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Best questions to ask in a product design job interview

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.

After all of the preparation you have done for the technical and behavioral questions that will come up in your next product design job interview, you might think you are ready to go in with confidence and nail your interview. Which you are!

But, there is one final aspect you should prepare. At the end of each interview, it is a certain fact that the interviewer will ask if you have any questions for them. A lot of people think of these questions on the fly, but that doesn’t make any sense. Asking thoughtful questions at the end of the interview can often give you the final push when it comes to interviewer feedback.

As a product designer at Airbnb and now an advisor here at Pathrise, I’ve interviewed hundreds of candidates throughout my career. We always make a note if candidates ask good questions in this section of the interview and then we use this feedback to determine if we think the candidate would accept the position and remain interested in the role in the long term. Basically, asking good questions often affects the decision to move forward and/or extend an offer to a candidate.

So, we’ve come up with the best questions for product designers to ask in their interviews to ensure they show interest.

  1. What does the design process look like here? How much time is spent prototyping before moving into full design?
  2. What does the internal review and approval process look like?
  3. Is the design team more collaborative or autonomous?
  4. How much interaction do we have with other teams (ex: product & engineering)?
  5. What challenges are the team currently facing? How can I, in this role, best contribute to solving these challenges?
  6. What is the last product you have designed and launched?
  7. How do you measure user feedback? What metrics equal success?
  8. What opportunities will I have to learn and/or teach my teammates?
  9. How much ownership would I have and how much guidance would I receive?
  10. To what extent is the design team exposed to metrics and underlying testing process?
  11. What do you like most about working at [company]?
  12. What is the most challenging part of your day at [company]?
  13. How would my work directly affect the company’s mission of [company mission]?
  14. I read that [recent update about company]. How does that affect [the mission, the work of the design team, etc]?
  15. If I were to start on the design team tomorrow, what would my first task be?

These questions show your excitement about the company and mission, willingness to learn, and drive to work hard. Preparing the questions before you arrive at your interview will make sure you don’t freeze up and give you the confidence you need to lead the conversation and ensure that the interviewer is left with a positive impression of you and your culture fit.

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 interview performance scores double for 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.

Apply today.

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