20 sample answers to common web designer interview questions
Here are some examples of how to answer common questions you might expect during your next web designer interview:
- What have been your key responsibilities as a web designer?
- What specifically appeals to you about web design?
- Tell me about a time you received harsh criticism from a client. How did you handle it?
- What is a responsive web page design?
- What are some bad examples of web design?
- What steps do you take during your design process and how much do you involve clients?
- How do you incorporate current design trends into your projects?
- When you receive client feedback, how do you integrate it into your own designs?
- What are some design components of an optimized website?
- What is HTML?
- What is the difference between HTML elements and tags?
- How do you combine fonts and how many types will you use on one website?
- What makes a good color scheme? Can you explain some common examples?
- When do you use JPEG and when do you use PNG?
- How many H1 tags would you have on a single webpage and why?
- What is a CSS file and why is it used?
- What tools do you use most when designing?
- Do you have any experience with UX design?
- What is W3 and why is it important to web design?
- Have you used HTTP and HTTP-2 in your past design products?
1. What have been your key responsibilities as a web designer?
Employers ask this question because they want their designers to have an in-depth understanding of their role and how they will contribute to the overall brand.
Example: “In my past role I was responsible for creating cohesive and visually attractive front-end designs. But I also helped with back-end design to ensure the websites were user-friendly. Working on both ends increased my knowledge of the fundamentals required to enhance applications for both mobile and web users.”
2. What specifically appeals to you about web design?
Employers want to know why web design interests you. They are looking for someone with passion and enthusiasm for the job, regardless of when or how they began learning design.
Example: “My favorite part is the ability to help brands figure out who they are through design. I love how colors and font can completely transform a website into something beautiful and inspiring. Vivid imagery and a fresh layout can help a brand tell its story more effectively.”
Related: How to Sell Yourself in an Interview
3. Tell me about a time you received harsh criticism from a client. How did you respond to it?
Employers ask this question because they want to know how you solve problems and respond to feedback.
Example: “Last year I did a new web design for a client in the restaurant business. They were upset and felt the design was too plain. They wanted more patterns, colors, images and text. I knew too much would clutter the webpage and make it less appealing and user-friendly, but was happy to adjust some design elements for them. I explained why I felt simple would work well, and we came to a compromise that paired simplicity with the extra flair they wanted.”
Related: Growing Your Career: learning From Negative Feedback
4. What is a responsive web page design?
Employers will likely ask you about web page responsiveness to find out your basic knowledge of effective design.
Example: “Responsive design means the website offers optimal viewing and a positive interaction experience. Visitors should find it easy to navigate the site without excessive scrolling, resizing or screen-panning throughout all devices.”
5. What are some bad examples of web design?
Employers may ask this question to get an idea of what you think is bad design, to see if your views fit theirs.
Example: “Some common design elements that don’t produce great results are blinking and flashing images, very little contrast between the background and the text, tiled background images with colored text, too many images and all text centered. These tend to decrease readability which lowers visitor retention.**”
6. What steps do you take during your design process and how much do you involve clients?
The employer wants to know how you approach your work, how easy working with you is and how well you take care of your clients.
Example: “I always have an initial consult meeting to discuss client wants and needs. I then draw up a preliminary design and send them a draft for review. During the design process, I send updates to keep them informed. I send them the finished product for final review and If any updates are wanted we discuss what needs to be changed, timeframe and other logistics.**”
7. How do you incorporate current design trends into your projects?
Design changes with the times and employers want a designer that thoughtfully incorporates new trends to stay up-to-date.
Example: “I’m always reading design blogs to keep track of trends to mix in with my own style. Climbing Walls Magazine and Maximalist Web Designer are two of my favorite sites. I like to find styles very different from mine, then find ways to use pieces of them to make the classic, well-received designs more fresh and fun.**”
8. When you receive client feedback, how do you integrate it into your own designs?
Companies are looking for designers willing to revise their work, but able to communicate when they may not agree with a revision.
Example: “I always express my openness for revisions to the client. However, if a suggestion is made that would decrease optimization or responsiveness, I advise them that while their idea is great, it could have a negative impact. Normally when people understand the adverse effects they are fine with the design. If they still want the revision made, I will make it.**”
9. What are some design components of an optimized website?
Employers are looking for candidates that understand optimization and its importance.
Example: “A few common ways to implement optimizations include minimizing CSS and JS code to load pages faster, compressing assets appropriately, clean HTML and not loading unused scripts or CSS modules.”
