Marketing Interview Questions

SEE ALSO: Marketing Interview Questions & Answers

Here are our favorite marketing interview questions.

  • If you’re a hiring manager, select the interview questions based on the competencies you’re evaluating.
  • If you’re a candidate, prepare and practice using this common list of marketing interview questions.

And if you’re looking for tips to prepare, along with sample answers, refer to my marketing interview prep book: Rise Above the Noise.

Digital Marketing and SEO Interview Questions

  1. What is digital marketing?
  2. How would you categorize digital marketing?
  3. What is SEO?
  4. What is a keyword in digital marketing? How important is it from the point of SEO?
  5. What are the key areas where you can use keywords to optimize the site ranking?
  6. What is PPC or Pay Per Click advertising?
  7. What are the primary models for determining Pay-Per-Click?
  8. What is Google Adwords?
  9. What is an effective PPC keyword?
  10. What are the key elements to optimize the conversion rates per PPC
  11. What should be the approach for effective Pay Per Click campaigns
  12. What is on-page and off page optimization?
  13. What are the characteristics of “bad links”?
  14. What is Inbound Marketing?
  15. What are some of your favorite inbound marketing tools?
  16. How does a “link building” campaign work?
  17. What’s the difference between ‘On Page’ and ‘Off Page’ optimization?
  18. Tell me about the latest Google algorithm changes.
  19. What are 3 factors that influence the ranking of a page?
  20. Are you familiar with SEM? What SEM tools have you used?
  21. Has marketing been affected by Big Data? How?
  22. What do you do to stay up to date with new marketing techniques?
  23. What recently-developed marketing strategy, technique or tool interests you the most right now?

Social Media Marketing Interview Questions

  1. Why should a company or brand have a social media page?
  2. In your opinion, which social network fits our company best?
  3. How do you use social media as a tool for customer service?
  4. What are the first steps you take when handling a social media crisis?
  5. What are your thoughts on moderating comments?
  6. How does social media affect SEO and your online profile?
  7. What piece of content were you involved in creating that received high exposure from social media channels like Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn
  8. Did you optimize this content yourself or did you leverage a team member familiar with social media marketing?
  9. Tell me about a piece of content you edited and how you strengthened that piece of content?
  10. What are the benefits of platforms such as Hootsuite, TweetDeck, etc?
  11. What are the benefits of a LinkedIn group vs. LinkedIn page?
  12. How could you leverage YouTube in order to promote our brand and increase engagement?
  13. Which social media platforms are you best at using and why?
  14. What is a limitation you have experienced on a social media platform? How did you overcome this?
  15. Which social media experts and/or influencers do you follow?
  16. What kinds of skills/qualities do you think you need to possess to be a community manager?
  17. Are there any up-and-coming social media platforms we should watch out for?
  18. What are some of the best practices on Twitter?
  19. What is your opinion on Google+? How should it be used in social media strategy?
  20. What are our competitors doing on social media?

Content Marketing & Metrics Interview Questions

  1. What makes content “successful”?
  2. How do you create a blog post?
  3. What content marketing blogs do you read?
  4. How does Google rank content?
  5. What are some good ways to get other people to link to your content?
  6. What are some effective call-to-action techniques?
  7. What kind of system or method are you currently using for reporting progress on your work?
  8. In your opinion, what are the most important KPIs?
  9. How well do you manage Google Analytics?
  10. Explain what a conversion rate is.
  11. What are these terms — CPM, CTR and PPC?
  12. How do you measure social return on investment (ROI)?
  13. What do you know about our target market?
  14. How do you generate your marketing plans?
  15. What do you use to find out if your marketing plan is working?
  16. What marketing strategies do you consider most successful for our product?
  17. How and when do you evaluate your marketing campaigns?
  18. What do you consider the 5 most important aspects of successful marketing?
  19. Describe a marketing strategy that failed.
  20. Do you subscribe to a particular marketing belief or methodology
  21. How do you prefer to distribute and manage information?

Commercial Marketing Scenario Interview Questions

  1. You are working at an independent search marketing consultancy and begin working with a client who believes they have been penalized. How would you diagnose the problem and what corrective action might you reasonably expect to take?
  2. You are working for a major hotel chain as a PPC manager and you’ve been asked to explore expanding your campaign to target American customers looking to book hotels in the UK. What would you need to know to forecast whether this campaign would be profitable?
  3. You work brand-side for a high street fashion retailer. You’ve been given the responsibility for producing content to drive both social and SEO objectives. You have been given a total content budget of £75,000. How would you decide how to spend this money? Also draw up a provisional allocation of resources.
  4. How would you pitch innovative and new approaches to both paid and natural search campaigns?
  5. You’re working in-house at a travel company that is fourth place for market share in your sector. What strategic approach would you take in paid search to increase market share?
  6. We’re launching a new product in 3 months with (these characteristics). Tell me some of your ideas for the launch.
  7. What do you think about our blog?
  8. Take a look at these 2 different designs for our new website, which one is better? Why?
  9. Create a 1 month content calendar that includes different types of content ranging from videos, ebooks, blog posts to podcasts and social media.
  10. What are your first thoughts about this specific graphic/plan and how would you improve it?
  11. You’ve just picked up a call from a customer who claims to have not received his shipment, even though UPS confirms it was delivered. What do you do?
  12. A customer has just posted a negative review to the company’s Facebook page and you’re in charge of responding. How do you handle it?
  13. An SEO technique you’ve used successfully in the past has just been devalued by Google. What do you do next?
  14. You’ve been tasked with redesigning the company’s brand strategy from the ground up. Walk me through your process.
  15. You’ve been put in charge of planning the company’s nationwide conference. Where do you begin?
  16. One of your employees has just accidentally posted a personal tweet to the company’s account. How will you handle her?

