Duolingo is the most popular language-learning app in the world, and we’re dedicated to our mission to make high-quality learning accessible to everyone on the planet.
Our product designers are passionate about creating learner-centric experiences that make studying a new language delightful. We’re here to walk you through the interview process for product design roles because we believe in setting candidates up for success! Visit our careers page to see all current openings.
What to expect when you interview
The first two stages of our process are pretty typical. First, our recruiters go through all of the submitted portfolios, and certain candidates move forward to a brief chat with one of our recruiters. They will ask questions to better understand your background, your skillset, and your interest in Duolingo. Additionally, your recruiter will be your main point of contact throughout the full interview process—so as questions arise, feel free to go directly to them.
The rest of the process happens in two phases: a video interview with the hiring manager and an virtual “onsite” with several components. We’ll outline the various aspects of the onsite interview below, and your recruiter will outline the full process with you and answer any questions!
Types of onsite interview sessions
The purpose of the presentation is for all interviewers to get an overview of your background as well as an introductory understanding of how your skills are aligned to the capabilities we’re evaluating. These capabilities include: using research and data to work towards solutions, designing for holistic user experiences, understanding layout, typography, and visual polish, working within specific constraints, among others.
We recommend walking us through 1 to 2 study cases you have worked on from start to finish in presentation format. You can choose the platform you use to present (i.e. Figma, Keynote, or Google Slides) as long as you’re not presenting directly from your portfolio.
Time allotted: 30 minutes (candidate presentation); 15 minutes (Q&A)
This is a virtual, technical interview with a designer in Figma. Think of it as whiteboarding via Figma—equal parts critique and review, to demonstrate your ability to critique work and think through design on-the-fly.
Time allotted: 45 minutes
You’ll have this conversational interview with a Product Manager Design Program Manager so that we can understand your collaboration and feedback style. This interview will contain mostly behavioral questions and prompts about past work environments and how you’ve collaborated with other teams and stakeholders.
Time allotted: 30 minutes
Critical thinking and process
At Duolingo, we believe a clear, effective process can transform work for the better. This is a one-on-one conversation with a Product Design Lead that seeks to understand how you can leverage process and past experience in the workplace. This is also a behavioral-style interview which would include hypothetical scenarios related to design thinking.
Time allotted: 30 minutes
By this stage, you will have had multiple check-ins with the hiring manager, so this time is used to recap and ask additional questions about the role or management style. The hiring manager may have a few final questions, too!
Time allotted: 30 minutes
Preparing for your interview
- Know your goals: Consider what's important to you in a job, what you'd like to see in a work environment, how you partner with colleagues and managers, and what you'd like to avoid. Thinking about these things ahead of time will guide the questions you ask Duos about their experience!
- Prepare your space for video interviews: Make sure you’re in a quiet location with a good internet connection for video interviews.
- Practice your presentation: We recommend running through all presentations (your project, take-home task, or portfolio) in advance. This will help you have a good sense of timing and flow.
- Get some background: A little research will give you context for how our teams work and spark ideas for questions you can ask. You may want to check out design-related posts on our blog or our design account on Instagram, and download and try our iOS or Android apps. (But we won’t quiz you on your knowledge of Duolingo or your language skills!) We also recommend this article, which chronicles a recent redesign of the app and our mascot, Duo.
- Let the recruiter know if you need any specific accommodations: We want you to be able to perform at your best!
During your interview
- Think out loud: Share your reasoning with the interviewer. We are interested in how you approach a problem.
- Work with your interviewer: We are not here to trick you! Feel free to ask for clarity on a question and take the time you need to think through answers.
- Ask clarifying questions: Make sure you fully understand the question and that you’re not enlarging the scope of the problem.
- Make your role clear: When presenting your project, be explicit about your contributions—for example, say “I did this” not “we did this.”
We are always looking for talented and passionate product designers to join Duolingo – apply today!