Interview

22 Interior Designer Interview Questions and Answers

Learn what skills and qualities interviewers are looking for from an interior designer, what questions you can expect, and how you should go about answering them.

When you walk into a room, the first thing you might notice is the color of the walls, the kind of furniture that’s been used, or the accessories that have been placed around the space. But what you might not know is that someone had to design that room. That’s where interior designers come in. They take into account the client’s wants and needs, as well as the limitations of the space, to create a room that’s both beautiful and functional.

But before you can start designing rooms for a living, you’ll need to go through an interview process. 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.

Common Interior Designer Interview Questions

What experience do you have in the interior design industry?

This question can help the interviewer learn more about your background and experience. It’s important to highlight any unique or impressive experiences you’ve had in this field, such as working on a high-profile project or designing for an interesting client.

Example: “I started my career as an interior designer at a small design firm where I worked with clients of all types. One of my favorite projects was helping a family create a nursery for their new baby. The parents were expecting twins, so we needed to make sure the room could accommodate two cribs and other furniture. We also wanted to incorporate the family’s love of baseball into the room. In the end, we designed a baseball-themed nursery that the family loved.”

How did you become interested in interior design?

This question can help the interviewer learn more about your background and how you got to where you are today. Your answer should include a brief story of how you became interested in interior design, what inspired you or who encouraged you along the way.

Example: “I’ve always been drawn to color and patterns, so I started decorating my room when I was younger. My parents were very supportive of this hobby, and they helped me find ways to make it into a career. In high school, I took an elective class on interior design, which really sparked my interest. After that, I began researching different schools with interior design programs.”

What type of design style do you prefer?

Employers ask this question to see if you are a good fit for their company culture. They want someone who will be able to work well with the rest of the team and create designs that reflect the company’s brand. When answering, try to focus on your personal preferences rather than what is popular or trendy.

Example: “I prefer clean, modern designs. I think it’s important to have an attractive space without too many distractions. I also like using natural elements in my designs because they help bring nature into the interior spaces we live in. I find that incorporating plants and other living things can make a room feel more alive and comfortable.”

How would you describe your creative process?

This question can help the interviewer understand how you approach your work and what methods you use to complete projects. Describe a few steps in your creative process, such as gathering information or developing ideas, and explain why these steps are important to you.

Example: “I start by researching my client’s preferences and style. I find that this step is crucial for understanding their needs and creating designs they’ll love. Next, I sketch out some preliminary ideas based on the research I’ve done. This helps me narrow down which design elements will be most effective for the project. Finally, I create detailed plans for each of the spaces I’m designing.”

How do you stay up-to-date with trends in the design industry?

Employers want to know that you are passionate about your work and eager to learn new things. They may ask this question to see if you have a plan for staying up-to-date with the latest design trends. In your answer, share how you stay on top of industry news and what resources you use. If you don’t have any specific resources, explain how you research information online or in other ways.

Example: “I subscribe to several interior design blogs and newsletters. I also follow many interior designers on social media. This helps me keep track of the latest trends and find out more about different design styles. For example, I recently learned about Scandinavian design from one of my favorite bloggers. She posted photos of her home renovation project, which inspired me to try some of those same elements in my own designs.”

What is your experience with using computer-aided design software?

This question is an opportunity to show your interviewer that you have the necessary skills and experience using computer-aided design software. If you are not familiar with a specific program, explain what other programs you’ve used in the past and how they compare.

Example: “I am very comfortable using AutoCAD software because I worked for a construction company where we used it daily. It’s a great program for designing floor plans and creating 3D models of buildings. However, I also use SketchUp quite often when working on residential projects because it’s more user-friendly than AutoCAD and allows me to create 2D drawings as well as 3D models.”

How do you collaborate with other professionals when working on a project?

An interviewer may ask this question to learn more about your interpersonal skills and how you collaborate with others. When answering, it can be helpful to mention a specific example of when you collaborated with another professional on a project and the positive outcome of that collaboration.

Example: “I find collaborating with other professionals is an important part of interior design because I often need their input or expertise to complete my work. For instance, in one past role, I was working on a client’s home renovation project where they wanted to update their kitchen. My client had already selected some cabinets for the space, but they were unsure if they should go with wood or metal. They asked me to consult with a contractor who could help them decide which would be best.”

