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Human Computer Interaction Interview Questions
These questions were compiled from feedback and input from employers who actively recruit SI students for IA, Usability and Design positions. While SI Career Services cannot possibly predict the exact questions you will be asked in an interview, if you are prepared to answer some of these questions, you will be better prepared for a successful interview.
Getting To Know You
Add your human computer interaction interviewing questions here!
- Why are you interested in a career in usability?
- Name all the usability methods you know.
- What is your favorite usability method?
- What is good about that method?
- What is bad about that method?
- How did that method fit into a recent project?
- What value did this project bring or add to the company? (Tip: Always show your BUSINESS KNOWLEDGE whenever you can!) What is a recent usability evaluation you worked on?
- What was your specific contribution to the evaluation?
- How many users did you test?
- What sort of instructions did you give them?
- How did you run the usability test?
- What were your findings?
- How did you communicate your findings to your client?
- What was the impact of your project?
- The number of users that you tested is statistically insignificant. How would you respond to that kind of criticism of your methodology?
- Have you ever designed a bad survey? Have you ever used a competitor’s product?
- Why do you think some people prefer to use that product over our product?
- How can we convert users of that product to using our product
- Tell me about a research project that you have worked on in the past.
- What methods of information architecture are you familiar/experienced with?
- How do you communicate the value of Information Architecture to others?
- How do you deal with the challenge of creating navigation that is both organizational and task-based?
- Can you explain what heuristic evaluation is and what some of its strengths and weaknesses are?
- How do you decide what tasks should be included in a usability test?
- Taking a look at your portfolio, tell me about one of your UI design projects.
- How did you approach the design task?
- Did you test your final design on users?
- What sort of user testing methods did you use?
- What sort of limitations did you face?
- How would you approach this design problem now?
- How would you approach this design problem if you had unlimited resources (time and money)?
- Take a look at this page (interviewer points to page on company’s site), what do you think of it?
- How would you fix it?
- How would you validate your design decisions?
- What type of user testing methods would you use?
- Give one example of when you used a formal usability method and explain the outcome?
- Explain one specific use of a discount usability method and what was the outcome?
- Which (formal or discount) do you get the most benefit?
- How do you decide when to use a pop-down (pull up) menu?
- What data is best suited for this UI element?
- How else can you present the data in a web interface?
- And what are the benefits and drawbacks of each type of presentation?
- What is 508 compliance?
- What is Fitt's Law?
- What does the "..." on the end of a button mean?
- What design/usability/hci book have you read recently?
- Which design/usability/hci book do you like the most? Why?
- Given a choice...Form or Function?
- Explain Where do you see user centered design fitting into the development life cycle?
- What is the best way or method you use to communicate your design ideas or usability recommendations to engineering for development?
- How much do you rely on others for input into the design or design ideas?
- How much of your output do you create by yourself?
- What tools are you really an expert with?
- How deeply can you go into creating a prototype?
- What is the difference between a GIF and a JPEG?
- Design a bathroom for Bill Gates
- Design a soda vending machine for visually blind persons
- Design a remote control
- Design an alarm clock
- You have a building that's a 1 mile cube. Design a system that can transport people from any point in the building to any other point in ten minutes or less, using available technology.
- Game 1 sold 2 million copies. Game 2 sold 55,000 copies. Assuming that they were equal in marketing dollars and had similar quality graphics and art, how would you go about figuring out why one sold more than another?
- If you had full control of the design process for a new computer/console game, how would you decide what to write? You have complete creative control, but the game must generate a profit.
- What is your ideal usability evaluation?
- Once you have written your report, how do you convince the team to follow your recommendations?
- Please give me a brief description of the various studies you conducted using the usability methods you have listed on your resume.
- [Given a specific project involving a client] How did you reconcile business goals with user goals?
- They give you 2 websites and tell you to compare them (Eg: Which is better: Kodak Photo Share or Yahoo Photos)
- How will you convince a programmer to make your changes?
- How do you deal with a project manager who does not look at your recommendations?
- What is your "User Engineering" experience before SI or UM?
- Tell me about all the usability methods you've used, and when they are appropriate.
- Tell me about a time when you were in a group and had to negotiate a disagreement.
- What did you do?
- Do you think you did the right thing?
- Would you do anything different now?
- Given a couple of interface mock-ups, develop (in 1/2 an hour) a yearlong research plan to establish which interface should be adopted.
- Imagine you are in charge of developing a new refrigerator. What the first thing you do? What else do you do? and so on. Same thing for a new piece of fitness equipment. [hands you a screen shot of an interface or a wireframe] What's wrong, what's good, how and why would you change this? Be prepared to walk the interviewer through the usability and design process of a project or work you have done. OR you may be given a screen shot, and be asked to talk the interviewer through your design process, the usability principles, how you would apply them and the outcome.
Getting To Know You
- How do you keep up with technology and updates?
- Who have you read in the field of usability? (don’t just say Judy Olson and Tom Brinck)
- What is your understanding of the position and what interests you most about it?
- What are your long term goals?
- What is one of your strengths?
- What is one of your weaknesses?
- What do you like to do for fun?
- How did you get here--to SI, and interested in HCI?
- Why did you come to graduate school?
- Tell me what you’re doing your thesis on.
- What authors have you read?
- What books have you read?
- What professional organizations are you a member of?
- What professional organization activities have you taken part in?
- Why do you want to work for… ABC Co.?
- Why do you want to be a "Usability Engineer"?
- Project manager fails to schedule team review. Your first review of art design is while the client is in the room. There are numerous usability problems. How would you handle this with the client and with the internal team?
- Give me an example of a customer insight you’ve had and how that translates into design. (employer is looking for your ability to take a concept/idea to a solution/medium)
- Content writer says the need for instructional text does not exist for a particular feature saying “Nobody is that stupid.” How would you handle this?
- Tell me how you would implement an incentive structure with your group.
- What would you do if someone in your team is not taking initiative?
- How would you persuade a person for his commitment?
- How would you make sure information and communication resources are allotted for you/your team?
- Your opinion for dealing with conflicting goals (3 members in a group want an A, the fourth is happy with a C?
- What is the approach you take when tasked with a problem/conflict to solve? How would you communicate that solution effectively?
Add your human computer interaction interviewing questions here!
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