A Guide to the Design Interview

Congratulations! We’re extremely excited to move on with the application process! We’ve put this guide together so you know what to expect during your interview. Interviews will be 1 hour and we’ve attached a signup sheet with your email.

Interviews consist of three different sections, portfolio review, whiteboard challenge, and an app critique. All sections are weighed equally, and at the end of the interview you’ll have some time to ask any questions that you might have for us!

Portfolio Review (15min)

Show us your work! We would love to learn more about previous products you’ve designed, built, and/or shipped. We want to understand how you approach problems and design solutions for them. Be prepared to back up your design decisions, and concisely explain your case study.


  • Have a case study ready and know it inside and out. We want to get an insight into your process.

  • Try to touch on the different areas of design: product thinking, interaction design, visual design, and user research.

  • Practice talking about your case study with designers and non-designers to clearly communicate your work.

  • Your Intro to DPD case study is super valid!

Whiteboard Challenge (15min)

We want to see what it’s like to work with you as a designer. We want to see if you can think on your feet and quickly ideate and design a solution. You will be given a high-level prompt and markers so you can let your ideas flow! Take us through your thought process.


  • Don’t stop talking! This is not how you work in a team. Think out loud, ask questions, and be interactive.

  • We will give you a high-level prompt so make sure to scope it down: define the users and the problem space.

  • Draw few critical screens. We are not looking for high-fidelity beautiful artboards. We want to see how you got to those designs!

  • Remember, there is no correct answer to the challenge.

App Critique (10min)

How do you think about the different apps on your phone? Why do you think the designer decided to pursue one option over another? What is the app solving and what could be different? We want to know how you recognize, analyze, and evaluate design decisions that aren’t yours.


  • Practice, practice, practice! Sit down with friends to talk about popular apps on your phone such as Venmo, Airbnb, Yelp, Snapchat, Instagram, Uber, Google Maps, etc.

  • Do not talk badly about the app. There is a reason that the experience is designed a certain way. Simulate a design critique where you are providing feedback to another designer.

  • Do not describe the app, instead critique it. You don’t need to explain how clicking on this button on Venmo allows you to pay someone. Talk about why the entry point is located there, what confusions there might be, and why this supports the people problem or business goals.

General Advice:

  • Focus on the approach rather than the solution. We’re more interested in seeing how you approach problems rather than simply whether or not you can solve a given problem. 

  • Be yourself! We’ve designed the interview to best simulate the work you’d be doing on the team, in a 1 hour interview. Ask questions if you need clarification, our goal from the interview is to know what it’d be like to work with you!