28 Questions and Answers Written by Professional Interviewers
Question 1 of 28
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
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The interviewer hopes to hear that you will stay with the company long-term.
Simply share that you see yourself working at this company in five years! Express that you hope you will find a company that you love working for and will stay in for many years to come. If the company offers a promotional track for Interior Designers, such as management, you may even mention that you hope to receive a promotion at the company within 10 years!
Tell me about some of your past design projects from your portfolio.
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The interviewer wants to hear that you enjoy being a part of a team and that you contribute to the success of the team. Start off by sharing the last time you contributed to a team effort. Discuss how you personally made efforts to contribute to the team, and be sure to mention how successful the team was! Finally, be sure to mention that you enjoy working on a team from time-to-time because your collaborative efforts often result in a fantastic outcome! It is also great to learn from other designers and building professionals to help further your career through gained expertise.
Do you find working with teams in interior design is better or worse than working alone?
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We recommend that you carefully review the job description and company website before arriving for your interview to gain an understanding of the role. This will allow you to see if the role requires working individually or in teams. When asked this question, express that you are open to working in teams or individually. If you have a strong preference for one environment over the other, be sure to mention which you prefer still sharing that you will happily work in either environment on a day-to-day basis.
There are many factors to consider here. Where are you working? Are you designing for homes or a commercial setting? Would you like to travel? Who are your clients? What hours are you working? Do you have free reign, or is there customer input? Share your details of the perfect job! Be sure to express that you will happily work as an Interior Designer in any setting, but if you could design the perfect situation, this is what it would look like. For example, you might share, "My dream job would be doing the interior design for a luxury hotel in Dubai! I would love to travel to Dubai exploring the culture and designing an exquisite stay experience for guests! Of course, this is my dream, and I look forward to all of the design experiences that I am offered in my career. Someday, I will achieve my dream! For now, gaining experience is my hope!"
"My dream job would be doing the interior design for a luxury hotel in Dubai! I would love to travel to Dubai exploring the culture and designing an exquisite stay experience for guests! Of course, this is my dream, and I look forward to all of the design experiences that I am offered in my career. Someday, I will achieve my dream! For now, gaining experience is my hope!"
Talking about ourselves in this way can be challenging. We recommend reaching out to a few colleagues, family members, and friends. Ask them for their opinion. You'll probably be surprised at the consistency in their responses! Their answers will give you insight into how to answer this question. Tell the interviewer what sets you apart, and explain how your co-workers, family members, and friends have encouraged you with your gift in this area.
6. Tell me about a time when you stepped into a leadership role. The interviewer wants to hear about a positive experience you have had with leadership. Think about a time during college when you led a sports team, led a collegiate organization, led a college project, managed a store, or coached a little league team. These are all great examples! Start off by giving the interviewer a high-level overview of what you were leading, and share that you enjoyed the experience. Discuss the positive outcome that the group had, and explain that you would gladly lead again! Here is an answer example: 7. What made you choose to become an Interior Designer? Have you always dreamt of becoming an Interior Designer? Did someone you look up to motivate you to become an Interior Designer? Did you work with an Interior Designer, and were you so inspired by the experience that you decided to go back to school for your degree? The interviewer wants to hear that you are passionate about the field, and when you candidly share why you chose the field, your passion will automatically come through! Here is an answer example: 8. What are your career goals as an Interior Designer? What are your dreams for your career? Your dreams are often your goals! Simply share 1-2 goals that you have for yourself during your career. These can be short or long-term goals. You might share that you dream of designing a specific type of space. You may mention that you hope to get your Master's Degree. You may dream of working on a team with a specific famous Interior Designer. After sharing your goals, share when you hope to achieve your goals providing a realistic timeframe in a number of years. For example, you might state, "I hope to achieve my Master's Degree within the next 10 years." Here is an answer example: "I hope to achieve my Master's Degree within the next 10 years."9. How do you handle stressful situations? With ease! The interviewer needs to hear that stressful situations do not get the best of you. Tell the interviewer that it is your responsibility as a professional to mitigate stressful situations ensuring they do not become more stressful than necessary. When you are faced with a stressful situation, you go into action mode assessing what can be done to alleviate the stress while still keeping a positive attitude. Here is an answer example: 10. Did you bring a portfolio with you? We highly encourage you to bring a portfolio with you to your interview. You can bring a hard copy, flash drive, or URL for your portfolio. Having access to your portfolio for the interviewer is key! Here is an answer example: 11. In what ways do you keep current with new trends? What ways do you keep up with trends? Do you subscribe to certain magazines? Do you watch certain TV channels? Do you attend the same conferences or seminars each year? Do you network with other designers? Are you a member of an Interior Design professional organization? Share 2-3 ways that you keep up with design trends! Here is an answer example: 12. What do you think is the most unique thing in your portfolio? The interviewer is trying to learn more about your design experience. Simply share the most unique thing in your portfolio! You might even offer a link to the interviewer to see pictures of the project after the interview. Express what you enjoyed most about working on the project, and be sure to mention how happy you are with the outcome of the project! Here is an answer example: 13. Do you have any sales experience? The interviewer wants to learn more about your level of experience to understand the type of training you should be provided if you are hired for the job. If you have sales experience, that is great! Share where you worked and the type of sales you have completed. Be sure to mention any formal sales training you have received as well! If your sales experience was as an interior designer, be sure to mention the type of sales you are accustomed to.