What are your thoughts on sustainability in interior design?

Sustainability is an important aspect of interior design. Employers ask this question to see if you have a passion for sustainability and how it relates to the role. In your answer, share what you know about sustainable practices in interior design. Explain that you would use these methods when designing spaces.

Example: “I think it’s essential to consider sustainability in interior design. Not only does it help reduce waste, but it also helps save money on energy costs. I always make sure to incorporate natural elements into my designs. For example, I will choose wood over plastic or metal furniture pieces. I’ll also try to use recycled materials as much as possible. I believe that by using sustainable practices, we can create beautiful spaces while protecting our environment.”

How do you think the role of an interior designer will change in the future?

This question can help interviewers understand your ability to adapt and grow with the industry. Your answer should show that you are willing to learn new skills and technologies as they become available.

Example: “I believe the role of an interior designer will continue to change as technology advances. As more people use virtual reality, I think it will be easier for them to visualize how a space would look before we even begin designing it. This could allow us to create spaces faster than ever before. Additionally, I think 3D printing will play a larger role in our work. We may be able to print furniture or other objects directly into a room, which could save time and money.”

Can you share a project that you worked on that you’re particularly proud of?

This question is a great way to learn more about your potential employer and the projects they’re working on. It also gives you an opportunity to share something that you’re proud of, which can be helpful if you don’t have much experience in the field. When answering this question, try to find out what kind of work the company does and choose a project that relates to it.

Example: “I recently worked with a client who was looking for a new office space. They were interested in creating a workspace that would help their employees collaborate better and increase productivity. I designed a beautiful open floor plan that included plenty of natural light and comfortable seating areas. The client loved the design so much that they decided to expand the office by 50%.”

Have there been any occasions where a client wasn’t happy with the final result of a project? If so, how did you handle it?

An interviewer may ask this question to learn more about your problem-solving skills and how you handle conflict. In your answer, try to highlight your ability to communicate with clients and find solutions that make everyone happy.

Example: “I have had a few occasions where a client wasn’t completely satisfied with the final result of a project. I always take time to listen to my clients and understand their concerns. Then, I work with them to come up with a solution that makes everyone happy. For example, in one situation, a client was unhappy with the color scheme we chose for their living room. After talking through their concerns, we decided on a different color palette that they were much happier with.”

What is your process for selecting furniture and accessories for a space?

This question can help the interviewer understand how you approach a project and what your thought process is. Your answer should include steps that you take to ensure you select furniture and accessories that are functional, aesthetically pleasing and within budget.

Example: “I start by researching different styles of furniture and accessories that I think would work well in the space. Then, I create mood boards with my top choices for each style so I can compare them side-by-side. After this, I narrow down my selections based on price and functionality. Finally, I meet with the client to discuss their preferences and finalize my decision.”

What are some of the safety considerations you take into account when designing spaces?

Employers ask this question to make sure you’re aware of the safety standards for your industry. They want to know that you can create safe spaces for their clients and customers. In your answer, explain how you ensure all of your designs meet safety regulations. You can also mention any specific certifications you have in this field.

Example: “I always take into account the safety of my client’s employees and customers when designing a space. I am certified in OSHA 10-Hour General Industry Certification, so I understand what types of hazards are present in different work environments. For example, if a company manufactures chemicals, I would design a lab with special equipment to prevent accidents. I also make sure there is plenty of room for people to move around safely.”

How do you manage budgets and timelines on projects?

An interviewer may ask this question to learn more about your organizational skills and how you plan projects. Use examples from past experiences to explain how you manage budgets and timelines, and highlight any specific software or tools that help you stay organized.

Example: “I use project management software to create a timeline for each interior design project I work on. This helps me organize all of the information I need to complete a project, including client contact information, budget details and important deadlines. In my last role, I also used project management software to collaborate with other designers on large-scale projects. We were able to share ideas and feedback in real time using this software, which helped us meet our client’s expectations and finish projects within tight deadlines.”

Are there any specific design codes or regulations that you are familiar with?

An interviewer may ask this question to see if you have experience working in a specific area. They are looking for candidates who can adapt quickly and work within the regulations of their new job location. In your answer, try to mention any design codes or regulations that you’re familiar with. If you don’t have experience with a particular code, explain how you would research it.

