Web Designer Interview Questions
Web designers develop and create websites. They design the overall look, layout, and features of a website and also provide code writing services needed to design the website. This results in a unique blend of graphic design and computer programming.
After a website has been created, web designers assist with website maintenance and provide support for any new additions to the website. This can include writing and editing content, designing separate webpage layouts, solving code problems, and providing technical support.
Web designer responsibilities may include:
- Integrating website and software applications
- Performing website updates as needed
- Designing website and webpage layouts
- Providing or outsourcing web content
- Performing cross-functional implementation and tests
An unattractive website is the easiest way to lose a customer. In order to provide an aesthetically pleasing experience to retain traffic, skilled web designers will:
- Possess an eye for detail to identify errors in code
- Possess an understanding of common and general purpose programming languages
- Incorporate stylistic designs to make the website visually attractive
- Communicate with clients to deliver the website style they want
- Stay up to date on industry trends and relevant web design tools
Many entry-level positions require applicants possess a bachelor’s degree in computer science, graphic design, or a related field. However, it is not uncommon to find self-taught designers with little to no formal education. There are many courses and certifications outside of formal education that candidates can utilize to make themselves more attractive to employers.
If you’re getting ready to interview for a position as a web designer, you can prepare by researching the company as much as possible. Learn about the 9 things you should research before an interview.
Salaries for web designers range between $60K and $88K with the median being $72K.
Factors impacting the salary you receive as a web designer include:
- Degrees (associate's or appropriate certifications, bachelor's, master's)
- Years of Experience
- Reporting Structure (seniority of the manager you report to and number of direct reports)
- Level of Performance - exceeding expectations
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Web Designer Interview Questions
Question: What is white space, and how do you use it in your web designs?
Explanation: The interviewer is starting the interview by asking a technical question. Technical questions typically ask you about a specific term or topic, its definition, and how it is used in your profession. Technical questions are best answered directly and succinctly.
Example: “In the context of web design, white space is anything that is left blank on the web page. It doesn’t necessarily have to be white. The purpose of white space is to create separation, make the content visually interesting, and avoid long, monotonous, run-on paragraphs of text.”
Question: What is your strategy for using different fonts in your web pages?
Explanation: This is another technical question asking you about a different topic. As a web designer, you can anticipate that the majority of the interview will be either technical or operational questions. Both of them are answered concisely and briefly. The interviewer will ask you a follow-up question if they need additional information.
Example: “I am a firm believer in using different fonts on a single web page. However, certain guidelines need to be followed. The fonts must be similar concerning serifs, size, thickness, aperture, and stroke contrast. Using fonts that are too much alike doesn’t work because it is difficult to perceive the difference between them. Using more than two or three different fonts on a single page is not recommended because it gets messy and confuses the reader.”
Question: Can you describe complementary, monochromatic, and analogous color schemes?
Explanation: In this technical question, the interviewer is asking you to compare three different terms used in web page design. Again, make sure your answers are brief and to the point. Start by defining the terms and then describe how they are used in web design.
Example: “Color is a key element in any web page design. I usually choose a single color scheme for the entire web page. One scheme I use is monochromatic which involves using different hues of the same tint or color. Another scheme is analogous, using colors that are close to each other on the color wheel. The third color scheme uses complementary colors. These are opposite colors that contrast with each other. The key to using colors is choosing a single scheme throughout the entire design.”
Question: What are the differences between JPEG compression and PNG, and when is each one appropriate?
Explanation: You probably already recognized this as another technical question. As the interview progresses, the questions will become more specific and difficult. This is an indication the interviewer is gaining confidence in your qualifications and is willing to explore more topics in depth. Continue to answer technical questions in the same manner you have used throughout the interview.
Example: “I use both JPEG and PNG compression in my web designs. JPEG works best for photos, drawings, illustrations, and other color-rich elements. PNG is a less aggressive compression methodology and results in slightly larger file sizes. PNG is more appropriate for web design elements, including text, logos, icons, and screenshots.”
