How to interview a web designer before you hire them

How to interview a web designer before you hire them

What is the best way to interview a web designer? Have you already completed the first recruiting steps, i.e. managed to attract a number of candidates, and successfully conducted an initial screening process? If so, you’re probably ready to interview your candidates’ shortlist. To help you in that, we’ll give you an overview of the actions you need to take to make your interview sessions more effective. We’ll focus on the job-specific personality traits you need to evaluate throughout your interview with a web designer, so that you make a wiser hiring decision.

Before that, let’s first clear a few things out. Let’s have a look at the pre-selection steps you may have taken so far and additional steps you may need to take after the interview session. We’ll do so to help you make sure you have adopted an all-embracing hiring approach; and that you have not missed anything.

Pre-selection screening steps you may follow before you interview a web designer 

Before you conduct the interview sessions you’ll need to narrow down the list of candidates. 
Why? It may not be worth your time to interview every applicant. Some of them may not match the role requirements you’re looking for. And this may be evident in the first scan of your resumes. So, here’s an (indicative) way of how you can filter them:

Review resumes, cover letters, portfolios 

  • Education— Compare the education stated in their resumes with the requirements you have already listed on your job posting. Note here, that this is valid only if your team or your customer— if you’re hiring on behalf of someone else—has already agreed to it. Some may be eager to welcome into their teams not only candidates who have followed a formal education path—whatever that may be— but, also, self-taught web designers.  
  • Previous work experience – Does their employment history match the web designer job position you’re offering? Is it necessary for them to have experience in advertising? What other skills– backed up with past work experience– should you look for?  
  • What about their cover letter (if any)? Does it address issues you may have identified in their resume, such as employment gaps, etc.? 
  • Digital portfolio – This one is (probably) the most critical testimonial to evaluate when hiring web designers. 

While you proceed with the steps above, it would be helpful for you to keep succinct notes and a list of questions (generic set of questions)  that might arise. And you should probably use them during the interview. Once you’re done, you are then ready to further work with the ‘yes’ candidates. Yet, you don’t need to rush and interview candidates straightaway. Why? Well, before you get to the interview part it is wiser for you to further filter the candidates that stood out, by testing their skills in practice. Read on!

Evaluate web designers’ hard skills

Once you get this first filtering of applicants you are ready to further screen them against the hard skills they mention in their resume. Their skills should match the requirements to perform their day-to-day tasks. More specifically, they’ll need to have a deep understanding of visual design and responsive design. They should also keep tabs on typography trends, understand UI/UX practices, and be familiar with multiple design software tools. To evaluate candidates against said skills you may use relevant off-the-shelf assessment tools or customized tests you may create with the help of your design team(if any). Their scores will guide your next steps and will also help you or the person to cooperate with them (design manager/experts) come up with an additional set of questions, focused on hard skills you may need to further investigate, later on. 

Evaluate web designers’ personality

What personality traits are needed for a web designer to be deemed competent in their work? To answer that question and, thus, to better filter your candidate list, you may use TraitForward. With our assessment software, you’ll be able to evaluate the list of candidates you have shortlisted against job-specific personality traits. Here’s how:

  • You’ll send an invitation to your candidates – the ones you have pre-selected through the steps above— and you’ll have them proceed with it on their own. 
  • Once they’re done, you’ll have all the results gathered in one place, online, in your account; where you can further study them. 
  • And not only this. You’ll be able to use an interview guide– containing job-specific questions–that comes with the test. More on that later. 

Now let’s get to the core of our topic.

How to run the interview process, when hiring a web designer

You may have come across various tips as to how you should run the hiring interview. On our part, we’ll first give you a few general tips you may use in your interviews. And then we’ll focus on how it would be wiser to structure the flow of your interview with a web designer.  

DO’s and DON’Ts to have in mind, when interviewing web designers

  • Try to build rapport at the beginning of the interview. This puts candidates at ease and helps them adapt to the interview environment.
  • Go for a structured interview pattern, rather than an unstructured one. By doing so, you’ll get to ask all candidates the same set of questions; and, thus, you’ll be able to compare their answers against each other. As a matter of fact, the final flow of your interview is highly likely to be semi-structured; i.e., you’ll inevitably pose a few additional follow-up questions to each one of your candidates, based on their answers.
  • Don’t forget to encourage candidates to ask any questions they may have; preferably at the end of the interview.

Now, apart from the generic set of questions you may use during your interview sessions, you’ll also need to ask a few questions to better understand the personality of the web designer you’re about to hire. Your questions should help you better understand your candidates and decide who you should finally hire. And that’s where TraitForward comes in. 

Let’s get a taste of what the indicative aspects are in evaluating people with the test itself and the interview you’ll adapt to it. And you’ll get an idea of the value you’ll gain through TraitForward. 

Personality aspects to evaluate, when interviewing a web designer

Let’s go through an indicative list of job-specific traits, critical for people to take on the role of web designer. Each one of the traits you’ll get to evaluate with TraitForward is accompanied with a short list of follow-up questions that will help you interview a web designer more accurately. More specifically, candidates will be asked to self-evaluate themselves; and then, you’ll have the chance to ask relevant questions that will reveal more about their personality. So here’s a brief list:

  • Are they able to balance competing priorities? 
  • How self-confident are they?
  • How easy is it for them to come up with creative solutions?
  • What is it that keeps them motivated, when it comes to art and design?
  • Are they detail-oriented?

Here’s a list of questions you may include, to ask your candidates: 

  • Tell us about a project that didn’t go as planned. What could you have done better? What was the outcome?
  • How do you approach a client who has negative feedback about your design?
  • Tell me about a certain piece in your portfolio you’re particularly proud of and why. 

Our report will help you better understand why each one of the traits you’ll evaluate is important for a web designer. And, not only this, you’ll be able to compare the results of all candidates against each other, keep notes and make your interview sessions more productive. 

Want to run a well-aimed interview when hiring a web designer?

If so, try TraitForward. Except for the hard skills and the background-oriented questions you’ll come up with, during the pre-selection stage, you’ll also need to evaluate candidates’ personalities. Using our assessment software you’ll get the following:

  • It would be easier for you to form the final set of questions to use when you interview a web designer, using our job-specific interview guide.
  • With it, you’ll narrow down your candidate shortlist, so that you won’t need to interview a long list of candidates. 
  • You may filter and interview designers from a distance. All you need to do is send them the questionnaire and then perform a remote hiring interview.   
  • You don’t need specialized training to assess candidates’ personalities with TraitForward.  
  • You can speed up the recruitment process, as you’ll distribute job-specific questionnaires in minutes. 
  • You won’t only evaluate candidates’ personalities against job-specific traits, you will also be able to adjust the questionnaire–and interview guide– to further evaluate candidate attributes against role specifics; such as seniority, team consistency, etc. 

Try TraitForward today

Evaluate 5 web designers for free.