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senior ux designer interview questions

10 Senior UX Designer Interview Questions

These Senior UX Designer interview questions can help you gear your answer and amaze your interviewer.

Making the jump to the next seniority level in your design career can be a daunting prospect.

But it’s one that you’ll have to take if you’re career-focused and ambitious.

If you’re a UX Designer with a few years of experience, you’ve probably reached a level of expertise and skill.

This means you’re ready for a senior role. 

As a Senior UX Designer, you’ll be leading the design of digital products.

You will also have more responsibility when it comes to managing stakeholders.

To get there, you’re going to have to ace an interview, so it’s essential to be prepared.

We’ve put together some of the most frequently asked Senior UX Designer interview questions to help you approach your answers.

Remember to present yourself well, be friendly, speak slowly and clearly, and enjoy yourself most of all.

You’ll have bagged that Senior UX Designer position in no time!

Q1: Describe your design process.

This question can be a little scary as it covers such a wide area.

You could easily talk about your design process for days.

So you need to make sure that you shave it down and only speak about the most relevant aspects.

It’s also important to remember that you should have developed your preferences at this stage of seniority.

Don’t also be afraid to talk about what you don’t like.

A Senior UX Designer who is comfortable and confident in their abilities will be happy to describe these elements.

Senior UX Designers are generally prescriptive about their preferences.

For example, they might describe themselves as a T-shaped designer.

A T-shaped designer tends to have deep experience and expertise in one discipline, while also having the ability to carry out other aspects of design outside of their area of expertise.

While you should be clear that you can do all parts of the process, it’s good to show that you know your skills well enough to have a specialism.

You should explain that you’ve honed your skills and have a clear understanding of which parts of the process are your favorite.

It’s all about showing that you’re comfortable enough in your skills to communicate how you prefer to work.

Q2: How do you collaborate with others during design?

An excellent Senior UX Designer should be nothing if not collaborative.

Working with people across an organization is part of the bread and butter of a UX Designer’s job.

As such, it needs to be something you are highly skilled in.

At so many stages of the design process, you should be working with others to gain their thoughts and insights.

Make sure you can give examples of concrete ways to ensure collaboration is brought into your design process.

For example, you could talk about how you love to use internal reviews before presenting your design work to a client.

By discussing design in detail with your team, you’re more likely to spot issues and come up with fixes that you otherwise might have glossed over.

You could mention that you carve out time in your diary each day to step away from your screen to get involved in a face to face conversation with colleagues or clients.

By doing this, you’re able to build relationships but also make sure that your new ideas are showing through in your designs.

You could also talk about how you implemented a collaboration tool, such as design huddles.

This helps increase communication and collaboration with your team.

Design huddles are an excellent opportunity for people to get aligned on what colleagues in other teams are working on.

They are also fantastic for cross-pollination of ideas.

You can easily demonstrate that you are a super collaborator with a couple of well-thought-out examples.

Q3: How do you make design decisions?

The ability to make informed and beneficial design decisions is highly essential for a Senior UX Designer.

As such, you must have thought about and understand the process you follow when making design decisions.

You might be an experience-based designer and factor your decisions on the results of similar choices you’ve made in the past.

You could be an intuition-based designer, who uses intuition to decide what feels best when making a decision.

If this is you, you must explain to the interviewer that you know it can be risky and make mistakes.

As long as you show how you’re able to correct those mistakes quickly, this is a perfectly acceptable answer.

You might use reference-based design, whereby you base your design decisions on other designers’ decisions.

This can also be a great way to learn techniques or bring new aspects into your work as you’re continually moving outside of your comfort zone.

Another possibility is that you use a mixture of all three of these techniques.

If this is the case, be sure to explain how and when you use each one.

Make sure you are specific and clear while using an example to illustrate your answer.

Remember that the interviewer just wants to see that you understand why you make your decisions.

This makes your choice making it much more reliable.

Q4: How would you improve the UX design of our product?

For this question, you must have gained a thorough understanding of the product you’re interviewing with sales or uses.

If you’re interviewing with a design agency, the question might be posed: How would you improve one of the products we designed for our client?’