Marketing Culture Fit Interview Questions

  1. What have you done to contribute toward a teamwork environment?
  2. What do you consider your most significant strength as a digital marketing professional?
  3. What kinds of situations do you find most stressful?
  4. What is more important to you: the money or the work?
  5. Describe a time you were faced with stress that tested your coping skills.
  6. How would you define success for someone in your chosen career?
  7. Describe the most difficult scheduling problem you have faced at work.
  8. Do you prefer to work in a small, medium or large company?
  9. How long do you expect to remain employed with us?
  10. How would you decide on your online marketing objectives?
  11. Tell me about how you worked effectively under pressure.
  12. Give me an example when you felt you were able to motivate a group?
  13. How important do you feel it is to communicate with the sales team?
  14. How would you market our products if you were put on a severely limited budget?

SEE ALSO: Marketing Interview Questions & Answers

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Product Manager Interview Questions

SEE ALSO: Product Manager Interview Questions & Answers

Here are our favorite product manager interview questions.

Product Manager Technical Background Interview Questions

  1. Why did you decide to move from engineering to product management?
  2. What is the biggest advantage of having a technical background?
  3. What is the biggest disadvantage?
  4. What was the biggest lesson you learned when you moved from engineering to product management?
  5. What do you wish you’d known when you were an engineer?
  6. How do you earn the respect of the engineering team?

Product Manager Design Interview Questions

  1. Tell me about your product design process and experience?
  2. Have you worked with UX/UI Designers and how so?
  3. A product is ready to ship, but the UX Designer doesn’t approve of shipping because of an UX issue, what do you do?
  4. How do you know when a design is “done”?
  5. Analyze the UX/UI of our product, how would you improve it?
  6. What are pitfalls of being too reliant on hard data in product design?

Product Manager Operations Interview Questions

  1. What software development methods have you used?
  2. How did you work with your engineers in your current or previous role?
  3. What’s a cool innovative technology or product that you’ve seen recently and why?
  4. What do you want to build here and why?
  5. Tell me about that time when you’ve hit a sticking point with your engineering team. What was it and how did you work through it
  6. Where do you think the industry is going? Is it ripe for disruption?
  7. What’s the competitive landscape and revenue model? What’s the value chain?
  8. Can the company position itself for success and what does that mean for the product?
  9. We’re thinking about expanding into XYZ business, should we?Tell me about a great product you’ve encountered recently. Why do you like it? [By the way, it drives me crazy when candidates name one of my products in an interview. I had a hard time hiring anybody at Yahoo! who told me the coolest product they’d come across recently was Yahoo! Good grief.]
  10. What made our product successful?
  11. What do you dislike about my product? How would you improve it?
  12. What problems are we going to encounter in a year? Two years? Ten years?
  13. How do you know a product is well designed?
  14. What’s one of the best ideas you’ve ever had?
  15. What is one of the worst?
  16. How do you know when to cut corners to get a product out the door?
  17. What lessons have you learned about user interface design?
  18. How do you decide what not to build?
  19. What was your biggest product mistake?
  20. What aspects of product management do you find the least interesting and why?
  21. Do you consider yourself creative?

Product Manager Metrics/Pricing Interview Questions

  1. When have you used massive amounts of data to drive a decision?
  2. How would you price a product of ours?
  3. Your sales and marketing team came to you with a feature request, build it and a deal gets done, what do you do?
  4. Tell me about a business or product metric that you were responsible for and how you went about attaining it.
  5. How would you determine the price for piece of wearable technology?

