced user experience skills because of my extensive work with usability testing. However, my user interaction skills are intermediate because I have fewer experiences coding and building digital interactions into applications."

8. How many iterations of prototypes do you usually go through in your product design process?

Your interviewer or interviewing committee may ask about the number of prototype iterations to understand the time it takes for you to complete product design projects. Specifically, they might be interested in seeing which levels of prototyping fidelity you use. While answering this question, you can discuss the levels you typically use and your process for each of them.

Example: "I use low, mid and high fidelity prototype iterations throughout my product design process. First, I begin with low-fidelity prototypes and test them with potential users. The results from these sessions help me revise my prototype when I take it to higher fidelities. I always use testing to help guide the revisions of each of my prototypes."

Related: Guide to Rapid Application Development: Steps and Tips

9. Share the measurable results of a product you designed.

If you've previously worked in a product designer role, the interviewer or interviewing committee might want to learn about your product design success. This may lead them to ask you to share any measurable results you have from previous products you've designed. When providing this information, you can also add context to the purpose of the product and whether it exceeded expected market results.

Example: "In my previous role as a product designer, I worked on a product redesign project. The project focused on redesigning the product packaging for a salad dressing bottle. Originally, we expected the launch of the newly designed product to increase sales by 13%. However, within one month of its launch, sales for the company increased by 30%."

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