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Are You Prepared? Top Instructional Design Interview Questions


As an instructional designer, you want to tackle interviewing for your next job with the same rigor you apply to building a quality learning experience. Smart plan. You can start preparing by considering how you’ll answer some common instructional design interview questions.

Most interviewers will ask a combination of standard and behavioral interview questions. Their goal is not just to learn about you, but also to understand how you think about instructional design and handle challenges. 

While some of these questions should be easy to answer, others require some thoughtful reflection. We’ll give you some tips on where to start so you can shine in your next instructional design interview.

Common Instructional Design Interview Questions

These are the standard questions you should be prepared to answer in any instructional design interview. Theoretically, you could answer most of these questions off the top of your head. However, considering them ahead of time can help you clarify your thinking and make sure you hit all of the important points. Being able to clearly tell your career story can help you stand out

Just keep in mind that it’s possible to be too prepared. You shouldn’t memorize your planned responses word-for-word or prepare a script. Instead, you want to bring this information to the top of your mind so you can easily access it when asked. 

Questions about you and your background:

  • What is your background and experience in instructional design?
  • How do you keep up with developments and trends in the field?
  • What instructional design models or frameworks do you use and why?
  • What types of multimedia and technology do you incorporate into your instructional designs and why?
  • How do you use AI in your instructional design practice?

Questions about how you approach ID work:

  • What does your instructional design process typically look like? 
  • How do you decide which instructional strategies and methods to use for a given project?
  • How do you organize and track progress on your instructional design projects?
  • Can you provide an example of a project where you had to design instruction for a complex or technical topic?

Questions about how you collaborate: 

  • How do you collect and use feedback from stakeholders, subject matter experts, and end-users in your design process?
  • How do you make sure instructional materials are accessible and inclusive for all learners?
  • How do you communicate with members of the learning design team to keep everyone working toward common goals?

Answer these questions as specifically as possible. Use examples wherever you can and give enough detail so the interviewer can fully understand your philosophy and approach. 

Consider These Behavioral Interview Questions

Behavioral interview questions, questions based on how you acted in a specific situation, can feel more stressful if you’re not prepared for them. Rather than asking about your philosophy of learning or your process they ask you to give examples of real situations you’ve faced.

Interviewers expect your answers to these questions to be a little more in-depth. 

  • Share a time you designed instruction for a challenging topic. How did you approach it and what strategies did you use to make sure learners understood the information?
  • Describe a time when you worked with a difficult stakeholder or subject matter expert. How did you maintain a productive working relationship?
  • Can you recall a time when you had to design instruction for a diverse audience? How did you design accessible and inclusive experiences? How did you measure your success?
  • Recall a time when you received feedback from stakeholders or end-users and had to revise an existing learning experience. What changes did you make to the materials and why?
  • Tell me about a time you used a new-to-you technology or software for instructional design. How did you familiarize yourself with the technology and monitor results?
  • Give an example of how you managed multiple projects at the same time? How did you manage your time and meet deadlines?
  • Have you ever had to make a design decision that was outside of your comfort zone? How did you decide what to do? What were the results?

If you don’t have experience in all of these areas, answer with a closely related example. If that isn’t possible, be honest that you don’t have that experience but offer something relevant if you can. So if you’ve never had to revise an existing learning experience based on stakeholder feedback, you might consider other times you’ve applied feedback in your work.

Interviews Are A Conversation: Gather Vital Information

Candidates sometimes forget that interviews are a conversation. You should use this opportunity to evaluate the role and the organization. That’s how you decide if this is the right job for you. Don’t be so focused on giving the “right” answers that you forget to gather the information you need.

At some point, the interviewer should ask what questions you have for them. If you haven’t been asking questions throughout the conversation, this is your time to speak up. 

Questions You Can Ask Your Interviewer

  • How will the work I do in this role support the organization’s mission to…
  • I see you recently merged with/acquired/ partnered with [organization]. Where do you hope that partnership will take you?
  • What’s working in your current process and where do you see room for improvement?
  • How do you measure success in this role?
  • What is uniquely challenging about the specific audience you’re creating for? 
  • If you think back to some of the best instructional designers you’ve worked with, what did they do that made them so exceptional?

Notice that these questions go a lot deeper than “What’s your favorite thing about working here?” These more nuanced questions help you really understand the organization and its goals, while also showing that you are thinking critically about the role. 

There’s one more question you might want to ask, but this one doesn’t come until after the interview: What’s the status of my application? Before you ask that question, make sure you know the best way to follow up after an interview.

Of course, before you can interview, you need to apply. If you’re looking for your next Instructional Design role, Teamed can help. Fill out your Teammate profile and visit our Job Board to start or focus your job search.

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