Product Manager Strategy Interview Questions

  1. What is the most efficient way to sort a million integers?
  2. How would you build a website for blind people?
  3. How would you re-position a company’s offerings to counteract competitive threats?
  4. How many golf balls can fit in a school bus?
  5. How many bottles of shampoo are produced in the world a year? Solution
  6. You are shrunk to the height of a nickel and your mass is proportionally reduced so as to maintain your original density. You are then thrown into an empty glass blender. The blades will start moving in 60 seconds. What do you do?
  7. How much should you charge to wash all the windows in Seattle?
  8. How would you find out if a machine’s stack grows up or down in memory?
  9. Explain a database in three sentences to your eight-year-old nephew.
  10. How many times a day does a clock’s hands overlap?
  11. You have to get from point A to point B. You don’t know if you can get there. What would you do?
  12. Imagine you have a closet full of shirts. It’s very hard to find a shirt. So what can you do to organize your shirts for easy retrieval?
  13. You have 15 horses that run various speeds. You own a race track on which you can race the horses, and this track holds a maximum of 5 horses per race. If you have no stopwatch or other means of telling exactly how fast the horses are, how many races would you need to run between the horses to be ABSOLUTELY SURE which horses are first, second, and third fastest? Solution
  14. Every man in a village of 100 married couples has cheated on his wife. Every wife in the village instantly knows when a man other than her husband has cheated, but does not know when her own husband has. The village has a law that does not allow for adultery. Any wife who can prove that her husband is unfaithful must kill him that very day. The women of the village would never disobey this law. One day, the queen of the village visits and announces that at least one husband has been unfaithful. What happens?
  15. In a country in which people only want boys, every family continues to have children until they have a boy. If they have a girl, they have another child. If they have a boy, they stop. What is the proportion of boys to girls in the country?
  16. If the probability of observing a car in 30 minutes on a highway is 0.95, what is the probability of observing a car in 10 minutes (assuming constant default probability)?
  17. If you look at a clock and the time is 3:15, what is the angle between the hour and the minute hands? (The answer to this is not zero!)
  18. Four people need to cross a rickety rope bridge to get back to their camp at night. Unfortunately, they only have one flashlight and it only has enough light left for seventeen minutes. The bridge is too dangerous to cross without a flashlight, and it’s only strong enough to support two people at any given time. Each of the campers walks at a different speed. One can cross the bridge in 1 minute, another in 2 minutes, the third in 5 minutes, and the slow poke takes 10 minutes to cross. How do the campers make it across in 17 minutes?
  19. You are at a party with a friend and 10 people are present including you and the friend. your friend makes you a wager that for every person you find that has the same birthday as you, you get $1; for every person he finds that does not have the same birthday as you, he gets $2. would you accept the wager?
  20. How many piano tuners are there in the entire world?
  21. You have eight balls all of the same size. 7 of them weigh the same, and one of them weighs slightly more. How can you find the ball that is heavier by using a balance and only two weighings?
  22. You have five pirates, ranked from 5 to 1 in descending order. The top pirate has the right to propose how 100 gold coins should be divided among them. But the others get to vote on his plan, and if fewer than half agree with him, he gets killed. How should he allocate the gold in order to maximize his share but live to enjoy it? (Hint: One pirate ends up with 98 percent of the gold.)
  23. You are given 2 eggs. You have access to a 100-story building. Eggs can be very hard or very fragile means it may break if dropped from the first floor or may not even break if dropped from 100th floor. Both eggs are identical. You need to figure out the highest floor of a 100-story building an egg can be dropped without breaking. The question is how many drops you need to make. You are allowed to break 2 eggs in the process.
  24. Describe a technical problem you had and how you solved it.
  25. How would you design a simple search engine?
  26. Design an evacuation plan for San Francisco.
  27. There’s a latency problem in South Africa. Diagnose it.
  28. What are three long term challenges facing Google?
  29. Name three non-Google websites that you visit often and like. What do you like about the user interface and design? Choose one of the three sites and comment on what new feature or project you would work on. How would you design it?
  30. If there is only one elevator in the building, how would you change the design? How about if there are only two elevators in the building?
  31. How many vacuum’s are made per year in USA?

Product Manager Leadership Questions

  1. Is consensus always a good thing?
  2. What’s the difference between management and leadership?
  3. What kinds of people do you like to work with?
  4. What types of people have you found it difficult to work with?
  5. Tell me about a time when a team didn’t gel. Why do you think that happened, and what have you learned?
  6. How do you get a team to commit to a schedule?
  7. What would somebody do to lose your confidence?
  8. Do you manage people from different functions differently? If so, how?
  9. What have you learned about saying no?
  10. Who has the ultimate accountability for shipping a product?
  11. Have you ever been in a situation where your team has let you down and you’ve had to take the blame?
  12. How has your tolerance for mistakes changed over the years?
  13. Which do you like first, the good news or the bad news?
  14. What’s your approach to hiring?
  15. How have you learned to work with sales?
  16. What is the best way to interface with customers?
  17. What makes marketing tick?
  18. How do you know when design is on the right track?
  19. How should a product manager support business development?
  20. What have you learned about managing up?
  21. What’s the best way to work with the executives?

SEE ALSO: Product Manager Interview Questions & Answers


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amazon vendor manager interview question

SEE ALSO: Case Interview Questions for Tech: Sample Answers

This article describes what interview questions to expect at the Amazon vendor manager interview including sample questions. You’ll find the corresponding sample answers in my new book: Case Interview Questions for Tech Companies.

Introduction to the Amazon Vendor Manager Interview

There are nine different categories of questions at the Amazon vendor manager interview:

  1. Inventory management
  2. Pricing
  3. Demand forecasting
  4. Strategy / new market entry
  5. Hypothetical
  6. Off-the-wall
  7. KPIs
  8. Vendor management
  9. Phone screen

There are also may be Amazon product line specific questions, especially if you’re interviewing as a vendor manager for Amazon Fresh, Prime, or Prime Now.

The questions below are equally likely at the onsite interview along with phone interviews, especially if the phone interview is with the hiring manager or a member of the team (not a recruiter).

Inventory management interview questions

As a vendor manager, careful inventory management is a critical responsibility. Have too much cash tied up in inventory means you can’t reallocate that cash to profit-generating activities. Have the wrong inventory means customer satisfaction issues and not fulfilling the promise of being the world’s largest store on Earth.

Expect interviewers to ask you a variety of inventory management interview questions to demonstrate your ability to manage a lean, optimal inventory operation to maximize profits.

Sample questions

  • Amazon’s pick and pack operation has the following throughput. Pick: 7 orders per 10 minutes. Pack: 11 orders per 10 minutes. What’s the utilization of the pack station? Sample answer on 172.
  • During the holiday season, Amazon customers shipped 200 orders per second. Amazon’s data science team discovered that the average number of orders waiting to be shipped was 20,650. How long did the average Amazon order wait to be shipped? Sample answer on 173.
  • You have two options to receive and stow a product: option A and B. After I give you the details, which one would you choose and why? Would you answer change if you had a different target goal? Why? How about if I told you we needed to produce the maximum number of units possible? Sample answer on 174.
  • Something breaks in the project at the last minute, and it is from a supplier. How will you solve it? Sample answer on 176.
  • How would you solve supply constraints and expand the supplier base in the face of an imminent product release? Sample answer on 178.
  • I’ll give you revenue, COGS, and inventory information. What are the annual inventory turns? And what is the average inventory? Sample answer on 230.