Example: “I am very familiar with the building codes and regulations of my hometown. I’ve worked there for five years now, so I know all of the rules and regulations. However, I also understand that every city has different codes and regulations. If I were hired here, I would do some research on the local codes and regulations before starting any projects.”

Have you ever had to make a major change to a design after it was already in progress? How did you handle that situation?

This question can help interviewers understand how you handle challenges and adapt to new situations. Your answer should show that you are willing to take responsibility for your actions, learn from mistakes and make changes when necessary.

Example: “I once had a client who was very specific about the color scheme of their design. I used my best judgment in choosing colors based on what they told me, but after the project was underway, they changed their mind and wanted something completely different. I met with them to discuss other options and ultimately decided to change the entire color scheme to accommodate their request. It took some extra work, but we were able to find a new color palette that worked well with the rest of the design.”

Do you have experience working with clients from diverse backgrounds?

An employer may ask this question to see if you have experience working with clients from different backgrounds. This can be an important skill for interior designers, as they often work with clients who are unfamiliar with the design process and need help deciding what types of furniture or colors would look best in their homes.

Example: “I’ve worked with a wide variety of clients throughout my career. I find that it’s helpful to learn about each client’s background before we meet so I can understand where they’re coming from when making decisions. For example, one of my first clients was a single mother who needed help decorating her home. She had very little money to spend on furniture but wanted to make sure she could provide a comfortable space for her child. We decided to focus on accent pieces rather than buying new furniture sets.”

How do you help clients visualize the completed design?

This question can help the interviewer understand how you plan and execute interior design projects. Use examples from your experience to explain how you use sketches, 3D models or other tools to communicate with clients about designs.

Example: “I usually start by creating a mood board for each client that includes images of colors, textures and patterns they like. I also include furniture pieces and accessories they want to incorporate into their space. This helps me create a color palette, floor plan and overall style for the room. Then, I show them my initial sketches so they can provide feedback on what they like and don’t like. We repeat this process until we have a final sketch that both of us are happy with.”

What are some professional organizations or groups you’ve been involved with?

Employers may ask this question to see if you’re active in the interior design community. They want to know that you have a passion for your career and are willing to put in extra effort to learn more about it. In your answer, share which professional organizations or groups you belong to and what you’ve gained from them.

Example: “I am a member of the American Society of Interior Designers and the National Association of Home Builders. I find these two organizations especially helpful because they offer so many resources for learning new skills and staying up-to-date on industry trends. I also love being able to connect with other professionals who are passionate about interior design. These communities help me feel like I’m part of something bigger than myself.”

Describe your personal design style.

Employers ask this question to learn more about your design philosophy and how it aligns with their company’s values. When you answer, try to describe a few of the most important aspects of interior design that are meaningful to you. You can also use this opportunity to show off any unique skills or talents you have as an interior designer.

Example: “I believe that every space should be designed for its intended purpose. For example, I would never create a formal dining room in a home without a table and chairs. My personal style is modern but comfortable. I like to use bold colors and patterns when they fit the client’s personality. I am also very skilled at using unconventional materials to create beautiful pieces.”

What are your favorite home decorating trends?

Employers ask this question to see if you are up-to-date with the latest interior design trends. They want to know that you can incorporate current styles into your designs and create a space that is both functional and stylish. When answering this question, try to mention some of the most popular home decorating trends while also explaining why they appeal to you.

Example: “I love Scandinavian style because it’s so clean and simple. I think it looks beautiful in any setting, from modern homes to rustic cabins. Another trend I’m loving right now is farmhouse chic. It’s such a warm and inviting look that makes me feel like I’m at home no matter where I am. I’ve always been drawn to these types of styles because they make spaces feel more personal.”

Tell me about a time when you had to adapt your design ideas to suit a client’s budget.

This question can help interviewers understand how you handle challenges and adapt to different situations. Use your answer to highlight your problem-solving skills, communication abilities and creativity.

Example: “I had a client who wanted to create an entire home design that was modern with bright colors. However, the client’s budget only allowed for me to use neutral colors and simple patterns. I decided to incorporate some of the brighter colors into smaller details like throw pillows and rugs. This helped my client get the look they wanted while staying within their budget.”

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