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Google Interaction Designer Interview Guide

Interview Guide Oct 02

Unlock the Doors to Your Dream Job: Interaction Designer Interview Mastery at Google - Your Comprehensive Step-by-Step Guide

The role of a Google Interaction Designer

At Google, User Experience (UX) is driven by diverse teams comprising UX Designers, Researchers, Writers, Content Strategists, Program Managers, and Engineers. Google places great importance on its users, and the UX team plays a vital role in gathering insights into people's attitudes, emotions, and behaviors to inspire and guide the design process. 

Google Interaction Designers closely collaborate with the UX team, engineering, and product management to create industry-leading products that provide value to users and contribute to Google's success. As an Interaction Designer, you employ user-centered design methods to craft exceptional user experiences, taking concepts from inception to realization. You are expected to leverage and evolve the Google design language to create innovative and inspiring products that captivate users.

The salary range for this full-time position is $118,000 to $172,000, accompanied by bonuses, equity, and comprehensive benefits.

Google Interaction Designer Interview Guide

The Google Interaction Designer interview process consists of the following 4 stages:

  • Phone screen with a recruiter
  • Phone interview with the hiring manager
  • Design Challenge
  • Onsite interview

    Let's discuss each of these in-depth:
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Google Interaction Designer - Phone Screen

Overview

The first round of the Google Interaction Designer interview is a 45-minute phone screen. During this stage, you can expect a combination of basic questions about your background and story, as well as questions that assess your understanding of design at Google. The purpose is to gauge your overall candidature and to gain insights into your design thinking, your alignment with Google's design philosophy, and your past experiences.

Interview Questions

Some examples of questions you might encounter in this round include:

  1. Can you tell me about your background and experience in design?
  2. What interests you about working as an Interaction Designer at Google?
  3. Are you familiar with Google's design principles and approach? Can you share your thoughts on them?
  4. How do you approach user-centered design and incorporate user feedback into your design process?
  5. Can you describe a project or experience where you faced design challenges and how you addressed them?

Google Interaction Designer - Phone Interview with Hiring Manager

Overview

The second round of the Google Interaction Designer interview process is a 1-hour phone screen with an HR representative. During this phone screen, the hiring manager will review your portfolio and ask specific questions about your listed experiences, the design process you followed for a particular project, the challenges you encountered, and the solutions you implemented.

The purpose of this phone screen is to evaluate your skills in context to the requirements of the role. 

Interview Questions

Here are some questions you might encounter during this round:

  1. Can you walk me through X project on your portfolio and speak to your problem-solving abilities?
  2. How did you approach the design process for a complex user interface?
  3. Tell me about a time when you had to make trade-offs between design aesthetics and functionality. How did you handle it?
  4. Can you provide an example of a project where you had to conduct user research to inform your design decisions?
  5. Describe a challenging design problem you faced and how you approached finding a solution.
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Google Interaction Designer - Design Challenge

Overview

The third round of the Google Interaction Designer interview process includes a unique design challenge. Previous candidates have shared that Google provides three design challenges, allowing you to choose one to work on over the span of a week. 

Generally, the design challenge you get revolves around everyday design scenarios rather than being Google-specific. 

  1. Design a mobile app interface for a task management system.
  2. Redesign the user experience for an e-commerce website checkout process.
  3. Create a user interface for a music streaming application.

The idea is simply to test your ability to approach and solve design problems effectively. These take-home design challenges are excellent opportunities to demonstrate your skills and go the extra mile. Use it to demonstrate your passion for your work and your commitment to joining Google.

Google Interaction Designer - Onsite Interview

Overview

The final round of the Google Interaction Designer interview process is the onsite round, which includes a series of in-person interviews. 