Pricing interview questions

As the vendor manager, you’re responsible for reporting and consequently managing your business. During those dreaded Wednesday weekly reporting meetings, Amazon execs will ask ask what you can do to increase profitability of your business. Pricing is one of the most important levers for profitability.

Hence, expect interviewers to ask you questions about pricing existing products and new products. They expect you to make pricing recommendations by maniupating data and in the face of uncertainty.

Sample questions

  • How would you reprice Amazon Prime if your goal was to increase profitability? Sample answer on page 50.

Forecasting interview questions

Good vendor managers accurately forecast demand. Inaccurate forecasts from bad vendor managers have consequences. Insufficient inventory & shipping capacity means Amazon loses profit with stockouts. Excess inventory & shipping capacity leads to the same result, Amazon profit loss, but for different reasons: profit loss is due to unnecessary salvage waste, warehousing costs, and opportunity costs.

Sample questions

  • How many lotion bottles are produced in the US each year? Sample answer on page 33.
  • How many printers are sold each year? Sample answer on 37.

Strategy and new market entry interview questions

Vendor managers own the P&L. As a P&L business owner, they need to think strategically. Strategic issues include competitive moves, new markets, and geographic expansion. A good strategic answer appeals to Amazon’s leadership principles of:

  1. Thinking big
  2. Have a backbone
  3. Dive deep
  4. Are Right, A Lot

Sample questions

  1. Tell me about a competitor’s move in the past six months. What do you think about it? Sample answer on 129.
  2. If you could start a company with $1,000,000 right now, what would it be? Why? Sample answer on 134.
  3. If you could open an Amazon store anywhere, where would it be and why? Similar question and sample answer on 140.
  4. What markets or categories should Amazon launch and why? Similar question and sample answer on 141.
  5. What would you do to bring product X to the global marketplace? Sample answer on 205.

Hypothetical interview questions

A variation on behavioral interview questions, Amazonians like to also ask hypothetical interview questions, especially as they relate to their Amazon Leadership Principles.

Interview tip: answer the hypothetical question with an answer that describes your hypothetical approach. From there, back it up with a real-life example of when you used the hypothetical approach. To create satisfying stories, use my Amazon stories template for Amazon leadership principles interview questions.

Sample questions

  • How do you deal with defeat? Sample answer on 135.
  • Could you deal with complex problems? Sample answer on 137.
  • Let’s say you don’t have all the information you need. What would you make a decision? Sample answer on 182.

Off-the-wall interview questions

Jeff Bezos is a quirky guy, but that’s not why Amazonians ask off-the-wall interview questions like “What is your superpower?” Instead, Amazon interviewers ask off-the-wall questions because they want to see how you deal with ambiguity. And those feared bar raisers in your interview loop, some believe off-the-wall questions are a great way to see if you exceed the bar. Their reasoning: most candidates don’t prepare for off-the-wall questions.

Be warned: the punishment may be self-inflicted! Amazonians have been known spot, on a candidate’s resume, a foreign or programming language skill. From there, the interviewer then tests your Java programming skills or Chinese language skills. Java and Chinese might not be related to your job, but in their mind, it’s a great interview question to see how you react to ambiguity!

Sample questions

  • What is your superpower? Sample answer on 133.

KPI interview questions

As the P&L owner, Amazon vendor managers must track key performance indicators or KPIs. While it may seem like the more metrics the better, more often than not, too many metrics can be overwhelming.

Sample questions

  1. What top metrics would you track for the Amazon Seller Marketplace? Sample answer on 110.

Vendor management interview questions

This one shouldn’t be unexpected. As a vendor manager, you’ve got to work with suppliers. Also known as vendors, these suppliers might not always easy to work with or align to Amazon’s goals. These questions test how you would influence or convince vendors to do what you want.

Sample questions

  1. A lighting company CEO has a long tradition of working with showrooms and physical distributors, what do we say about their perception that Amazon poses a threat to their business? Sample answer on 139.
  2. Let’s say a supplier does not answer your calls or reply to your emails. What will you do? Sample answer on 180.
  3. How would you convince a vendor to sell on Amazon? Similar question and answer on 195.
  4. What would you do to increase vendors who sell on Amazon to expand selection? Similar question and answer on 199.
  5. If operating margin decreased from a year before, name some reasons why this could be happening. Sample answer on 227.
  6. What would you say to a vendor who does not want to sell on Amazon anymore? Similar question and sample answer on 232.

Amazon Fresh interview questions for vendor manager

Product design questions might seem appropriate only for product managers.

However, vendor managers, as P&L owners, should have a point of view on all aspects on the business. After all, the product experience can affect sales. Refer to CIRCLES Method™ Product Design Framework to provide a complete and satisfying response.

Sample questions

  • What features would you suggest for a grocery app? Sample answer on 68.

Interview questions for vendor manager on Amazon Prime or Prime Now

Similarly, certain businesses may have to think more deeply about customer acquisition. In your mind, when you think of customer acquisition, you should immediately think of the Big Picture marketing framework covered in Rise Above the Noise.

