How to Hire an Interior Designer

Does your growing business need an interior designer? Interior designers work with clients and organizations to develop the aesthetic foundation for rooms and spaces.

Here are some tips to help you find great interior designer candidates and make the right hire for your business.

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Interior designers searching for jobs on Indeed*

132,459

Job seekers that clicked interior designer jobs

20,231

Resumes for job seekers with interior designer experience on Indeed

3,233

Interior designer jobs that received clicks

What is the cost of hiring?

  • Common salary in US: $57,465 yearly
  • Typical salaries range from $14,000$135,000 yearly
  • Find more information on Indeed Salary

*Indeed data (US) – April 2021

As of April 2021, interior designer jobs in the U.S. are very competitive compared to other job markets, with an average of 41 job seekers per interior designer job.

Why hire an interior designer?

The need for new staff can affect both your existing team and your bottom line. A great interior designer hire can help your business:

• Research tips, materials and budgets to create concepts for a room’s appearance and ambiance
• Work with technical teams to consult on the best use of space
• Prepare estimates and presentations before renovations begin

Deciding between a full-time vs freelance interior designer

If you have a consistently busy design firm or a business with ongoing interior design needs, hiring a full-time interior designer can help you meet those needs. A full-time interior designer is available on a regular schedule, and they’re familiar with the quality of work you expect. 

Some businesses, such as design firms with fluctuating projects, might benefit from a freelance interior designer. A freelance designer can help you during a temporary increase in projects, or you can bring on a freelance interior designer who has specific experience for a one-time special project. If you have a business other than a design firm, you might hire a freelance interior designer to complete one project, such as an addition to the building or a new facility you’re opening.

What are the ranks of interior designers?

Companies often have interior designers at different levels based on their experience and merit. Progressing through the ranks gives designers more responsibility. Common ranks of interior designers from highest to lowest include:

  • Interior designer executive: Some interior designers work up to an executive position overseeing the entire design firm. This is often the owner or founding interior designer who expands the company with more designers. They manage the strategic vision and day-to-day operations.
  • Project manager: This role is responsible for every part of an interior design project, including the budget, planning and execution of the plan. They work with all team members to keep the project on track.
  • Senior interior designer: A high-ranking interior designer has more responsibilities, including handling all deliverables for a project and supervising lower-ranking designers.
  • Interior designer: General interior designers have varying levels of responsibility for specific design projects. They often work as part of a larger team and might collaborate with senior designers.
  • Junior interior designer: This entry-level interior designer is an intern. They’re assigned tasks within a larger project and work closely with more experienced designers.

Where to find interior designers

To find the right interior designer for your business, consider trying out a few different recruiting strategies:

  • Offer an internship. Create a junior interior designer or intern position to test out new interior designers. This also gives you a chance to train a new designer from the beginning to create habits you want in your employees.
  • Attend interior design events. Register for national and local conferences and other events for interior designers. Local home and design shows for the general public can also be a good way to meet interior designers who might have booths set up.
  • Promote your designers. As your business grows, promote your interior designers to senior or project manager roles. 
  • Network with others in the industry. Talk to architects, contractors, suppliers and other contacts in related fields to ask for recommendations.
  • Post your job online. Try posting your interior designer job on Indeed to find and attract quality interior designer candidates.

What are the ranks of interior designers?

Companies often have interior designers at different levels based on their experience and merit. Progressing through the ranks gives designers more responsibility. Common ranks of interior designers from highest to lowest include:

  • Interior designer executive: Some interior designers work up to an executive position overseeing the entire design firm. This is often the owner or founding interior designer who expands the company with more designers. They manage the strategic vision and day-to-day operations.
  • Project manager: This role is responsible for every part of an interior design project, including the budget, planning and execution of the plan. They work with all team members to keep the project on track.
  • Senior interior designer: A high-ranking interior designer has more responsibilities, including handling all deliverables for a project and supervising lower-ranking designers.
  • Interior designer: General interior designers have varying levels of responsibility for specific design projects. They often work as part of a larger team and might collaborate with senior designers.
  • Junior interior designer: This entry-level interior designer is an intern. They’re assigned tasks within a larger project and work closely with more experienced designers.

Writing an interior designer job description

A thoughtful description can help you find qualified interior designer candidates. An interior designer job description includes a compelling summary of the role, a detailed list of duties and responsibilities and the required and preferred skills for the position.

When writing your interior designer job description, consider including some or all of the following keywords to improve the visibility of your job posting. These are the most popular search terms leading to clicks on interior designer jobs, according to Indeed data:

  • Interior design
  • Interior designer
  • Art
  • Design
  • Interior design assistant
  • Designer
  • Interior design intern
  • Creative
  • Artist
  • Design assistant

Interviewing interior designer candidates

Strong candidates for interior designer positions will be confident answering questions regarding:

• Previous designs, mock-ups and examples of finished spaces
• How they work as a team with designers, contractors and clients
• Their ability to stay on trend with functional designs

Need help coming up with interview questions? See our list of interior designer interview questions for examples (with sample answers).

FAQs about how to hire an interior designer

How do I choose between two good interior designer candidates?

Analyze past projects carefully to look for an edge in design. Compare knowledge of interior design and creativity. Use the interview process to evaluate communication, including active listening skills and the ability to explain concepts clearly. Comparing teamwork potential is also important since an interior designer is part of a larger team.

How do I keep my interior designer happy?

Give your interior designer an appropriate amount of autonomy based on seniority. A junior interior designer can still have autonomy over assigned tasks. Encourage and recognize creativity, and give your interior designer credit for achievements. Support continuing education for your interior designer and supply the tools and technology needed to do the job well.

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