How to Be a Web Design Interview Rock Star

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Hi, I'm Chris and I'm super glad you're here. 7 years ago I taught my self-web design and freelancing. Now, I do my best to teach others what I've learned so they don't have to struggle as much as I did.

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A common concern when first dipping your toes into the world of a web design career is being good at the interview.

I get it. Interviews are intimidating. And, truthfully, they’re just a weird social concept.

Imagine a group of people coming to you and saying, “We might want you to be your friend but first we have some questions to determine whether or not you’re good enough.”

No thanks.

But, even though this part of the process can be tough there are a few things you can do as a web designer to make sure you come in confidently and leave at the top of the pile.

1. Be Prepared

I know you might think this is common knowledge but you’d be very surprised at the number of people that walk into an interview not having done their homework.

It’s not tough to figure out a hefty amount of details about the company you’re interviewing with AND the people who are interviewing you.

Want bonus points? Study up on the people that would work alongside you and not just managers.

We all like to think we can evaluate someone objectively BUT truthfully we are relational creatures. If someone feels like they’ve connected with you, you will stand out.

And, how do you connect with someone? You show you care about them by knowing the details of their lives.

Okay, don’t be creepy. And, don’t be overly zealous with this one. There’s a balance here.

BUT, do be genuinely thoughtful and caring toward the people who are interviewing you.

Remember, they are people, too. They have worries and fears and are probably stressed about finding the right person.

2. Practice Your Interview

This may feel cheesy BUT trust me it works.

Before I was a web designer I worked in a place where I had to have a lot of tough conversations. Those conversations always made me super anxious.

So, before any of those interactions, I would pretend the person I was about to talk to was in the room and I’d talk them, out loud. Like a crazy person.

Listen, it may seem crazy BUT the tough conversations I didn’t prepare for like this always seemed to end much worse than the ones I did prepare for.

If it helps, have a friend or family member do the interviewing. Give them some things to ask you and respond as if they are the interviewer.

3. DON’T Overexagerate Your Ability

In my experience, employers can sniff out when a web designer is BSing what they can and can’t do.

There are so many resumes that tout extreme proficiency in Development, Design, Digital Marketing, Video Editing, etc, etc.

You can’t be good at everything. So, when you tell an interviewer that you’re amazing at every development language that ever existed they know you’re either lying or you don’t know what you’re talking about.

So, be honest about your limitations. You might think this makes you look like a bad candidate. BUT, it actually will make you look better.

Because you follow it up with, “But, I’m willing to learn whatever is necessary for me to be successful in this position.”

And, then you show your track record of learning new technologies. Bam you just looked awesome.

4. DON’T Ask About Money…at first

It’s a tough balance. You don’t want to seem like a greedy jerk BUT you don’t want to waste someone’s time if their budget for your position isn’t what you’re looking for.

NEVERTHELESS, it is always better to wait to ask about money until right before they are about to make an offer.

In the tech world, employers are looking for more motivation than just money. It says a lot about you as a person if you’re driven by more than a paycheck.

Everyone knows you need money to survive and you’re not there to work for free. But, you need to first establish your desire to be a meaningful contributor to the organization as a whole before you ask for something from it.

5. DO Ask Insightful Questions

The “Do you have any questions for me” part is your chance to stand out as a potential employee.

BUT, you have to ask questions that show you’ve done your homework and you’re thinking critically about the specific company and specific position.

For instance, if they’ve rolled out a new feature you could say something like:

“I noticed you just implemented (new feature). What did that process look like and how do you determine if it was successful?”

Then you can follow up with what it would look like to be a good employee. Something like:

“Can you give me an example of what you’d consider an ideal employee.”

This will give you a lot of insight into what the employer is looking for and will help you to highlight the strengths you have that coincide with.

6. Do Follow Up THE RIGHT WAY

Think of the interview as a first date. If you follow up as soon as they get home with 20 text messages talking about how much you enjoyed it then you just might get ghosted.

On the other hand, if you don’t follow up at all good luck getting a second date!

It’s the same with interviews. If you send an email as soon as you get home, and then another email a few days later and then a follow-up phone call right after you hit send YOU LOOK NEEDY!

So, take a breath before you start writing up that email.

Realize that you’re gonna get this job OR you’re not. It’s not more complicated than that.

If you made a mistake or sounded stupid in the interview LET IT GO.

I followed up with my current boss and clarified a response to a question he gave me that I wasn’t prepared for. Trust me, it didn’t help things.

So, don’t mention things that you wish you would have said in an interview.

BUT, here are a few things you can do.

  1. Send a thank you LETTER
    1. Nothing will make you stand out more than a handwritten letter. People don’t do that anymore.

      And, keep it simple. Say thank you for your time. Express your interest in working there and then say thank you.


      Don’t go into how great you’d be for the position. Don’t list out all of your qualifications again.

      Be a real human thanking another human for their time.
  2. Ask to talk to current employees
    1. This will show that you are interested in getting to know the people that you are working WITH and not just FOR.

      Employers want to know that you won’t just be able to DO the job but that you’ll also be a good FIT.

      If you show them that you’re willing to have a conversation with a stranger to see if you’re a good fit it says a lot about the fact that you’re not just wanting to get a paycheck. You’re wanting to find community!

So, don’t be hesitant to follow up. But, make sure you do it the right way.

Wrapping Up

Stepping in front of a person or a group of people that interview you is a scary process. It’s pretty much the same thing as giving a speech in front of a group of people.

Despite how scary that is there are things you can do to make sure that you’re not wasting your time and the time of your interviewers.

The main thing you can do is go in asking yourself, “How can I serve these people?”

Sound funny?

I’ve been up on stages in front of thousands of people for the past 13 years. When I think about what everyone’s thinking of me I get super nervous.

When I think about how I can best serve them the nerves go away and I can be myself.

Being yourself is the best thing you can do for an interview.

So, go in looking to serve and not be served.

What about you? What are some things you’ve done to ace the interview? Tell me in the comments.


Hi, I'm Chris and I'm super glad you're here. 7 years ago I taught my self-web design and freelancing. Now, I do my best to teach others what I've learned so they don't have to struggle as much as I did.

Every week, I write an article and release a podcast episode. Sign up if you want to get notified when that happens.



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