Ace Your Interior Design Interview: 19 Common Questions and How to Answer Them

Whether it’s sleek, modern, or traditional, your next new hire’s interior designs must appeal to your clients. How can you ensure your candidates have the required skills to meet these goals?.

It all starts with sourcing and skills testing. Check with the applicants for the job of interior designer to see if they know how to use the necessary tools, such as SketchUp Pro. Our SketchUp Pro test can help you assess candidates’ skills quickly and efficiently. Just go to our library to learn more about it.

After this step, it’s important to make sure you have the right interior designer interview questions to ask applicants.

There are 33 interior designer interview questions below that you can use to find out more about people who want to work for you. With these questions, you can’t go wrong.

Getting hired as an interior designer takes more than just creativity and style. You need to impress potential employers with your technical skills problem-solving abilities and professionalism during the interview process.

Interior design interviews tend to focus on assessing your design expertise as well as your ability to manage clients and projects, Interviewers want to make sure you have the right mix of creative vision and practical execution skills,

To help you prepare for your next interior design interview, I’ve put together a list of 19 of the most common questions along with tips for how to ace each one

Technical Questions

What is your experience with AutoCAD and other design software?

Being proficient with design software like AutoCAD is a must for most interior design roles. When answering this question, be specific about your experience with AutoCAD and any other programs you’ve used. Mention any classes you’ve taken and talk about how you’ve applied your software skills in past projects. If your skills are rusty, emphasize your ability to learn on the job.

Potential Answer: I have over 5 years of experience using AutoCAD to create detailed floor plans and 3D renderings for clients. I’m also proficient in SketchUp, Photoshop, and InDesign. In addition to learning on the job, I’ve taken several AutoCAD courses at the community college to refine my skills. I think my CAD skills have been hugely beneficial in visualizing and executing designs accurately and efficiently.

How would you incorporate ADA requirements into a design project?

Knowing standards like the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines shows you can create spaces that meet legal requirements. In your answer, demonstrate knowledge of ADA rules related to things like doorway width, counter height, and flooring. Talk about any experience you have working on ADA- compliant projects. Emphasize your commitment to creating accessible, functional spaces.

Potential Answer: When working on both residential and commercial projects, I always make sure to incorporate ADA requirements. This includes things like having at least one zero-step entrance, doorways wider than 32 inches, lever-style handles on doors, accessible electrical controls and outlets, and walkways at least 36 inches wide. I’m committed to making spaces usable and accessible for all people. In the past, I’ve worked with occupational therapists and clients to design ADA-compliant bathroom and kitchen spaces.

What is the engineering design process? How would you apply it to a project?

This question tests your systematic approach to tackling design projects. When answering, explain the basic steps of the engineering design process and how it provides a framework for solving problems. Provide examples of how you’ve used this process for past projects. Highlight how this process helps you satisfy client needs and overcome obstacles.

Potential Answer: The engineering design process offers a methodical approach to creating solutions. The basic steps are defining the problem, researching solutions, developing ideas, selecting a solution, building prototypes/models, testing, and redesigning if needed. For example, when designing a retail space, I used this process to ensure I accounted for all the owner’s needs. I defined their problems with the current space, researched layout options and displays, made 3D models of my top choices, had the client review the options, and made adjustments based on their feedback before finalizing the design.

How would you source lighting, furniture, and other materials for a project?

This question tests your process for selecting the tangible pieces that bring your designs to life. When answering, talk about avenues you’ve used to source materials, like vendor relationships, trade shows, and online research. Emphasize your budget management skills and commitment to finding the perfect item to fit each space.

Potential Answer: I utilize a number of methods for sourcing the best materials within the project budget. I’ve cultivated relationships with several vendors and suppliers that I trust to provide quality pieces, whether it’s lighting, furniture, tile, textiles, or decor. I also regularly attend trade shows to stay aware of the newest product offerings. Additionally, I spend time researching online and in interior design publications to discover unique items that can elevate a space. Finding the perfect materials is extremely important to me, so I’m willing to thoroughly research and vet options to get it right.

Design Process Questions

Walk me through your process for a residential design project from start to finish.

This is your chance to demonstrate your skill in taking a project from conception to completion. When answering, take the interviewer through each phase, explaining your process along the way. Be sure to highlight skills like consulting with clients, developing the design concept, creating plans and renderings, selecting materials and furnishings, project management, installation, and completing the reveal.

Potential Answer: When starting a new residential project, I always begin by having in-depth consultations with the client to understand their needs and preferences. Next, I develop an overall concept for the space and put together an inspiration board to establish the design direction. Once the client approves a concept, I start creating floor plans, furniture layouts, lighting plans, and 3D renderings to visualize the finished design. I source all the materials, furnishings, and decor within their budget. Throughout the project I collaborate with contractors to oversee construction and installation. Finally, I complete a walkthrough with the client and style all the finishing touches to achieve the look we envisioned. I’m with them every step of the way until the project is complete.

How would you incorporate sustainability into a design project?

Sustainable design is an important consideration, so interviewers want to know you understand eco-friendly principles. When answering this question, provide examples of how you’ve incorporated sustainability in past projects through things like energy efficiency, using natural materials, and working with green vendors. If your experience is limited, talk about your interest in learning more about sustainability.