Question: What are the parameters for including images in Retina, 4K, UHD, and other high-resolution displays?
Explanation: You can prepare for technical questions during an interview by doing research before the interview and practicing your answers. Research the company and their web page designs for the elements they use, their design methodologies, and other factors you will likely be asked about. Once you understand their design philosophy, you can brush up on the terms and technologies used as a web designer. Practice these questions out loud so you get used to providing answers.
Example: “Since the majority of the devices used to view your web pages have high definition displays, your web design needs to consider this when creating images and other elements of the design. This involves setting parameters for the IMG tag used in HTML, such as size, pixel density, and resolution. You also need to keep in mind the size of the screen the website will be viewed on and resize the images appropriately when creating responsive designs.”
Question: What format do you use when embedding self-hosted video on a web site?
Explanation: This is an example of an operational question. Operational questions help the interviewer understand how you go about doing your job. Operational questions are answered similarly to technical questions with brief and concise explanations.
Example: “First, to clarify, you’re talking about videos hosted on my site as opposed to links to videos accessed via YouTube, Vimeo, and other video hosting services. This requires that the site serves the video to the viewer. When I embed them, I typically use an MP4 video format which uses MPEG4 or h.264 compression.”
Question: What are some ways you can optimize a website?
Explanation: This is another operational question in which the interviewer is asking you about the process you use to optimize the performance of a web site. If the process involves several steps, you can walk the interviewer through this using either a list or a brief description of each step.
Example: “There several ways you can optimize the performance of a web site. These include minimizing the CSS and JS code using compressions such as JPEG and PNG, enabling server-side caching, and only serving the appropriate responsive images according to the user’s device.“
Question: What is the maximum number of H1 tags you can have on a web page?
Explanation: This is a straightforward technical question that any competent web designer should be able to answer. As the interview progresses, the interviewer can switch between difficult and easy questions. They may also circle back and ask a question similar to one you already answered in order to calibrate your responses.
Example: “Each web page should have only one H1 tag. The exception to this is if there are ARTICLE or SECTION elements on the page. If this is the case, each one of them can also have an H1 tag.”
Question: Can you provide examples of HTML5 tags you use in your designs?
Explanation: This is another technical question that you should be able to answer easily. Questions like this have no right or wrong answers. There are many HTML5 tags you could mention. However, you should refer to ones you know well and be prepared for a follow-up question from the interviewer.
Example: “HTML5 tags I use frequently include STRONG, SMALL, and EM. Although these tags change the appearance of the font, they also perform other functions. STRONG makes the text bold, but it also emphasizes elements including titles, headings, or important key terms and phrases. EM will italicize text while emphasizing it. While SMALL makes text smaller, it is also used for disclaimers, clarifications, and other elements you want to de-emphasize.”
Question: What is the purpose of markup elements such as ARTICLE, FIGURE, and ASIDE?
Explanation: This is a follow-up question to your previous answer. Interviewers will ask follow-up questions when they have a specific interest about the topic or want to explore it in more depth. You should view this as an indication that the topic is important to them and spend a little more time on your answer.
Example: “In addition to the ones I’ve already mentioned, HTML5 has provided many new element tags you can incorporate into your web page design. Some of them are the ones you are asking about. ARTICLE defines a piece of content that has its own heading, and it can be external to the web page. FIGURE designates that an image is an illustration, such as a blueprint or chart. ASIDE indicates that the element refers to some other content within the page which is similar to the element using the tag.”
Additional Web Designer Interview Questions
How do you resize your images to optimize performance?
How would you troubleshoot slow-loading web pages?
How do you incorporate modern design trends into your work?
How do you stay up to date on industry trends?
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A word of warning when using question lists.
Question lists offer a convenient way to start practicing for your interview. Unfortunately, they do little to recreate actual interview pressure. In a real interview you’ll never know what’s coming, and that’s what makes interviews so stressful.
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