10. What is HTML, and what is the difference between HTML elements and tags?
Employers are looking for candidates with extensive knowledge of HTML editing since web designers use it daily.
Example: “HTML stands for HyperText Markup Language and it’s used to design all web pages. HTML elements tell the browser how to render text. When elements are surrounded by angular brackets they create HTML tags, which surround and format text.**”
11. Could you walk me through one of your most recent projects?
Employers have an interest in the types of projects you enjoy working on, to see where you could fit into the company.
Example: “I recently re-designed a personal trainer’s website. The new navigation, layout and responsiveness increased her mobile-user’s time-on-site by 15% over a 2 month period. I also just finished an update for an entrepreneur to help increase her SEO and visitor retention. She is now on the first page of search results for similar businesses.”
12. How do you combine fonts and how many types will you use on one website?
Fonts are an important design element and you should have a good grasp on font usage.
Example: “When combining fonts it’s important to look for similarities and differences. These could include variables like serifs, thickness, aperture, stroke contrast. Two fonts normally work well together if they are similar except for one variable, or are completely different except for one variable. Serif and san-serif fonts that are very similar are great to use for text and titles respectively for example. it’s also important to keep in mind the content the fonts will be used in.”
13. What makes a good color scheme? Can you explain some common examples?
Another important design element is color and employers are looking for candidates with attention to detail.
Example: “Certain color schemes are more appealing to the human brain because we look for harmony and order. The three main schemes are monochromatic, analogous and complementary. Monochromatic uses a different hues of the same tint and is great for foreground and background color. Analogous uses colors that sit next to each other on the color wheel like blue and green. It works well for elements next to each other. Complementary uses colors on opposite sides of the color wheel like orange and purple. These colors normally contrast well.”
14. When do you use JPEG and when do you use PNG?
Web designers often work with and incorporate images into their designs. These must fit into the design flawlessly and format correctly for web and mobile applications.
Example: “JPEG reduces image size by finding areas of similar color to compress. This works well for photos, illustrations, drawings, rich images and gradients, but not screenshots, flat icons or text. PNG reduces the number of used colors to compress the file. It works well for logos, icons, images with text, UI elements and screenshots. PNG also allows for transparent areas.”
15. How many H1 tags would you have on a single webpage and why?
Employers may ask more specific design questions to find out what level of knowledge you have of HTML and SEO to qualify you as a candidate.
Example: “Only one H1 tag should be used on a web page, unless in some circumstances you have ARTICLE or SECTION elements. H1 tags are important for search engines because this tag is considered the main heading of the page, telling the search engine what the page is about. Using H1 tags improperly can hurt SEO performance.”
16. What is a CSS file and what are some benefits of using it?
CSS is commonly used in web design. Employers want to know you are familiar working with it and will require little to no training.
Example: “CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets and helps control and oversee text dimensions and textual styles, like fonts and colors. It’s easy to maintain and update, offers more formatting options, has great SEO benefits and much faster download times since the code is lightweight.”
17. What tools do you use most when designing?
Some companies may ask this question to test your communication skills and determine if you are familiar with some common web design tools.
Example: “The tools I use most often are Adobe, Sketch, Figma and platforms like Wix and WordPress. I love learning, so I’m open to any new tools you would prefer I use.”
18. Do you have any experience with UX design?
While employers may not require you to have experience with UX design, it’s important to know what it is and discuss how you could apply it to your own work.
Example: “While I do not have any hands-on experience with UX, I understand the importance of the design process and how my position as web designer would be directly influenced by the UX team’s research and findings.”
19. What is W3 and how do you adhere to it in your web design?
Employers want to know your familiarity with W3 standards because compliance is required to ensure website designs are easily accessible in all browsers.
Example: “W3 stands for World Wide Consortium. They are responsible for web standards that ensure all content is accessible in all browsers. When I design, I consider the layout, how easy it is to use, the intuitiveness and how user-friendly it is. Once the design is complete I test it across all platforms including web browsers and mobile platforms.”
20. Have you used HTTP or HTTP/2 in your past design products?
HTTP and HTTP/2 are network protocols specifically created to enhance the performance of web pages. Employers are looking for a candidate with fundamental knowledge.
Example: “It’s important that my design draws people into the site and makes them want to stay there. HTTP/2 streamlines my design process and allows me to create layouts with decreased load time. The faster a page loads, the greater chance a customer will stay on the website.”