Sample questions

  • The sales team’s goal is to achieve $5M in new revenue each quarter. What’s the one metric we should focus on? Sample answer on 114.
  • How would you advertise to entice Amazon members to upgrade to Prime? Sample answer on 197.

Phone screen interview questions

These interview questions are more likely during the phone screen rounds, especially with the interviewer is the recruiter. They’re less specific to the business and product domain. Here, the recruiter is trying to assess cultural fit. That is, what are your internal motivations and passions? Do you align with Amazon’s 14 Leadership Principles? Are you likely to stay with Amazon for the long-term?

These phone screen interview questions may seem easy, but you’ll be surprised how many candidates have trouble crisply answering these questions. To get crisp, use my template for Amazon behavioral interview questions.

Sample questions

  1. You have 5 minutes to tell me why I should hire you over the other candidates. Sample answer on 248.
  2. Why do you want to join the company? Sample answer on 251.
  3. What is an example of a time you failed? Sample answer on 257.
  4. Tell me about a time when you used data to solve a complex problem. Sample answer on 259.
  5. Tell me about the last time you used data to inform your decision making. How did you acquire the data? If you had to make that decision again, what would you do differently? What data would you like instead? Sample answer on 261.
  6. Tell me about a time when you made all the decisions for a project or task. Sample answer on 266.
  7. Tell me a time when you demonstrated a bias for action. Sample answer on 268.

SEE ALSO: Case Interview Questions for Tech: Sample Answers

case interview questions for tech

Career Plan Example

Source: Ryan Allis

Career plan templates are helpful, but all the blank fields can come across as intimidating, especially if you don’t know where to start!

To guide you along, we’ve included:

  1. Above: a filled out example
  2. Below: commentary on how to fill it out and in the best way possible

Life purpose

The first section is life purpose.

Before you get into the success metrics, qualitatively define your life purpose. Another way to think of it is your mission statement or how you want to make your mark on the world.

Ryan does a good job showing how he’s trying to help the greater good with his life purpose.

Success metrics

The second section is success metrics.

Use the acronym SMART as a checklist. That is, be specific, measurable, actionable, relevant and time-bound in your goals. And don’t be afraid to shoot high. Failure is okay if you don’t meet your goals. Because if you set readily achievable goals you’re less likely to get satisfaction from your (likely smaller) accomplishments.

Action plan

The third section is action plan.

It’s not enough to set goals; you need to define the specific steps that you’ll take to make it happen. I call that an action plan.

In Ryan’s example, he spells out how he can make it happen. On the one hand, it’s nice that it’s succinct. On the other hand, I would have liked it if Ryan provided more details. It would clarify the specific next steps Ryan should take to make his career goals happen.

Desired way of being

The fourth section is desired way of being.

This is a list of adjectives that expresses how you’d feel after achieving this goal. If you’re a fan of visualizing success, then you’ll appreciate writing down your desired emotional state here.

Lifetime goals

The fifth section is lifetime goals.

This is where one discusses lifetime objectives. What’s commendable about Ryan’s example is that while this is a long-term goal, he uses specific and measurable goals like establishing Hive in “1000 cities around the world.”

10 year goals

The sixth section is 10 year goals.

When putting down goals for the 10-year horizon, you’ll notice that Ryan includes both work and personal goals. He’s also think about building scale behind his career efforts with specific goals like “Train others to hold Hive gatherings.” With an objective like that, you see that Ryan is considering how to build an organization that can build and extend upon his personal efforts.

1 year goals

The seventh section is 1 year goals. Ryan does a good job once again in being specific. What’s noteworthy is how the goals are connected from the 90-day, 1 year, 10 year and lifetime goals. They’re not discrete or independent.

90 day action plan

This section is a chance to discuss near-term objectives. I like what Ryan did in the example. He was very specific about who, where, and what he wanted to do. He mentions people like Nadia, deliverables like the “Everything I Learned by 30 Presentation” and specific targets like 1M users.


The signature and date is a nice addition that one normally doesn’t see in most career plan templates. Scientific research shows that people who sign and date their commitments are more likely to achieve their goals.

Final thought

Don’t waste time trying to attain your career goals. Click on the template below, fill it out, and start achieving your dreams. Good luck!


Source: Ryan Allis

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The Big List of 119 UX Interview Questions

January 4th, 2017 by lewis

UX Interview Questions & Answers

Here are our favorite UX interview questions.

  • If you’re a hiring manager, select the interview questions based on the competencies you’re evaluating.
  • If you’re a candidate, prepare and practice using this common list of UX interview questions.

UX Design Process Interview Questions

  1. How do you define UX design?
  2. What is your design process? Describe what methods you follow?
  3. What is visual hierarchy?
  4. Can you speak to the difference between information architecture, interaction design, usability and user research?
  5. How do you get into the mindset of a user and anticipate their needs and actions?
  6. Describe to us a basic user experience process. Would that process be different depending on the type of project, for instance responsive website versus mobile app?
  7. How do you know that what you’re designing works for the user? Tell us a bit about personas and your approach to research and incorporating research in your work?
  8. What are the basic philosophies or principles that inform your designs
  9. How do you incorporate usability into the design and testing process?
  10. How do you balance business needs and technical restrictions with good design?
  11. Do you have a technical/data-influenced background?
  12. What tools and applications do you use?
  13. What is the most important thing on a page/wireframe? Why?
  14. Do you specialize in wireframing and functionality design, or graphic design? Which do you prefer?
  15. When an engineer says, “Hey, I don’t like this design”, what do you do?
  16. What are the advantages and disadvantages of following a web style guide?
  17. Can you explain the process behind each (or a specific) design piece in your portfolio? What research or testing did you do to validate your design decision?
  18. What are your favorite apps? Why?
  19. What is your approach to making websites and platforms accessible to all user groups, including users with visual, hearing, and motor disabilities?
  20. What would you say will be the next big trend in the UX Design industry?
  21. What design trend can you not stand? Why?