Potential Answer: I’m passionate about environmental sustainability, so I always aim to incorporate green design elements into my projects. Some of the ways I achieve this are by selecting EnergyStar certified products, using natural materials like bamboo flooring, reusing or repurposing existing furniture, specifying LED lighting, installing low-flow water fixtures, and sourcing materials from environmentally-conscious vendors. I once designed an office using recycled furniture and carpeting made from plastic bottles. I’m continuously looking for new ways to reduce environmental impact through design.

How would you gather requirements from stakeholders for a commercial project?

Commercial projects often have multiple stakeholders with different needs. This questions tests your ability to effectively gather requirements from various teams or individuals. In your response, talk about how you solicit input from all parties through methods like meetings, surveys, interviews, and site visits. Demonstrate your skill at consolidating needs into an effective design brief.

Potential Answer: For commercial projects, I use collaborative methods to gather requirements from all stakeholders. I start by conducting site visits and individual interviews with each team to learn about their needs, goals, and pain points. I then facilitate group meetings where each team can share their wishlist and we can discuss the project as a group. I also distribute surveys to capture everyone’s input. Taking all of this data, I consolidate it into a comprehensive design brief that reflects the shared vision, goals, and requirements for the space. This collaborative process ensures the end design satisfies all stakeholders.

Client and Vendor Relationship Questions

How would you handle a client who insists on a design choice you feel is a mistake?

Interviewers want to know how you handle disagreement and steer challenging clients. In your response, explain your process for tactfully pushing back on ideas you feel are misguided while still maintaining a positive relationship. Demonstrate how you find solutions that satisfy the client and preserve your design vision. If possible, share a specific example.

Potential Answer: If a client is insisting on a design choice I know won’t work well, I’ll gently push back while keeping an open mind. I try to understand why they’re drawn to that option and suggest alternative ways to accomplish their vision that I feel would work better in the space. I’ll show pictures of similar spaces or create quick mockups to illustrate my point. My goal is finding a solution we’re both enthusiastic about. For example, if a client wants a sectional that’s too large, I’ll explain my reasoning and suggest a smaller sectional paired with comfy chairs to create the layout they want.

How would you handle mistakes or delays from vendors or contractors?

Things don’t always go according to plan when working with vendors and contractors, so interviewers want to know how you handle hiccups. In your response, demonstrate how you stay calm under pressure and focus on finding solutions when faced with mistakes or delays. Share examples of how you’ve successfully dealt with vendor/contractor issues in the past.

Potential Answer: Despite the best planning, unforeseen issues can come up when working with vendors and contractors. When mistakes or delays happen, I stay focused on finding a rapid solution rather than dwelling on what went wrong. I’m able to think critically under pressure. For example, when a furniture delivery was delayed, I quickly sourced loaner pieces so the client could still move in on time. Maintaining positive relationships with vendors is key so that when problems do crop up, they’re eager to help fix them. My goal is protecting the client from any inconvenience caused by vendor issues.

How would you resolve conflicts with other designers or team members?

Interior designers need to collaborate with others

Have you used any apps for interior designing? Name two examples.

Expert interior designers will have used a few different apps to assist them with their interior design work. They may mention the following examples when responding to this question:

  • Graphisoft BIMx
  • DreamHome
  • Architect’s Formulator
  • Photosynth
  • Home Sizer

13 interior designer interview questions related to technical definitions and processes

interior design interview questions

Use the 13 interior designer interview questions in this section to find out more about the people you want to talk to about their technical knowledge and skills.

  • Define interior design.
  • Define interior decoration.
  • Outline the main difference between interior decoration and interior design.
  • Explain what QuickBook Accounting is for interior designers.
  • List five software tools interior designers use for complex projects.
  • Have you used any apps to help you design your home? Name two.
  • Define “practice act” in interior design.
  • Explain what AutoCAD is.
  • Explain what SketchUp Pro is.
  • Explain what CFA means in interior design.
  • Explain what memos are and how they are different from CFAs in the field of interior design.
  • Explain what fabric reserves are.
  • Explain what a fabric swatch is.

Interior Designer Interview Questions with Answer Examples


What to say in an interior design interview?

Focus on a key skill that distinguishes you from other designers. For example, you can mention your ability to work with clients, plan spaces, manage projects, or show attention to detail. Be honest and give an example to support your answer. Example: “My greatest strength is my ability to work well with clients.

How to crack an interior design interview?

PREPARE FOR SCENARIOS You must be directed towards to client’s satisfaction and how far you would go to achieve that. Also, you must be ready for questions like handling escalations and solving problems in tricky situations. Staying general without going into details will be better in those cases.

What skills do Interior Designers need?

An interior designer must be able to visualize the space they’re designing and present it to the client in a clear and concise manner. Creating three-dimensional renderings and floor plans are key skills for this job, and this question allows the interviewer to gauge your competency in these areas.

What do Interviewers look for in an interior designer?

Interviewers will want to know if you have the skills to be an interior designer. They’ll also want to know if you have the creativity and passion to do the job. To help you get ready for your interview, we’ve put together a list of common interior designer interview questions and answers.

How do I prepare for an interview for an interior designer?

To prepare for an interview for an interior designer position, reviewing potential interview questions can help increase your chances of getting the job. This article lists general, background, and in-depth interview questions for interior designers and provides sample answers to help you prepare your own responses.

What questions do interviewers ask a designer?

To assess your design skills and problem-solving ability, an interviewer might ask you this question to see how you approach the challenge of blending form and function. They’ll want to hear about your design process, how you develop a concept, and how you work with clients to make sure you’re creating a space that meets their needs.

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