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Questions to expect during your portfolio presentation

Interviewing can be an uncertain, long-winded process, and your presentation is the one thing you control

UX/UI Design
3 minute read 

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

  1. What was the goal you were trying to achieve? Where did it come from?
  2. Was there an agreement on the definition of success and failure for these goals?
  3. Was there any research involved in validating the problem? What was your role in it?
  4. Did you push back on the brief or did you agree to do exactly what was asked?

The audience

  1. Who are the users that are facing the problem?
  2. If there were different types of users, which were primary and which secondary?
  3. Did you work with any artefacts like personas/user stories/journey maps?
  4. Did you receive any user feedback at the end to understand the impact of your work?


  1. What kind of user research did you carry out through different stages of the project?
  2. Did you get any useful insights from the research?
  3. If so, how did research insights guide your decisions through the project?
  4. If you were working with UX researchers, how did you engage them and at which stages?

The solution

  1. Did you go with the first idea you had or did you try multiple approaches?
  2. Did you make intentional choices throughout and can you justify them?
  3. When you finalised a solution, did you test it for usability?
  4. Did you make any changes to the initial solution you thought of? If so, what were they based on?
  5. Did you use a design system or design frameworks and standards?
  6. Were you able to adapt your design process as and when needed?


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  1. Were you the only designer on this project or did you work with other design functions like UX writing, UX research, etc.?
  2. How did you engage with non-design functions throughout the project?
  3. How did you deal with difficult situations that came up during the project?
  4. Which kind of cross-functional partners are you most comfortable working with - PM, engineering, data, etc.? Conversely, which ones do you wish you could collaborate with better?

Self-reflection and growth

  1. If you had to look back now at this project, what would you do differently?
  2. Have you worked on any of the things you answered in the last question?
  3. What were your key learnings?
  4. What was your favourite part of working on the project?
  5. Which part of the process do you wish would have gone differently?

Wrapping up

As a designer, you’re well-placed to understand user concerns. When it comes to interviews, your users are the interviewers. Their main concern, without fail, is to reduce risk in hiring. Hiring the wrong person for a role can cause a company a lot of damage. Questions are the insight they gain to evaluate whether it would be a risk to hire you. The best portfolio presentations answer the above questions without the interviewer having to ask them. Interviewing can be an uncertain, long-winded process, and your presentation is the one thing you fully control. So take some time out to work on these questions and see how you can answer them through your portfolio.