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Which questions are most successful at gauging the UX design experience in a candidate? What approaches are best used during a job interview for a UX design position?

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This has no 'correct answer'. If retained - a possible prospect for community wiki maybe? –  Roger Attrill Jan 27 '12 at 18:09
    
I guess so,I wasnt sure if this was the correct place but I cant think of a better place to ask it –  Mervin Johnsingh Jan 27 '12 at 18:10
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Hello. Welcome. Thank you for coming to see us today. Take a seat. Coffee. Tell me about the experience you had getting here today. –  Roger Attrill Jan 27 '12 at 18:11
    
I like that,if they arent observant about what they had to face while getting there,I am not sure how observant they would be otherwise,reminds me of the Sherlock Holmes quote"Watson,how many steps lead up to our room ?" –  Mervin Johnsingh Jan 27 '12 at 18:14
    
Quora is a good place for such questions or community wiki. –  dnbrv Jan 27 '12 at 18:16

5 Answers 5

up vote 14 down vote accepted

First: Hello. Welcome. Thank you for coming to see us today. Take a seat. Coffee. Put interviewee at ease.

Then: "Tell me about the experience you had getting here today."

It has no correct answer since the interviewer knows nothing about the journey. But the interviewee actually undertook the complete experience so should be very much in a comfort zone.

It's great for seeing what was noticed, how it is communicated to someone who wasn't there, and of course it's very much a case of seeing if they pick up on what you are expecting of them and can convey the experience descriptively and passionately ( or not...) and if they can actually 'tell a story' in the process.

It's such a lovely little big question.

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I'd particularly be looking out to see whether they'd spotted that there is a 'pull' handle on the 'push' door which they'd have had to have used to get into the building :-) –  PhillipW Jan 27 '12 at 22:36
    
@PhillipW but if they Push a Pull door doesn't that say more about the unintuitive design of the door itself rather than the applicant? –  JonW Feb 3 '12 at 11:23
  1. Ask very open ended questions, as indicated in the other answers, to see if the person can explain and explore their world and their experience well, and communicate it to you.

  2. Ask them slightly more focussed questions on what they like to see and don't like to see on sites and why. Make sure you are verifying their REASONING not their CHOICES.

  3. Test them in an exercise, and be sure that their processes, not their results, are what you are looking at.

  4. Quiz them on how they will deal with recalitrant developers, pushy managers, incompetent co-workers and over-optimistic sales people.

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One thing we always do is a design exercise that is abstracted away from the specifics our application. It tests the creativity and interaction design talents of the applicant. There are half a dozen different answers, and any are good, we just want to see thought process.

The specifics of the test have to do with taking something with alot of values and binning them into groups.

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I went through an interview process which required a design exercise,though I enjoyed it ,I found that a success of a design process depends a lot on the willingness of the interviewer to look at other alternatives as opposed to his preconcieved idea of how the ideal design should be. –  Mervin Johnsingh Jan 27 '12 at 22:06
    
Absolutely. There is no right answer. –  Glen Lipka Jan 29 '12 at 17:02

If you had the power to change one object/device/software application you use regularly, what would it be? How would you change it?

I would then listen for answers to the 2 questions I didn't ask "why change it?" and "what will the implications be?" Everyone can come up with ideas but few people can explain them well and see the bigger picture.

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I think most people can answer the "why change it?" part since everyone has a gripe against some service/application/technology, and those gripes usually come from frustrating experiences. So, to me, the key component of their answer is the implications part, as well as how well thought out their solution is. –  Lèse majesté Jan 28 '12 at 23:10

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