When you find a UX designer who seems like a good fit, it’s time to put them to the test and evaluate them. How do you do this? Everyone has their own methods, but most interviewers just go with their gut feeling. This is wrong. Your instincts — or innate biases — should not be the main selection criterion for a UX designer.

You have to know what you want in a UX designer. What is good depends on a candidate’s matching the competencies that you’ve chosen, at the levels of proficiency that you need.”

— Nathaniel Davis

Instead, you should develop valid selection criteria to make the evaluation — and ultimately, the selection — more accurate.

To objectively evaluate UX designers you want to hire, follow these four steps:

Know what you want. Define the specs of your project and design requirements.
Evaluate hard skills. What skills are vital to the successful completion of the project?
Explore soft skills. What personal attributes does the designer possess?
Test UX designers. Can they create a viable design solution that satisfies expectations?

Additionally, you want your criteria to feature various qualities and skills that are essential to your project. This will ensure that the UX designer can easily adjust and contribute to your team.

Here’s what to look for when hiring a UX designer:

Design Skills

What do you want to find out? Can this UX designer do the job efficiently?

How can you find out? Review portfolio, ask questions, and give design exercises.

Experience. Do they have sufficient experience in UX design?
Problem setting. Can they identify, question, and prioritize problems?
User-centered process. Do they base their design decisions on user insights?
Idea generation. Are they able to quickly generate high-quality solutions?
Systems thinking. Do they understand how their solution will fit into users’ lives?
Visual appeal. Is their design appropriate for the audience?
Innovation. Does their design feel new and original?

People Skills

What do you want to find out? Do I want to work with this designer?

How can you find out? One-on-one interviews, cover letters, and back-and-forth emails.

Communication. Are they a good listener and a persuasive speaker?
Collaboration. Can they work efficiently as part of a team?
Cultural contribution. Do they represent your company’s values?
Leadership. Do they take proud ownership of their work and decisions
Mission. Did they read up on your company prior to the interview?

UX designers that possess these skills are definitely worth considering for the job.

If you’re stuck on finding the right questions to ask UX designers during interviews, here are a few that will give you the information you need to make the final decision:

Describe your design process and methods.
Describe the challenges you faced on a recent project.
How did you approach the problem?
Provide examples of how you deal with user research and usability testing.
How do you handle criticism from clients?
What does it mean to be a great UX designer?
What analytical tools do you use to evaluate your designs?

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