UX Research Process Interview Questions

  1. What attracts you to research?
  2. What is your experience with qualitative research methods? (ethnography, focus groups/group discussions, one-on-one interviewing, contextual inquiry, observational research, etc.)
  3. Since your experience is primarily in qualitative methods, how do you feel about quantitative research?
  4. What skill do you possess that you think you do better than 99.9% of the entire population?
  5. What do you excel at (your superpower) and what can you improve on (your kryptonite)?
  6. What is your research process?
  7. How do you choose which method(s) you’re going to use for particular projects?
  8. Which methods and approaches do you think are the most useful or effective?
  9. What is the value of doing contextual research over facility-based research (e.g., focus groups, interviews)?
  10. How do you incorporate theory into your research?
  11. What are your favorite social science theories?
  12. How do you approach qualitative data analysis?
  13. What tools do you typically use for analysis? (e.g., affinity mapping, coding, Excel, etc.)
  14. How do you analyze ethnographic data?
  15. Have you used any qualitative data analysis software?
  16. At what point in the design process should user experience come into play?
  17. Talk about a time when you had to change your plan or approach.
  18. Our company hires heavily from our own user base. How would you balance the perspectives of internal users versus external users?
  19. What is your experience working in Agile environments?
  20. Have you ever used a Lean approach in your research?
  21. How do you visualize data?
  22. How do you visualize results for designers and developers?
  23. Give me an example of a project you worked on for which you had to translate research data into insights.
  24. Do you have experience with videography or video deliverables?
  25. How would you sell the value of User Experience research to a VP of Product versus a VP of engineering?

UX Technical Skills Interview Questions

  1. Show me a design example where you set out to solve a business problem.
  2. How do you balance design aesthetic with revenue-generating activities on a website?
  3. How do you balance the goals of the end user with those of the business.
  4. What kind of data have you used to validate a design?
  5. Have you created personas before? How did they help you?
  6. Do you have any experience with e-commerce?
  7. Do you have experience with mobile software or hardware?
  8. What is your experience working with web analytics?
  9. How would you do a competitive analysis of two websites?
  10. How would you measure the success of a launched product?
  11. What would you consider a UX Design failure on the newly launched project?
  12. What questions do you need answered before you start designing an experience?
  13. How do you estimate the timeline of your own design process?
  14. You’re under a tight deadline and not all features in the project scope can be met in time. How would you decide which features to keep and which to cut?
  15. What is a recent project that you were challenged by, and tell us how you approached the problem?
  16. You want to redesign some part of a website but the client says they don’t want to spend the time or money to make the changes. What would you say?
  17. How do you stay current on UX innovations?
  18. Given a situation where there’s not enough time to research, what do you do?
  19. What would you do differently if you had more time for research?
  20. What is an instance where you delivered something exceptional, made you really proud of the result?

UX Commercial Application Interview Questions

  1. How would you design an interface for an elevator in a 1000-floor building?
  2. How would you design an ATM?
  3. How would you design a microwave?
  4. Can you estimate how many traffic lights there are in the United States?
  5. Imagine we’re designing a kiosk at a transit stop. Its purpose is to let regular commuters refill their transit cards. We have an engineer coming in 20 minutes and he needs a spec. How would you explain how the kiosks works in that time? Solution
  6. How would you describe the Internet to someone who just woke up from a 30-year coma? Solution
  7. What are the advantages and disadvantages of contextual inquiry/field studies when designing an application or website?
  8. How would you walk me through a brief analysis of our home page?
  9. What is an example of a site you think has bad user experience? Why?
  10. What are 3 examples of online products that have a great user experience?
  11. If you had the power to change one feature for a website or application, what would you change?
  12. What do you think makes a great UX designer vs. an average one? What makes you a great UX designer?
  13. What are your thoughts on designing the user experience of a startup vs. a more established brand?
  14. Are you familiar with the idea of a minimum viable product (MVP)?
  15. Is UX only for huge agencies and global brands or can the little guys & gals get involved?
  16. Why should business owners and/or marketing people care about UX?
  17. Now let’s say that after 6 months, there is no jump in sales. What is at fault? Normally, sales and/or marketing gets blamed for having the wrong message, appealing to the wrong audience, not enough of this, too much of that. What if the reason for flat-lined sales had to do with user experience?
  18. What’s the best way for UX and Marketing teams to work together
  19. What’s the downside to omitting UX from the discussion?
  20. Does your UX end once the website or app launch?
  21. Is UX work expensive?
  22. Does it make sense when people say something like “Looking for a UI/UX designer”?