In this case, make sure that you’ve gained a strong understanding of at least two products that the agency has developed.

In approaching your answer to this question, make sure that you begin by talking through the aspects of the product you like, and which work well.

Remember, your interviewers may have spent months of dedicated work developing these solutions, so you don’t want to tear them apart brutally!

Instead, take a rational and balanced approach.

Pick one aspect or feature that you think can be optimized and carefully explain your rationale.

Ensure that what you’re suggesting would solve a real problem, rather than just being something that seems fancy.

Be prepared to answer questions from the interviewers on your points.

They will likely press you to explain further why you’ve chosen this feature.

Be clear and concise, don’t ramble, and listen carefully to these supplementary questions.

They give you hints as to other factors to consider in your answer.

Remember, even the best designs in the world could be improved somewhere.

The challenge is to find the area that would add value by improving it rather than just for its sake.

If you find this and explain yourself well, you’re sure to impress your interviewers.

Q5: Tell me about a UX project which didn’t go as you’d hoped.

Nowadays, it’s no longer shameful to have failed.

The majority of Silicon Valley success stories have experienced a string of pretty dangerous failures before landing on their pot of gold.

Everyone messes up in their career.

Employers want to know that you’ve made these big mistakes before joining their company, so you’re less likely to make them now.

You must evidence that you took a failure and turned it into a learning experience, leveraging that knowledge to ensure that your designs are much more robust.

With this answer, you need to approach your response with honesty and humility.

Don’t go for something which is just a way to boast.

For example, saying that you had a project which your CEO only described as ‘good’ and not ‘fantastic’ is not going to cut it.

Instead, come prepared with an example of when things didn’t go well.

Perhaps your design didn’t get shipped, or it launched and was a bit of a mess.

Be honest and vulnerable; describe your initial emotions after the failure and talk about how you felt embarrassed, disappointed, and frustrated.

Describing these emotions paints a vivid picture and will let your interviewers become more engaged in the story you’re telling.

Then, move onto describing the lesson you learned as a result of the failure.

Describe how this learning has impacted the way you work today.

Q6: How do you know if your design has solved a problem?

A Senior UX Designer should be adept at measuring their work.

This is the only way to know that your design has solved a problem.

It’s also integral to showing individuals across the organization how the design has tangibly solved a problem.

The best ways to measure this may be through OKRs and business metrics.

These are retention, customer acquisition cost, or UX metrics such as Heart (happiness), Engagement, Adoption, Retention, and Task Success.

You should know how to and show that you can solve business problems as well as user problems.

It should be evident to the interviewer that your designs aren’t just about designing something aesthetically pleasing, or which works well.

Most importantly, It should be there to solve the problem.

Make sure that you use an example to illustrate how you tracked metrics to ensure that your design was genuinely solving a problem.

After all, it’s no good just relying on a hunch.

By having a good grip on the numbers, you’ll show the interviewer that you’re data-driven and have strong attention to detail.

You’ll impress your interviewer if you show that, for example, your design led to a 20% reduction in customer acquisition cost.

Q7: How do you handle feedback when a stakeholder doesn’t like your design solution?

As a Senior UX Designer, you should be able to take negative feedback and probe the stakeholder to gain a more detailed understanding.

In your answer, describe a time that you received negative feedback from a stakeholder and explain that you didn’t react emotionally.

You will need to evidence that you used this as an opportunity to ask more questions to get a more detailed understanding of their point of view.

Explain that you asked further questions such as ‘What else don’t you like about it?’ and ‘Why don’t you like it?’

Another relevant question to ask a stakeholder in this situation would be ‘What concerns do you have?’

Most of the time, these questions will help bring the stakeholder’s thoughts to light.

Rather than having to redesign large parts of your product, you can use this conversation to help them understand why you designed it the way you did.

In your interview, make it clear that you understand how to bridge the gap between what stakeholders think design should be and what they see.

As a Senior UX Designer, you must be able to show that you can bring people along on a journey to understand your design decisions.

It’s essential to make clear that you don’t get frustrated in these situations.

Make it understood that you don’t simply change your design to meet demands without investigating the reasons behind it.

Q8: Describe a recent project you worked on and how you approached it.

