In a perfect world, your next design hire will have the same design tastes, skill level, and overall values that are compatible with your company’s. We all know that the world of hiring has its share of twists and turns and it can be difficult to know the precise questions to ask. Asking the right questions and carefully assessing your next candidate’s interview responses will bring you closer to hiring the right digital designer for your team.
Soft skills are a reflection of how a person thinks, his or her communication style, and ability to work cohesively. Therefore, it is necessary to assess the soft skills as well as hard skills throughout the interview.
Soft skills to look for include:
- Desire to learn new things
- Ability to understand an audience and how the audience wants to interact with design
- Problem-solving and critical thinking skills
- Listening skills: how does the designer interpret user feedback
- Ability to articulate design to a development team
Education and Experience
While a degree is sometimes viewed as a certification of knowledge, not all candidates will have a degree in the field you’re hiring for. Some may be transitioning from traditional design to digital, or some may be exploring a new career path altogether. Your goal should be to determine if whatever experience the candidate has, whether from formal education or from being self-taught, will allow him or her to effectively do the job.
Questions to ask to assess experience:
- How long have spent professionally designing?
- What applications do you use regularly?
- Which software do you prefer to work with and why?
- What size websites have you worked with in the past?
- Tell me about your last two projects. What was your process? What role did you play?
You can also ask questions about the specific programs your company uses to gauge the candidate’s familiarity with your tools already in place.
General Industry Knowledge
Digital design is an innately fast-evolving industry. Therefore, an employee who keeps up-to-date on design and industry trends can help the company stay ahead of the curve and remain (or become) innovative in a competitive market.
- Which blogs and publications do you read regularly and why?
- What do you consider to be the current trends in the digital design industry?
- What do you consider to be the current trends in [your/your clients’ respective industries]?
- What companies do you feel are doing it right?
Assessing the Portfolio
When the candidate presents his or her portfolio, he or she should be able to explain the “why” of the design. A candidate’s critical thinking and problem-solving skills should be compatible with the design challenges your company is trying to solve.
Questions to ask when reviewing a design portfolio:
- What or who influences your design?
- Which is your favorite piece? Why?
- What was one of your biggest design challenges? How did your design resolve it?
- What role did you play in designing this piece?
- Describe your design process?
- Tell me about how you incorporate clients’ feedback?
Questions to ask to determine cultural fit:
- In what type of environment do you do your best work?
- What roles have you played on teams? What roles would your teammates say you play?
- How do you work with development to ensure they understand your vision?
- How do you work under pressure? What do you do to ensure you meet deadlines?
- What are four or five words that describe your ideal company culture?
If teamwork is an integral part of the position you’re hiring for, consider having some of the team members get involved in the interview process. One way to do so is to have the candidate and team work together to solve a hypothetical (or real) problem. Take note of how they interact with each other.
Finally, ask the candidate, “Do you have any questions for me?” You can gauge the candidate’s interest level in the job and company by the type of questions he or she asks you.
Carefully assessing the answers to these questions will get you closer to finding the right employee for your digital design job.
WunderLand is a team of Talent Acquisition Experts connect companies with in-demand digital, marketing and creative talent. The experience, insight, and market knowledge we provide have earned us loyalty and a reputation for quality. Our experienced team shares market insights, crafts informed hiring strategies and anticipates resource needs, saving our clients time and money. For more information on how WunderLand can help you meet your hiring needs, please visit www.wunderlandgroup.com.