What do Employers Want in a Web Design Candidate?

After completing your education, applying for a job in your field of study is the next step. It’s important to understand the interview process most employers implement when hiring. Some of these tips are basic knowledge regarding interviewing and others are industry specific. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, web designers are expected to face growing competition for these jobs in the future. These interview practices should be followed when meeting with prospective employers.


When talking to employers, it’s important to understand that you’re the professional with industry knowledge. The employer often only has a vague idea about the specifics of what they need in terms of web design. Don’t use technical jargon to impress them because it’s more likely they will wonder how to relate to you on a daily basis, or how you’ll respond to their day-to-day concerns. Keep your answers informative but in a way that a layperson will understand what you’re explaining.

Set Yourself Apart

Students graduating from design college have the added competition of everyone else in their class as well as from other graduating classes looking for entry-level employment. Have a brilliant portfolio of all the work you’ve accomplished so far. While you may not have had clients or a job yet, you’ve been creative the entire time you’ve been attending college. Use this to your advantage. Emphasize the work that would best fit in with the job for which you’re applying.

Online Portfolio

A personal portfolio of all your work in a glossy binder is a great way to show off your work while you’re in your interview. The employer can ask questions while you show off your accomplishments. After you leave, provide the employer with an online address of your professional portfolio so they can glance at your work after you’ve gone. It will help to remind them why you’re the ideal candidate.

Skills and Education

Web design positions require a college level education or related work experience. Designers will need to determine the graphics, text, colors and viewer experience of the website in a way that retains customers. Questions and responses during the interview should focus on your ability to give the employer what he or she needs.

Employers Expectations

Employers expect candidates to have a professional portfolio of their work. This doesn’t mean shiny graphics alone. They want an employee who understands the basics of building a website from HTML or CSS and beyond.

They want a designer who understands basic search engine optimization along with techniques to grab customers from the web design to the interactive nature of the site. Employers will dig deep to find a candidate who not only has the creativity and design skills for an attractive site design but one who understands the foundation behind the choices.


This is the hardest part of starting out after school. You’re not going to have the references that an employer may want, so in this case, you’ll have to work your hardest to impress in other areas. Your portfolio needs to be impressive. The most important part of impressing the employer is with your communication skills and your understanding of the purpose beyond web design. Research the company before your interview to find out what they lack in terms of design presence. Talk about how you can fill the gaps.

Aside from the interview process, industry experts recommend having a LinkedIn presence online so that employers can get a broader sense of your personality and whether you’d fit into their company. They want a candidate who will fit in with the culture of the office. Make sure your LinkedIn profile is up-to-date and professional.

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