If you do not have sales experience, that is okay too! Simply tell the interviewer that your career thus far has not focused on sales, and you look forward to learning great sales techniques to help you be successful with this added responsibility. Here is an answer example: 14. In what ways, do you get the client motivated and excited for the upcoming project? And why is that important? Begin by sharing that most clients are thankfully motivated and excited for new projects, and the less motivated ones are few and far between. Next, share that less motivated clients can be motivated by asking them a series of questions that gets them thinking about what THEY want and focusing on THEIR needs. Once they start dreaming, they tend to automatically get more excited. If you have another technique that you like to utilize, go ahead and share it as well!
If a client is not motivated or excited for their project, they will likely not be happy with the outcome. Engaged clients also tend to take longer to complete their projects resulting in more of your time. Here is an answer example: 15. How would you voice your opinion if you were working on a project and disagreed with someone on the team? Giving your professional opinion is a pivotal part of the interior designers job, and the interviewer wants to hear that you enjoy doing this! Think back through your work history. When have you had to give your opinion? Were you a server offering advice about food? Did you work in customer service needing to share advice about company products? Do you have experience in interior design, and have you already had to express your design opinions to others? Share your experiences with expressing your opinion! The key is sharing that you never put a customer down. Instead, you always express what you think will make their ideas even better! Here is an answer example: 16. Describe a team project that you worked on. College and challenging courses seem to go hand-in-hand, and it is okay to share about a course that was challenging for you. Picking a general education course is often a great option when answering this question because there are many courses that are not in your field of study, and interviewers do not expect you to be an expert in every field! The key is expressing that you never gave up, and you worked through the challenge. For example, you might state, "I had to take a Biology general education course in college, and it was very challenging for me. I have never enjoyed learning about science, and I surely was not having fun studying for those exams! I knew that I wanted to maintain my GPA, so I motivated myself by going to the coffee shop two nights per week as a treat to study for that class. It paid off, and I got an A in the class! " Here is an answer example: "I had to take a Biology general education course in college, and it was very challenging for me. I have never enjoyed learning about science, and I surely was not having fun studying for those exams! I knew that I wanted to maintain my GPA, so I motivated myself by going to the coffee shop two nights per week as a treat to study for that class. It paid off, and I got an A in the class! "17. Do you work well under pressure? Absolutely! The interviewer needs to hear that you can work well under pressure to meet project deadlines and customer satisfaction. Simply express that you work well under pressure understanding that you will need to meet project deadlines and ensure customer satisfaction. Be sure to mention that you also know that being proactive will keep pressure to a minimum and will create a more positive experience for everyone! Here is an answer example: 18. How well do you collaborate with a team on ideas? You collaborate very well! Being a team player is of the utmost importance for companies, and the interviewer needs to hear that you can be collaborative. Simply share that you enjoy collaborating with others on ideas. It allows you to gain additional expertise from others, and often your combined ideas are better than what just one person initially derives. Here is an answer example: 19. What do you love most about being an interior designer? The interviewer needs to hear that you are passionate about some aspect of being an interior designer. What do you love most about your career? Is it meeting so many people? Is it being creative every day? Is it keeping up with the latest designs and trends? When you share what you love, your passion will automatically come through! Here is an answer example: 20. When did you realize you wanted to be an interior designer? How long ago did you realize you wanted to become an interior designer? Was it in high school? Or, did you decide later on in life? The interviewer wants to learn more about your story. Go ahead and share when you realized that interior design was your passion! Here is an answer example: 21. Tell me about a time when a client was upset with a design choice you made. How did you handle the situation? It is okay if this has happened to you! The key is how you responded to the situation. Begin by sharing an overview of why the client was upset. What did the customer not like about the design choice? Next, share how you expressed your understanding and apologized to the customer, and explain what remedy you offered to the customer.
