Design Thinking Interview Questions

Last updated on Nov 23, 2023

Design thinking, a practice not limited to designers, has been a cornerstone of innovation across various fields such as art, literature, music, engineering, and business. This approach enables a systematic way to apply human-centered techniques for creatively and innovatively solving problems. Consequently, interviewers often use design thinking questions to evaluate a candidate's problem-solving abilities.

In this blog, we've compiled key design thinking interview questions to aid in your interview preparation. While these questions might not be compulsory, they are frequently asked and can be instrumental in demonstrating your understanding of design thinking concepts.

Most Frequently Asked Design Thinking Interview Questions

1. What is Design Thinking?

Ans. Design thinking is a strategic methodology employed to solve complex problems in a user-centric way. It leverages a structured framework for understanding and pursuing innovation in ways that contribute to organic growth and add real value to your customers. The essence of design thinking lies in its iterative process, which helps in understanding users, challenging assumptions, redefining problems, and creating innovative solutions to prototype and test.

2. Why design thinking?

Ans. Embracing design thinking is crucial because it puts the focus squarely on user needs and experiences. This approach is marked by a deep understanding of the user's world, fostering a culture of empathy. It’s a collaborative process that cuts across disciplines, encouraging input from diverse perspectives. This methodology not just fosters creativity but also drives innovation by solving problems with a human-centered approach, ensuring products and solutions are not only feasible and viable but also desirable.

3. What are the stages in Design Thinking?

Ans. Design thinking is anchored in five iterative stages: Empathize, Define, Ideate, Prototype, and Test. It's not a linear path but a cycle of understanding, exploring, and materializing solutions. The aim is to empathize deeply with users, clearly define their needs, ideate creative solutions, prototype potential solutions, and rigorously test them. This holistic approach ensures that solutions are crafted with the user at the heart of the process.

4. What are the features of Design thinking?

Ans. Design thinking stands out for its user-centric approach that emphasizes simplicity, aesthetics, and enhancing user experiences. It's about crafting solutions that are not only innovative and sustainable but also directly address the needs of the end-users. This methodology encourages seeing beyond the apparent complexities to deliver products and services that resonate with users.

5. What are the tools involved in design thinking?

Ans. The tools in design thinking align with its phases: Immersion for deep research, Analysis and Synthesis for framing the problem, Ideation for brainstorming creative solutions, and Prototyping for validating solutions. These tools are pivotal in transforming insights into actionable solutions that genuinely meet user needs.

Design Thinking Intermediate Interview Questions

6. List some reasons why Design thinking fails.

Ans. Design thinking can stumble due to a misaligned organizational culture, unrealistic expectations, impatience, or lack of clear vision. It's essential to embrace the methodology's mindset fully, be patient through its iterative nature, and have a clear strategic intent for innovation. Missteps often occur when these elements are overlooked.

7. How can we implement Design thinking in an organization?

Ans. Implementing design thinking in an organization involves a gradual process of cultural shift. Start by clearly defining the problem, fostering design thinking skills within your team, encouraging inquisitive questioning, and embracing feedback cycles. This journey requires patience, openness to learning, and a commitment to evolving traditional mindsets.

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8. Do you think Design thinking is the only solution to problems and innovation?

Ans. While design thinking is a powerful tool for innovation, it's not the only pathway. It's a preferred approach due to its user-centric methodology and effective problem-solving capabilities, but there are multiple ways to approach issues, each with its strengths.

9. What types of issues can we deal with design thinking?

Ans. Design thinking is versatile, applicable to a broad range of problems, from business challenges to personal dilemmas. Whether it's improving customer experiences, planning an event, or addressing everyday issues, the design thinking process remains consistent, although the context varies.

10. Who can do it(design thinking)?

Ans. Anyone can learn and apply design thinking. It's a skill that gets better with practice and benefits significantly from expert coaching. As with any skill, it requires dedication and practice to master.

11. Can we implement parts of design thinking and succeed?

Ans. While using individual tools of design thinking can yield success, employing the entire methodology from problem identification to solution testing often results in more comprehensive and effective outcomes.

Design Thinking Advanced Interview Questions

12. Can we do Design thinking with no initial user research?

Ans. Initial user research is fundamental to design thinking. Skipping this step can lead to solutions that don't align with actual user needs and may result in ineffective or irrelevant outcomes.

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13. How can we get started with design thinking?

Ans. Getting started with design thinking typically involves education through courses, workshops, or expert guidance. While books offer theoretical knowledge, hands-on learning and mentorship provide practical skills essential for effective implementation.

14. Does Design thinking work at all ages?

Ans. Design thinking is adaptable across all age groups, though the approach may differ based on developmental stages. Its framework nurtures natural creativity, especially in children, and provides a structured way to channel this creativity effectively.

15. What makes Design thinking different from project-based learning?

Ans. Design thinking differs from project-based learning in its primary focus. While project-based learning might not necessarily center on product design, design thinking often revolves around creating user-centric solutions. Although they can overlap, each has distinct goals and methodologies.

16. How do we test design thinking within a day?

Ans. Participating in events like the Global Day of Design offers a quick, immersive experience in design thinking. These events connect participants worldwide, allowing them to share experiences and insights from applying design thinking in various contexts.

17. Explain the stages of Design thinking.

Ans. The stages of Design Thinking encompass Empathize (understanding user needs), Define (articulating the problem), Ideate (exploring ideas), Prototype (developing solutions), and Test (evaluating solutions). These stages form a cycle of learning, experimenting, and refining to achieve the best possible outcomes.

18. What are the principles of design thinking?

Ans. Design thinking is underpinned by principles such as the Human Rule (focus on social aspects), the Ambiguity Rule (embracing uncertainty), the Redesign Rule (viewing design as a continuous process), and the Tangibility Rule (making ideas concrete for better communication and understanding).


In summary, the questions provided in this blog are a valuable resource for those preparing for interviews involving design thinking. We plan to expand this list further. While these questions aren't guaranteed to appear in every interview, knowing them can significantly enhance your ability to discuss design thinking effectively. We hope you find this resource helpful, and if you have any questions or need further clarification on design thinking, feel free to comment below.

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About Author

As a Senior Writer for HKR Trainings, Sai Manikanth has a great understanding of today’s data-driven environment, which includes key aspects such as Business Intelligence and data management. He manages the task of creating great content in the areas of Digital Marketing, Content Management, Project Management & Methodologies, Product Lifecycle Management Tools. Connect with him on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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