interior design

What to look out for when hiring a candidate in the Interior Design Industry

Which qualities and skills should a prospective interior designer possess? What you look for in a designer will depend on your firm’s specific needs. There are, however, some standard traits of interior designers to look out for. Here’s a list of 8 things to evaluate in your interior design candidates.

Diverse Portfolio

Designers with diverse portfolios show they understand a variety of design styles. While it’s important for interior designers to hone in on their own style, it’s also essential they be able to adapt to the preferences and needs of their clients.

Solid candidates will have projects influenced by both trendy design styles like Minimalist or Scandinavian as well as niche styles like Shabby Chic. If they can put together so many projects, then they can pull off whatever design challenge you have to throw at them.

Continuing Education

Look for clues that the designer is staying current on the latest developments in the field. Or look for a demonstrated desire to improve their skills. Extra certifications or online courses are an obvious way to show this.

Another tell that a candidate aims to progress in their field is what they read, watch, or listen to related to design. Ask prospective designers who or what they follow in the industry and which sources of interior design media appeal to them the most.


Bold designers are readily apparent from their work. You know a candidate is not afraid to take some chances and push the envelope if their portfolio is full of striking design projects. Boldness is an important characteristic because it speaks to a designer who’s both willing to progress and undaunted by failure.

A designer who understands that their work won’t be appreciated by everyone and strives for the utmost to fulfil their client’s vision is the designer you want on your team.


Leadership and cooperation with others aren’t qualities limited to interior design candidates – every industry looks for these skills! For designers in particular, leadership and team collaboration can be integral, especially if your firm does many team-based projects.

Remember not to stay solely focussed on design qualities. Successful interior designers must also be organised, coordinated, and communicative. These skills matter for working with other designers as well as with clients directly.

Embracing New Ideas

Like boldness, an openness to new ideas and technologies is essential for an ever-changing field like interior design. Designers who fail to incorporate new trends in their design style will fall behind and end up disappointing their clients.

Additionally, new technologies that aid designers in their work improve every day. Look for candidates who show a willingness to adapt to new technology – this is another important aspect of being a lifelong learner in the field of interior design.

Good Listener

Like leadership, the ability to listen and empathise with others is a fundamental non-design skill. Most designers will have to listen to their clients, understand their needs, and develop a plan. Designers who don’t know how to listen effectively won’t have repeat clients.

An empathetic listener is also the sign of someone who’s willing to learn. They’d rather hear the ideas and input of others than spend all their time talking. This sort of openness is a desirable trait for any design field.


Adaptability is one of the most important qualities of an interior designer. From the initial concept phase through to the final product, there’s a small chance everything will go exactly as planned. Clients may change their minds, budgets may be readjusted, or a myriad of small details that affect the overall design. Look for candidates with a demonstrated ability to adapt to such challenges.

Creative Problem Solving

Finally, good interior designers have wicked problem-solving skills. The creativity to come up with unique solutions is tied up with flexibility. If a designer truly is flexible, it’s because they’re able to solve problems quickly. In a design field like this one, creativity should be highly valued.

Final Thoughts on the Right Traits for Interior Design Candidates

When it’s time to hire an interior designer, you may have the perfect candidate in mind. Since the perfect candidate doesn’t come along every day, though, you should instead parse out the specific skills and traits that make a prospective designer worthwhile. That way, you can readily evaluate job seekers who fit most of your desired profile.

At M&Y Interiors, a group of interior designers in North London, we value the qualities listed here in our team members. With our years of experience, we’ve found that bold, empathetic, creative problem-solvers with a diverse portfolio and knack for adaptability make the best interior designers to work with.

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