If this has never happened to you, that's great! Simply share that this has not happened to you, but if it ever does, you will offer exceptional service to the customer offering remedial remedies to ensure the customer walks away with a final product that they are very happy about. Here is an answer example: 22. Tell me about a time when your design idea clashed with another team members. Giggle, and share your experience! Not being on the same page will happen, and the interviewer wants to hear that you work collaboratively with ease to adjust and modify when situations like this happen. Explain that you would have the other team members express why they believe their design idea is a better option than yours, and be sure to mention that you are open to changing your design ideas to ensure the best possible outcome. It is not a contest! It is a team effort to make the best possible outcome for the company!
If this has never happened to you, that is great! Simply share that you haven't had this experience before, but you imagine you would work collaboratively with the other team members to make the design cohesive. Here is an answer example: 23. How do you handle a difficult client? Knowing that someone hired you for your professional opinion, but they do not want your professional opinion can be difficult. The important piece is how you respond in these situations. Express that customer service is a top priority, and while this can be difficult, you want your customers to be happy in the end. If they already know what they want without your opinion, you simply take their input and execute their ideas knowing that you could have offered them even great solutions than they have come up with. This is challenging because you care about your customers, and you want them to receive a high-quality final product that they can be very proud of. Not being able to offer your professional opinion means that this might not always happen. Here is an answer example: 24. What is an interior design style you dislike? The interviewer simply wants to learn more about you. Go ahead and express an interior design style that you would not put in your own home. Be sure to describe what you specifically dislike about the style. Next, mention that you may have a client who strongly wants that style at some point, and that is okay! You will meet them where they are at and happily work through that design work for them. You simply would never put this style in your own home. Here is an answer example: 25. Tell me about your career goals. The interviewer is hoping to hear about a career goal that you have set for yourself to show the interviewer that you have aspirations that you are working towards in the field. Share an important career goal you have established for yourself. Next, share what steps you have already taken towards reaching that goal, and be sure to mention when you hope to achieve that goal. For example, you might share that you hope to receive your Master's Degree in Interior Design within the next 3-5 years. You might also express that you have already enrolled in school to begin next fall! Here is an answer example: 26. Tell me a situation in which you had to work with a difficult personality. How did you handle it? Many of us have been in this situation, and it is okay to share it! The key is focusing on your positive, professional response to the situation. Begin by providing a high-level overview of the situation expressing the person's difficult personality. Be sure to mention your positive response to the situation as well. For example, you might state, "I was working on the design of a client's kitchen. Unfortunately, the client was quite blunt about not wanting any input. She simply wanted me to take down her ideas and execute them. With a smile on my face, I did as she wanted knowing that the next day was a new day with a new client! I know my job also requires excellent customer service to maintain the company's positive reputation, and I was willing to do just that in this situation!" Here is an answer example: "I was working on the design of a client's kitchen. Unfortunately, the client was quite blunt about not wanting any input. She simply wanted me to take down her ideas and execute them. With a smile on my face, I did as she wanted knowing that the next day was a new day with a new client! I know my job also requires excellent customer service to maintain the company's positive reputation, and I was willing to do just that in this situation!"27. How will you make a positive contribution to our firm? As an Interior Designer, you will be able to make a meaningful contribution as soon as you are able to take on your first project! The customer satisfaction will be a meaningful contribution as their positive review of the firm is spread in the community! Here is an answer example: 28. How do you market yourself? How will those skills help you market our company? As an Interior Designer, marketing is key to keep the business going! Begin by telling the interviewer that you recognize that everywhere you go you are associated with your employer, and you ensure your reputation is positively supported with your actions. Tell the interviewer that you often introduce yourself as the Interior Designer for the company, and you carry around a stack of business cards in case someone asks for one. Other common marketing techniques might include:
- Utilizing social media to post before & after pictures of projects
- Utilizing social media for positive customer reviews
- Representing the company at local community events
- Participating in local professional organizations
- Offering customer referral awards
- Volunteering for great causes such as Habitat for Humanity to get your name out Here is an answer example:
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