UX Culture Fit Interview Questions

  1. How do you advocate for usability in your organization?
  2. What would be the most difficult personality for a coworker to have? How would you deal with this?
  3. What would be the most difficult type of client to work with? How would you deal with this?
  4. Have you ever faced a situation in which your feedback/recommendation was not taken? How did you handle the situation?
  5. How do you form positive relationships with teammates or stakeholders?
  6. How do you work with others?
  7. What best practices do you use when working with engineers?
  8. How do you approach working with designers?
  9. How do you approach working with developers?
  10. How have you provided guidance to your clients in the scoping of projects?
  11. How do you deal with stakeholders (e.g., marketers) with really strong perspectives?
  12. What do you do when a stakeholder disagrees with the results of your research?
  13. What is your experience working with people who are unfamiliar with User-Centered Design?
  14. Have you played more of a lead or support role on projects?
  15. What phases of research were you most often involved with?
  16. Have you worked with recruiters?
  17. What is your experience with project management?
  18. What is your experience with project scoping?
  19. Have you managed external research vendors?
  20. What is your ideal work day as a UX designer?
  21. Where do you see yourself in 5–10 years?
  22. How have you previously worked with product managers and engineers?
  23. What are you looking for when it comes to a workplace?
  24. How do you feel about working for a small agency versus a large corporation?
  25. Can you describe a time when the requirements changed in the middle of a project, and how you handled that?
  26. What’s your biggest pet peeve when engaging on a UX project?
  27. Have you worked in a Lean or Agile process before? How so?
  28. Do you have a side project you’d like to talk to us about?
  29. What books/exhibitions/conferences or communities do you attend or admire?
  30. Where do you go for inspiration?
  31. How do you keep on top of current design trends?

Photo credit: Sebastiaan ter Burg

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Source: Ryan Allis

Here’s a blank career plan template you can use to achieve career success. Read on for how to fill it out. And at the end of the article, I’ve included a filled out example.

Life purpose

To help you determine your life purpose, think back on the projects you’ve completed in your career. What are the moments where you felt happiest? Perhaps it was when you were:

  • Leading a team
  • Inspiring others
  • Completing a complicated task
  • Working on a cause that’s bigger than yourself

Through introspection and asking yourself that question, you might find out what makes you happy and what you want to achieve in your life. And another way to assess your life purpose. An easy-way to take a personality test is to fill out the questionnaires and diagnostic tests in Ingrid Stabb’s book, The Career Within You.

Success metrics

Given that life goal, how can you measure success? Is it the number of projects completed? Or perhaps leading a team of a certain size?

Action plan

How would you get to your desired goal? What are the milestones and intermediate steps that you would need to get there?

Desired way of being

This is just a fancy term to described the emotions you want to feel when you hit your life objective. Some potssible emotions can include:

  • Satisfied
  • Thrilled
  • Content
  • Excited
  • Happy

Lifetime, 10 year, 1 year, and 90 day goals

This is your opportunity to be specific about what you want to achieve.

Think about the acronym SMART. That is, are you outline goals that are specific, measurable, actionable, relevant, and time-bound?

Another thing to consider: are you short-term goals eventually helping you achieve your long-term goals? They should be connected.


Setting goals won’t matter if you don’t deliver! Scientific studies show that you’re more likely to follow through your commitments if you sign and date your goals. So don’t forget that symbolic step. It works!

Career Plan Example

Source: Ryan Allis

Market Sizing Numbers to Know

January 2nd, 2017 by lewis

SEE ALSO: Market Sizing Techniques and Practice Problems

For market sizing interview questions, you’ll be more effective if you memorized a list of common assumptions. It’ll save you from asking the interviewer for basic assumptions. Candidates that ask for simple assumptions such as “What’s the US population?” will come across as unprepared.

To make it easier for you, I’ve included both the image form (that you can print) as well as text form (that you can cut-and-paste into a cheat sheet).

Market Sizing Numbers to Know

Market Sizing Numbers to Know from the book Interview Math: 50+ Problems and Solutions for Quant Case Interviews

Source: Interview Math: 50+ Problems and Solutions for Quant Case Interviews

Population Assumptions for the United States

United States 319M
New York City 8.4M
Los Angeles 3.9M
Chicago 2.7M
San Francisco 806K
Seattle 687K

Population Assumptions for Outside the United States

World 7.4B
Europe 739M
Asia 4.4B
South America 423M
Africa 1.2B
China 1.4B
India 1.3B
Japan 126M
UK 65M

Other Useful Assumptions for the United States

Life Expectancy 80 years
People per Household 2.5 people
Median Household Income $53K
GDP $16.8 T
GDP Growth Rate 2%
Corporate Tax Rate 35%
Smartphone Penetration 70%
Percent with Bachelor’s Degree 30%
Percent Married Adults 52%
Percent Under the Age of 18 23%
Percent Over the Age of 65 13%

SEE ALSO: Market Sizing Approaches and Practice Problems

13 Killer Video Interview Tips

December 21st, 2016 by lewis

video interview

Have an upcoming video interview? You might be nervous if you’ve never used video interviewing software before.

Have no fear. Read these tips, and you’ll feel confident, relaxed, and ready to ace your upcoming video interview.

lewis lin's impact interview

Dress Appropriately

Just because you’re interviewing from home doesn’t mean you can dress casually. Dress as you normally would for an in-person interview.

lewis lin's impact interview

Examine the Lighting

Aim for soft lighting in front of you. You can open the curtains or turn on a lamp. Avoid lighting behind you; it’ll cast a strong shadow.

lewis lin's interview coaching services

Check the Microphone

If the sound is not clear when using your computer’s default microphone, consider plugging in a dedicated microphone for higher sound quality.

best interview coaching

Wear Bright Colors

Bright colored clothes provide appropriate contrast on camera. Stay away from lighter colors, which can get appear washed out on video.

top interview coaching

Make Eye Contact with the Camera

If you look at your own image, it’ll look like you are looking down. A downward gaze is a submissive gaze. That’s the opposite of what we’re shooing for: a confident candidate. Instead, look at the camera, not the screen. Imagine your webcam is the individual that is talking to you.


