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Hiring Product Designers and Jobs with Product Design - What you need to know 

May 2, 2022

In addition to our many engineering roles, Recruiting from Scratch also recruits for Product Designers! Read on for more on product design, and what to look for if you’re hiring or job searching for product design roles. 

What is a Product Designer?

A product designer is someone who designs a product; employing digital tools, research, and aesthetic design to create the best experience possible for a user.

What’s the impact of a talented Product Designer? 

Good design impacts the bottom line of a business - and talented designers know this. But talented product designers are responsible for so much more than design - developing product roadmaps, testing product-market fit, and creating user experiences that aren’t just aesthetically pleasing, but feel intuitive. 

When do companies need to hire a Product Designer? 

Product Designers can be critical hires at any stage of a business. Good design builds trust with your customers, creates consistency for your brand and your products, and helps people understand and use your product better (simplicity is key!) - which can happen at any stage of starting and running a business. 

What are some of the “big picture” questions a Product Designer will need to think through on the job? 

Broadly, Product Designers will always need to think about the “why” and “how” behind their product (for example: why and how does this make someone’s life easier?), but they’ll also need to answer questions like:   

  • What are the features that users actually want and will use? It’s often easy to pursue features you love - even if the data and the customer say otherwise. 
  • What does a seamless order, checkout or conversion experience look like? 
  • How does a business scale high-touch features, so customer experience and satisfaction is still high? 
  • What are some of the larger frustrations of a particular product to a customer, and what are some of the greatest wins a particular product has for a customer? 

What are some examples of interview questions for a product designer?

  • How do you prioritize features when building a new product or adding to an existing one?  
  • What’s one of your favorite projects you’ve ever worked on - and why? 
  • What’s your level of comfort with low-code projects? 
  • What’s been a successful product launch for you, or an unsuccessful product launch - and why? 

What are some of a product designer’s responsibilities?

  • Ensuring a user’s experience is thoughtful and accessible within products
  • Bringing ideas from product managers or other designers from idea-mode to execution
  • Designing and building interfaces, wireframes, basic coding, and sometimes maybe even prototyping
  • A/B testing and providing support for a variety of ideas 

What are some of the things I should look for when hiring a product designer, or that I should prepare for if I’m seeking product design roles?

  • A robust portfolio: Experienced product designers should have a product design portfolio that showcases their work and past designs
  • Clearly called-out experience in certain tools relevant to the work: Figma is one example of a design program that a product designer should be well-versed in 
  • Good communication skills when working across teams, like product management and marketing

How many years of experience should a Product Designer have? 

Similar to other roles, there are different levels of seniority associated with being a Product Designer. For entry level positions, or those just entering the field, a healthy portfolio and work samples can help secure those jobs. For junior to mid-level roles, 3-5 years experience is recommended. And for more senior roles, managers, or directors, individuals with 5-10 years experience may be the most qualified. 

What’s the difference between product design and UX design? 

This is a common question - and it’s understandable why it’s confusing, because both roles incorporate “design”! However, a product designer is not a graphic designer or a UX designer. A graphic designer or UX designer creates graphics or designs for an organization for marketing, or other purposes, whereas a product designer works on design experiences that happen within a product. 

For other Product Manager interview questions, check out our post on 25 common interview questions, or our post on types of Product Management to learn more about other roles.

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