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Interior Designer Interview Questions

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  1. What drives your design decisions? What are some of your biggest inspirations? See answer
  2. Do you consider aestheticism or functionality to be more important? Why? Did you ever have to compromise one for the other? See answer
  3. Which section of your portfolio are you most proud of? What does it reflect in you as an interior designer? See answer
  4. Has a client ever been dissatisfied with your work? How did you respond? See answer
  5. What questions do you typically ask your clients before getting to work, and how do their answers factor into your design decisions?
  6. Did you ever have an experience where you fell behind schedule? If so, what did you do to make things, right?
  7. Do you have experience working with creative software programs to draw design blueprints for a space?
  8. If you could redesign this room, what would you do with it and why?
  9. What’s your opinion on using antiques or thrifted items over name brand items in your designs?
  10. Have you ever re-upholstered a piece of furniture? Can you provide an example?
  11. A client has a limited budget, but they insist on including furniture and design features that would put them well over their budget. How do you help them realize their budget limitations while maintaining their enthusiasm for the project?
  12. What recent interior design trends do you love? Are there any trends you don’t like and if so, why?
  13. A client refuses to pay you after you finish a project because they claim they’re dissatisfied. What do you do?
  14. Have you ever disagreed with another interior designer about their design choices? How did you address the situation?
  15. Do you have experience marketing your services to local clientele?
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6 Interior Designer Interview Questions and Answers

Q:

What drives your design decisions? What are some of your biggest inspirations?

A:

This question is a good way for you to get a feel for the designer’s background. You want to make sure that they are well-versed in various names and themes in the design industry and that they keep up with rudimentary processes when it comes to planning their own designs. See if their influences match your own, and think about how they may play off each other.

What to look for in an answer:

  • An understanding of interior design history
  • Their thought process regarding design
  • A few key inspirations

Example:

“Philippe Starck is one of my biggest interior design inspirations, especially when it comes to creating lavish and contemporary rooms. “

Q:

What questions do you typically ask your clients before getting to work, and how do the answers factor into your design decisions?

A:

Though no two interior designers will typically work the same way, you want to make sure that the candidate you are interviewing is concise in their strategy. Make sure that they hit all of the appropriate points when they are planning on working with a client. A skilled designer will also have room to share their own vision with whatever the client has in mind for the future.

What to look for in an answer:

  • Focuses on the client’s budget and time constraints
  • Thinks about design style
  • Offers insight on the design process

Example:

“I like to ask my clients about specific design elements that they absolutely must include in the project so that I can work around them.”

Q:

Do you consider aestheticism or functionality to be more important? Why? Did you ever have to compromise one for the other?

A:

Both aestheticism and functionality have a vital place in a home. A good interior designer should be able to reconcile the two as frequently as possible, but be sure to watch out for candidates who focus too much on aestheticism. Regardless of how the final project will look, it is vital to focus on the functionality of the end results. The client will still need to regularly use the room.

What to look for in an answer:

  • Strong focus on both
  • Avoidance in focusing on aestheticism over functionality
  • The ability to plan ahead for the client’s needs

Example:

“I do not typically sacrifice functionality for the sake of looks, and I always believe that there is a happy middle I can reach.”

Q:

Which section of your portfolio are you most proud of? What does it reflect in you as an interior designer?

A:

Thoroughness is key here. You want to work with an individual who understands that the entirety of the portfolio serves a purpose and that the aspect they choose to represent them will stand as a testament to their personal ability and focus. Focus on the reason for their answer, and see if you can work with what you determine to be their natural inclinations regarding interior design.

What to look for in an answer:

  • Has a thorough and organized portfolio
  • Understands the key aspects of interior design
  • Has clear goals and inspirations

Example:

“I believe the floor plan section of my portfolio features my best work as I like to plan for the practical appeal first and foremost.”

Q:

Did you ever have an experience where you fell behind schedule? If so, what did you do to make things right?

A:

Sometimes, unexpected issues may arise. You need to know that the potential candidate will be reliable in how they handle such setbacks. Experience here is especially valuable as individuals who have worked in interior design for a while will know how to overcome. Look for someone who has contingency plans in mind for most situations, and see how they were able to overcome these potential challenges in the past.

What to look for in an answer:

  • The ability to plan ahead for issues
  • Flexibility regarding their own plans
  • The capacity for reliable communication with the client

Example:

“Sudden weather changes made going through one particular renovation difficult, but after consulting with the client, I was able to make the appropriate arrangements to get the project moving again.”

Q:

Has a client ever been dissatisfied with your work? How did you respond?

A:

Interior designs use their skills to design rooms or homes in accordance with their clients' needs. This question allows interviewers to learn more about how an interior design candidate handles constructive criticism. It also provides interviewers with additional insights into the candidate's customer service skills and their ability to place the customer's wishes over their creative ideas.

A candidate's answer should emphasize:

  • Ability to receive constructive feedback
  • Adaptability skills
  • Respect for the client in question

Here is one example of a quality candidate answer:

Example:

"Yes, one time, I had a client who wanted to transform their apartment into a minimalist style. Throughout the process, they approved color schemes and furniture pieces to include in the overall design. However, when I invited them to see the finished interior, they were immediately concerned with it being too minimalistic and bare. They were so apologetic about it, but I reassured them that it was my job to make their dream home a reality, and I was going to do whatever it took to help them refine their needs."

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