Here's what you can expect during the onsite round:

What the interviewer will assess

  1. Presentation of the Design Challenge: You will start with a 45-minute presentation where you present the design challenge you previously worked on. 
  2. Conversations with UX Designers: You will have three separate 45-minute conversations with UX designers, including a manager. These interviews will cover various aspects of your skills and experience. 
  • Whiteboard Questions and App Critique: One of the interviews may involve whiteboard questions, where you'll be asked to solve design problems or think through design solutions on a whiteboard. They might also include a brief app critique, where you'll be asked to provide feedback on an existing application's design.
  • Technical Interview: Another interview will focus on the technical aspects of your role as an Interaction Designer. You'll discuss the tools and software you use, your collaboration with developers, and your approach to creating accessible designs. This interview is an opportunity to demonstrate your technical expertise and how you work in a cross-functional team. Prepare by familiarising yourself with design principles.
  • Non-design Session with a UX Writer (Behavioral): The last interview will be with a UX writer. This session will primarily focus on behavioral questions related to your past experiences, such as how you provide feedback and collaborate with others. You may also discuss your approach to writing and how it integrates with the overall user experience. Make sure to reflect on your past projects and experiences to provide thoughtful and relevant answers.

Interview Questions

Here is a list of questions you might encounter during the onsite round:

1. What is the difference between accessible design and universal design?

2. How do you handle criticism in your design work?

3. What motivated you to choose accessibility as a focus in your design practice?

4. Can you share a design trend that you particularly like or dislike? Why?

5. How would you approach hypothetical leadership scenarios and questions?

6. When you began designing, what was your working hypothesis?

7. In what ways did you incorporate accessibility into your design process?

8. How did you approach the design considerations for web versus mobile platforms?

9. Can you describe your typical day-to-day activities as a product designer?

10. How would you handle pushback from upper management on a project you were working on?

11. Tell me about a time when you had a disagreement with a cross-functional team member and how you resolved it.

12. What approach would you take if your design worked effectively for one aspect of the product but not another?

13. How do you conduct user research in your design process?

14. Share your experience working with Android and any notable projects or challenges.

15. What is your favourite design software and why do you prefer it?

16. Design a cooking apparatus specifically designed for individuals with visual impairments.

17. Design a customer relationship management (CRM) system for door-to-door salesmen using Google Maps.

18. Design a remote control for a toy car with innovative features.

Another important point to note is that since you are interviewing at Google, there will be a Googleyness segment (possibly included in your behavioural round) which will involve Google assessing your alignment with their culture and values. This basically includes looking for characteristics like intellectual curiosity, innovation mindset,  collaborative skills, ability to thrive in a fast-paced environment, etc. 

Make sure you familiar yourself with said qualities and values that align with Google's culture, and effectively highlight them in your answers.

Google Interaction Designer Roles and Responsibilities

Following are the roles and responsibilities of a Google Interaction Designer:

  • As a Google Interaction Designer, you'll be responsible for collaborating with product managers, engineers, and cross-departmental stakeholders to gain a deep understanding of requirements and deliver innovative and user-centric solutions.
  • You will be expected to effectively communicate the user experience throughout the design process by creating and presenting wireframes, flow diagrams, storyboards, mockups, and high-fidelity prototypes.
  • It will be your responsibility to integrate user feedback and align it with business requirements, ensuring ongoing updates and enhancements to the product experience.
  • You will play a key role in advocating for the prioritisation of design-focused changes, refinements, and improvements, emphasising the importance of user-centred design principles.

Google Interaction Designer Skills and Qualifications

Here are the skills and qualifications that a Google Interaction Designer must have:

  • You will be expected to have a bachelor's degree in Design, Human-Computer Interaction, Computer Science, or a related field, or equivalent practical experience.
  • For this role, you'll require a minimum of 4 years of experience in product design or UX, demonstrating your ability to create user flows, wireframes, and user interface mockups and prototypes across multiple platforms.
  • While not mandatory, a master's degree in Design, Human-Computer Interaction, Computer Science, or a related field, or equivalent practical experience is preferred.
  • In order to excel in this position, you'll require at least 2 years of experience working in a complex, cross-functional organisation, showing your ability to collaborate effectively.
  • As a part of this role, you will be expected to have 1 year of experience leading design projects, demonstrating your ability to take ownership and drive results.

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