Design interviews are tough. You’re supposed to jump through multiple hoops to prove your worth to each company you interview with and at each career level you interview for. Your portfolio presentation is the most important round because it sets the bar for future rounds. Your portfolio can be your key to unlocking a job offer at some of the best companies in the world. It can also be an albatross around your neck, leaving you open to tough questions that take away your control of the presentation and put you on the back foot. Let’s take a look at some of the most common and (a few uncommon) questions you can expect when presenting your portfolio.
The problem statement
- What was the goal you were trying to achieve? Where did it come from?
- Was there an agreement on the definition of success and failure for these goals?
- Was there any research involved in validating the problem? What was your role in it?
- Did you push back on the brief or did you agree to do exactly what was asked?
- Who are the users that are facing the problem?
- If there were different types of users, which were primary and which secondary?
- Did you work with any artefacts like personas/user stories/journey maps?
- Did you receive any user feedback at the end to understand the impact of your work?
- What kind of user research did you carry out through different stages of the project?
- Did you get any useful insights from the research?
- If so, how did research insights guide your decisions through the project?
- If you were working with UX researchers, how did you engage them and at which stages?
- Did you go with the first idea you had or did you try multiple approaches?
- Did you make intentional choices throughout and can you justify them?
- When you finalised a solution, did you test it for usability?
- Did you make any changes to the initial solution you thought of? If so, what were they based on?
- Did you use a design system or design frameworks and standards?
- Were you able to adapt your design process as and when needed?