For this question, pick a project that went well so you can showcase your skills.

It’s important to highlight where you took the initiative and led decisions and design processes.

After all, the interviewers are not considering hiring your teammates.

You’re the one who’s going to take the Senior UX Designer role and.

As such, they need to be confident that you have the skills and experience necessary to deliver projects on your own.

The flip side of this is that you should remember to acknowledge your team’s contribution.

You also need to evidence that you’re a team player who values your colleagues.

An excellent way to do this is to describe where your team supported you.

Explain how you expressed your gratitude to them for their work.

It’s also essential to clearly show how your design solved a problem.

The best way to approach your answer is to begin by describing the problem and explaining how you solved it.

Next, you should walk step by step through the aspects of the design process that you went through.

It’s also excellent to talk about a challenge you were faced with and how you overcame it.

Rarely, a project goes smoothly, so allow your interviewer to see that you are a flexible problem-solver who doesn’t get flustered in the face of adversity.

Q9: What is the biggest challenge you face as a UX Designer?

As a UX Designer with your own experience, you should have your thoughts about this question.

If something jumps out at you as a problem you consistently face in your role, go ahead and describe it in detail.

Just remember also to explain the steps you take to overcome this challenge and how you have dealt with it in the past.

It’s essential to show that you are resilient and adaptive with an ability to solve problems rather than get demotivated because of a challenge.

If you’re having a hard time to come up with one challenge, in particular, you could talk about the difficulty behind getting UX evangelized.

One of the most important and most difficult things that a Senior UX Designer needs to do is to communicate and sell UX across an organization.

It’s a challenge because many people have no idea what UX is, and many have misconceptions about it.

For example, many think that UX design is the same as graphic design.

Therefore. they see it as a ‘nice to have’ which isn’t integral to the success of a product.

Of course, this isn’t the case.

Teams can sometimes forget the importance of focusing on UX when working to tight deadlines in stressful environments.

As a Senior UX Designer, you should show that you have methods for evangelizing UX and ensuring that this doesn’t happen.

Describe times when you’ve used your persuasive skills to convince skeptical stakeholders that UX is crucial.

Talk about the methods you use to ensure that everyone in your company understands the importance of UX.

This is a never-ending process, so you should have a good number of examples to choose from.

Remember to point out that you don’t just focus on evangelizing to C-level executives.

Stress that you get all levels of the organization to understand your arguments.

Q10: How do you make sure your work is shipped?

If you’re a UX Designer, it’s highly probable that you’ve been in a bad situation.

The design you had poured weeks of hard work into wasn’t shipped (or in other words wasn’t implemented).

There are a whole host of reasons why work doesn’t get shipped, from eventual cost restraints to senior stakeholders not being on board with a design.

This is so frustrating and a waste of productivity for design teams.

Not to mention, it can cause serious demotivation for a team to see their great ideas go down the drain.

As such, an interviewer will be looking for evidence that you understand how to navigate these threats and ensure that your work is shipped.

In your answer, you should show that you understand how to collaborate with individuals across a business to ensure that the design is put into place.

You should explain that a designer’s job doesn’t just stop at design.

It goes further into an understanding of the concerns of individuals in departments such as finance, legal, and compliance.

Give an example where you were concerned that design wasn’t going to be shipped.

Talk about the various stakeholders you dealt with to ensure that it was.

Make sure you show that you spoke to these people to understand their concerns and pick up all the potential threats to your design.

Then, describe how you used that knowledge to work together with your colleagues or clients to ensure that these risks were avoided.

As a Senior UX Designer, you need to be pragmatic about your solutions to ensure that they are used.

Final Thoughts

This Senior UX Designer interview questions should have prepared you for some of the most asked and most robust interview questions posed for aspiring Senior UX Designers.

UX Design is a job where the action is so necessary.

Remember to use examples of what you’ve done in the past to illustrate each response.

Make sure to brush up on technical design jargon as well as rehearse some of your answers with a friend.

The most important thing is that you show the value you can bring to the organization you’re interviewing with.

Make sure that you have done thorough research on the company and product.

Finally, remember to be yourself and use the interview to understand whether this is a company you want to join!

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