Hi, I’m Bryce, a former product designer at Airbnb and now advisor at Pathrise. I work with hundreds of designers to help them land their dream job.
Congrats, you’ve made it to the onsite interview! Now you have just one (pretty large) step between you & your dream job. How can you make sure that you come into your onsite interview with confidence and turn that interview into an offer?
We created a list of 70 product design interview questions, including questions from real companies, so you can nail your next onsite technical interview.
- Portfolio & process
- Design challenge
- App/product critique
- Airbnb question – Defend specifics about type choice, color choice, aesthetic v. usability, etc in your portfolio
- Amazon question – Describe the project that you are most proud of. Why?
- Describe the project that you had the most trouble with. What would you have done differently?
- VMWare question – What’s your weakness in the design field?
- Rakuten question – How would you define yourself as a designer?
- Dropbox question – What does your design process look like?
- How do you rate your skills in product thinking, interaction design, and visual design?
- Facebook question – What was the goal, what were the challenges, what was your specific role, etc. (The intent is to get a better understanding of your design work/process, intentionality, and overall awareness.) How did you achieve this goal with your design decision?
- Informatica question – Have you worked on Enterprise applications?
- Rakuten question – Recommend to us a design related book, then explain why you have recommended it.
- Slack question – There are lots of steps within product design, such as research, prototyping, visual design, technical implementation. Which step do you spend the most time on, and which do you see as your strength?
- Accenture question – Describe user researcher techniques
- Amazon question – What were the key metrics for your design, and how did you measure them?
- Booking question – If the metrics shows an increment in the clicks but not in the conversion: do you think that the change is successful? Why or why not?
- Tell me about your experience with A/B testing.
- CA Technologies question – How would you test a final product?
- Dell question – How did you validate your solutions with users?
- Uber question – How did you utilize data to guide your design decisions?
- Accenture question – What are the design tools you use to create and communicate your design ideas?
- Adobe question – How do you solve a design problem without computer?
- Have you worked with Android UI?
- Are you familiar with material design?
- Facebook question – If you need to add a “social-based” feature to an app, how would you do that?
- Groupon question – What are your opinions of LESS (CSS Framework)?
- Nuance Communications question – How would you make a caller experience sound more modern?
- TIBCO question – What kind of prototyping tools do you use?
- Facebook question – What does the Back button do when you open the search bar?
- Zendesk question – Explain what an API is, in layman’s terms.
- Design a table that can show 1,000 parent devices. Each parent device could have up to 1,000 children devices. Design the table so you can sort and edit each row and find information for both parent and child devices.
- Booking question – Re-create a navigation bar in HTML and CSS
- Google question – Design a kiosk animation
- Wireframe out a movie app layout.
- Uber question – Design a UI for a location-based experimentation platform.
- Airbnb question – Reimagine and redesign an existing digital product of your choice that showcases your skills and abilities to solve a complex problem as a designer.
- Google question – How would you design an elevator for a 1000 floor building?
- Amazon question – How would you design an online presence of a brick and mortar coffee shop?
- Autodesk question – Design an interface for an employee vacation scheduler that solves a problem (no more than 2 people from each team are off at the same time)
- Box question – Design a remote control
- Cisco question – Talk about an app that you like and why you like it
- Choose an app and find UX issues that you might have solved differently
- Microsoft question – If you could improve one mobile experience, what would it be and why?
- Apple question – What could Siri do better?
- What are 3 small, actionable changes you would make to our website?
- Accenture question – Are you open to design criticism from different members of a project?
- Autodesk question – How would you handle a situation in which you’re presenting a design to stakeholders but are getting a lot of negative feedback and pushback on your solution?
- Cisco question – Talk about a time you negotiated your way to the ideal UX solution?
- Accenture question – If there was one obstacle or issue that you can foresee that might prevent you from hitting a deadline, what would it be?
- ADP question – What would you do if people don’t like your plan or your proposal?
- Amazon question – What would you do if you know you are going to miss a deadline?
- Design an airport experience.
- How do you handle a situation when a developer doesn’t create the product the way you designed it?
- Booking question – Imagine that you are working for Booking.com and you come up with 2 improvements for the site but you can only apply one. How you will prioritize it?
- CA Technologies question – How do you know your designs meet the customers’ demands?
- Cisco question – A designer is successful with one project but not another, what went wrong?
- Dropbox question – What does it mean to store something? Is it a natural tendency of people?
- Expedia question – How would you handle tabs on a mobile device?
- Facebook question – How would you make an app that helps you decide which gift to buy?
- Redesign the ATM
- Google question – How could you describe interaction design to someone don’t know interaction design?
- Design a system for controlling a toy car with a smartphone.
- LinkedIn question – How would you attract people who are not interested in LinkedIn to use the platform?
- How would you design a 1000 story building so that people can efficiently get out of the building during rush hours (lunch hours)?
- What do you do when the requirement from the stakeholder is vague?
- Microsoft question – How would you help an independent coffee shop owner who is about to go out of business in a month?
- Netflix question – Come up with a solution for emphasizing Recommendations within the Browse section of the site.
- Palantir question – Design a mobile app for splitting the bill among friends in the restaurant.
- SAS Institute question – You are working on a product team and another team member provides you with a design idea. The idea solves a short term problem but creates a longer term problem that is much more difficult to deal with. How do you respond?
- ServiceNow question – How will you improve the current ServiceNow product?
- IBM question – Have you challenged your boss before?
- Google question – How would you design gmail labels so that people would use them more?
Our advisors meet with so many talented product designers who have great portfolios but still struggle with their onsite interviews. Sometimes, people let their nerves get the best of them, so we also wanted to provide some tips to keep in mind while you’re in the interview.
- Start with clarifying questions
Sometimes, interviewers make a question intentionally vague. You don’t need to jump in right away. Always take about 15-30 seconds to think about clarifying questions, like “Can I wireframe this out first?” or “How in-depth do you want the design?”
- Proactively show positive signal
As you work, give background information on what you are doing. This is a strong tactic used by candidates to reduce opportunities for negative language or information. The tradeoff is time, but in general 30 second “tidbits” of knowledge usually helps.
- Give context
Context statements show the recruiter that you know the reasoning behind why you are doing something rather than just doing them. How you are interpreted can very much change based on the context that you give.
- Know how to get help
More often than not, the interviewer will be ok helping you out, but sometimes, they just hate the word, “hint.” So, a better approach would be to say, “my assumptions are X and Y, I’m thinking of doing Z. But I’m struggling with solving [problem].” You can also ask collaborative questions like,
- I was wondering if you had any thoughts.
- Do you think I’m going down the right direction?
- Do you think my assumptions are incorrect?
With these questions & tips in your back pocket, you should be more than prepared for your next technical onsite product design interview.
Pathrise is a career accelerator that works with students and young professionals 1-on-1 so they can land their dream job in tech. With these tips and guidance, we’ve seen up to 80% increase in interview success from our fellows in the program.
If you want to work with any of our advisors 1-on-1 to get help with your product design interviews or with any other aspect of the job search, become a Pathrise fellow.