Maintain good posture. A solid office chair may help. It’s easy to record from a couch and lean back. Do so and the interviewer may perceive you as not interested in the job.

interview coach

Be Aware of the Background

Distracting backgrounds, such as moving people, a cluttered room, or an unfinished garage wall, can take the focus away from you, the candidate.

Check Your Internet Connection

Make sure your Internet connection is working and reliable. Last thing you’d want happening is to lose a carefully crafted video interview to poor Internet reception.


Schedule a mock interview with a friend. Practice both your interview skills as well as recording in front of a webcam.

Have a Conversation

Interviewers don’t like to hire those who are nervous and anxious. Pretend you’re having a conversation. If you’re relaxed, you’ll be more likable. And hiring managers hire those that they like.

Consider Timing

Most video interview questions have a time limit. If your response is too short, the interviewer will perceive you as not having much to say. If your response is too long, the interviewer will think your communication skills are lacking.

Be Poised

Individuals who can showcase their actual identity while maintaining professionalism are typically chosen for another interview.

interview coach services

Do your Homework

Don’t scramble to figure out what kind of questions to ask at the end of the interview. Ask two or three questions concerning something you can’t research on your own.

Photo credit: Tom Eversley, Harry Wood, Mike McCune, bgilliard

Our friends at Ziggeo put together an amazing YouTube video on how to make a great video interview, using your webcam or phone. Here are my favorite tips from the video:

  • Check your lighting, recording during the day if possible
  • Wear solid colors
  • Elevate your camera to eye level
  • Practice before recording
  • Be careful about background noise, including noisy jewelry

Crush those video interviews!

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The 10 Best Video Interviewing Questions

December 17th, 2016 by lewis

best video interview questions

By Alan Magelssen and Lewis Lin

Recorded video interviews are becoming more popular, primarily because video interviews are:

  1. More effective in saving time for both for candidates and interviewers
  2. More convenient for candidates and interviewers, especially since responses can be recorded anywhere, anytime
  3. Easier to share and get a second opinion with co-workers

The big challenge with recorded video interviews is that it’s a one-way broadcast. In other words, unlike a face-to-face interview, you can’t ask clarifying questions.

Given this difference, it’s important to ask the right questions that can reveal who the candidate is and what the candidate can offer, without the need for clarifying questions.

We’ve compiled a list of the 10 most effective video interview questions. Try these with your favorite video interview platform, and you’ll be glad that you didn’t settle for just a resume in your applicant process.

1. Why should we hire you?

This is one of the best video interview questions because it asks the interviewee to describe what sets them apart from all the others. This question also gives the organization a clear picture of what the candidate feels their strongest qualities are in relation to this position.

Whether you choose to ask this question up front or save it for later, we recommend using it in every interview. It can be a great question to start with when you are sharing recorded candidate responses within your team.

2. From everything you’ve learned about our organization, tell me how you feel you’d make a contribution?

This is a great question because it immediately lets your team know three things:

  1. Has this person done their homework?
  2. Does he or she seem enthusiastic about the role?
  3. Is he or she ready to make an impact on day one?

The best candidates will shine in all three aspects of this question, giving you a good idea of who to focus on for the job.

3. If you could start your career over again, what would you do differently?

Prompting the candidate to describe some of their good or bad past decisions can be a great way to gauge their thought process when it comes to career decisions. Does this person have the commitment and/or experience necessary to thrive in this position? How has his or her attitude changed with experience?

4. When I contact your last supervisor and ask which areas are your greatest strength, what will they say?

Getting to know your candidate’s strengths and weaknesses is an important part of the evaluation process. This is an effective method for getting to know your candidate’s strengths by having them explain their previous experience from the point of view of a coworker or boss.

Double checking with the candidate’s references is always a great idea for those that make it to the next round.

5. When I contact your last supervisor and ask which areas of work need the most improvement, what will they tell me?

Similar to the last question, this is an excellent question because it will provide an honest assessment of the candidate’s weaknesses. As with the last question, you can always check the candidate’s references for more detail.

6. Tell me about what motivates you?

Simple and straightforward, this is one of our top ten questions to ask because it gets to what is beyond the resume and lets the candidate share that with you directly.

7. What was the last thing you learned from working with others?

If you are looking for someone can work well with your team, ask them what they have learned from others in their career. This question not only gives you an idea of their teamwork abilities, but also can also lead to illuminating insights into their personality.

8. Tell me about the toughest negotiation you’ve ever been in?

Most positions will involve negotiation whether it’s with customers, co-workers, and yes, the boss. This question is important to see how the candidate weighed a particular decision, how the candidate assessed the outcomes of that decision, and whether or not the candidate was successful in negotiating an agreement.

9. Describe a time when you had a disagreement with a coworker, how did the issue get resolved?

Asking this question is important to see how candidates deal with conflict-resolution in the workplace. Not only is the fit to team culture important, but also how all your candidates deal with problems when they arise.

10. Where do you see yourself in five years?

Finally, what long term goals is your candidate focused on? Does the candidate have a plan for the next few years? This is important because it can tell your team whether your candidate’s goals are aligned with what he or she will be asked to do in the new position.

Photo credit: Dion Hinchcliffe

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