10 Instructional Design Interview Questions and Answers for content designers

flat art illustration of a content designer

1. What drew you to instructional design?

What drew me to instructional design was the opportunity to have a measurable impact on learners. I've always been fascinated by how people learn and retain information, and I wanted to use that fascination to help others succeed.

In my previous role as an instructional designer at ACME Corporation, I was responsible for creating a training program for new sales associates that resulted in a 25% increase in sales within the first quarter of implementation. This success proved to me that instructional design can truly make a difference in the success of a company.

  1. Increased employee engagement and satisfaction
  2. Improved productivity and efficiency
  3. Reduced errors and safety incidents
  4. Enhanced customer satisfaction and loyalty

I firmly believe that instructional design is a critical component of any organization that wants to achieve these benefits, and I'm excited to continue making a positive impact through my work.

2. What experience do you have with different designing tools and software?

In my previous job as an Instructional Designer at XYZ company, I have had the opportunity to work with a range of designing tools and software. My proficiency primarily lies in using Adobe Captivate for creating interactive eLearning modules, Articulate Storyline 360 for designing custom templates, and Camtasia for producing high-quality video-based training content.

During my tenure, I designed and developed a course on cybersecurity awareness for a leading financial institution, which was adopted by all employees. The use of engaging graphics, simulations, and gamification elements, created using Adobe Captivate, resulted in a 40% increase in course completion rate and a 15% decrease in security breaches reported by the company.

Additionally, I designed an onboarding program for a large healthcare organization using Articulate Storyline 360. The customization of the program's templates based on the organization's brand guidelines, coupled with interactive and scenario-based learning, resulted in a 50% reduction in onboarding time and an increase in new employee satisfaction by 25%.

Lastly, I used Camtasia to create a series of video tutorials for a technology company's internal knowledge base. The videos were highly effective in reducing the number of support tickets raised by users, resulting in a 30% reduction in the company's support costs.

Overall, my wide-ranging experience with designing tools and software, coupled with my ability to create engaging and effective learning content has helped me excel in the field of Instructional Design and produce commendable results.

3. Can you describe a project where you had to research a complex topic and translate it into an easy-to-understand instructional format?

During my time as an Instructional Designer at ABC Company, I was tasked with creating a training program about Cybersecurity Awareness for our employees. This was a complex topic that required extensive research, as well as the ability to translate technical information into easily understandable language.

To begin, I conducted research on the latest cybersecurity threats and best practices. Upon completion, I organized my findings into an outline that covered the following topics:

  1. What is Cybersecurity?
  2. Types of Cybersecurity Threats
  3. Best Practices for Staying Secure Online
  4. What to do in the event of a Cybersecurity Breach

From there, I created a storyboard and collaborated with subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and relevance in the content. Additionally, I decided to include interactive elements such as quizzes and real-world scenarios to help employees retain the information more effectively.

After the training program was launched, we conducted a survey to assess its effectiveness. The results were overwhelmingly positive, with over 90% of respondents reporting an increase in their understanding of cybersecurity best practices. Overall, this project demonstrated my ability to research complex topics and translate it into an easy-to-understand instructional format, resulting in tangible success for the organization.

4. How do you create content that is both engaging and educational?

When creating content, I always start by determining the learners' needs and objectives. I ensure that my content is relevant to them and addresses their pain points. Next, I incorporate interactive elements such as videos, animations, quizzes, and simulations to make the content more engaging.

  1. One example of my success came from a training program I developed for a client company. Their team productivity was low, with an average of 50% missed deadlines. After implementing my training program, we saw a 30% increase in team productivity, with only 15% of missed deadlines.
  2. Another strategy I utilize is storytelling. By aligning the content with a relatable narrative, I make it easier for learners to understand and apply the concepts. In a training program for a sales team, we used storytelling to explain the scenario and various objections they could encounter when pitching their product, and we saw a 20% increase in sales revenue within the first month.

In summary, creating engaging and educational content requires a deep understanding of the learners' needs and objectives. Incorporating interactive elements and aligning the content with a relatable narrative can go a long way in increasing the learners' engagement and retention.

5. What are your preferred methods for collaborating with subject matter experts?

As an instructional designer, one of the most important aspects of creating effective learning materials is collaborating with subject matter experts (SMEs) to ensure accuracy and relevance. Some of my preferred methods for collaborating with SMEs include:

  1. Initial meeting - In this stage, I conduct a virtual or physical meeting with the SME(s) to understand the project requirements, expectations, and timelines. I provide an overview of my approach, and together we define goals and objectives of the project. For instance, in my previous role, I collaborated with a law firm's managing partner to develop an interactive online course aimed at educating clients on key employment laws.
  2. Regular check-ins - Once we start the project, I schedule periodic check-ins to review our progress, get feedback and ensure that we are on the same page. This helped me to identify and address potential problems early on and avoid redoing work after completion.
  3. Shared document collaboration - During the development phase, I often use shared documents for content development with SMEs, to ease information-sharing, and to reduce emailing back and forth. Sharing documents on platforms like Google Docs or Microsoft Teams has proven to be time-saving and efficient for me.
  4. Peer review - After the development stage, I’ll often get feedback from peers to ensure that our content flows logically and smoothly. Peer review keeps the project moving forward and furthers collaboration with my fellow instructional designers

By using these methods, I’ve been able to successfully collaborate with SMEs on a project that resulted in a 10% increase in sales of a software training course, due to significantly higher student satisfaction rates.

6. Can you describe how you adapt your content for different types of learners?

Adapting content for different types of learners is a crucial part of my instructional design work. One way that I do this is by creating multiple versions of the same content that use different learning styles, such as visual aids, audio clips, and interactive activities. For example, in a recent project, I designed an online course for a company that wanted to train their employees on a new software program.

  • For visual learners, I created a series of videos that demonstrated how to use the software step by step.
  • For auditory learners, I included audio clips that explained key concepts and provided tips for using the software effectively.
  • For kinesthetic learners, I designed interactive activities that required them to practice using the software and receive feedback on their performance.

To measure the effectiveness of these different approaches, I conducted a pre- and post-assessment survey of the participants. The results showed that all three versions of the content led to significant improvements in their knowledge and skills related to the software program, but the interactive activities were particularly effective for kinesthetic learners.

Overall, my approach to adapting content for different types of learners is data-driven and flexible. I believe in experimenting with different strategies and materials until I find the ones that work best for each situation.

7. How do you ensure the information you're presenting is accurate and up to date?

Ensuring information accuracy is crucial in my field of work. I implement the following measures to keep my content accurate and up-to-date:

  1. Research: Before creating any module, I conduct extensive research on the topic. I use credible sources such as educational journals, books, and peer-reviewed articles. My research process includes identifying the author's credentials, publication dates, and cross-referencing my findings.

  2. Collaboration: Collaboration ensures that the information I present is accurate and relevant to the intended audience. I collaboratively work with subject matter experts, stakeholders, and instructional designers to ensure every piece of information is accurate.

  3. Revision and Editing: I proofread and edit content to weed out any errors. I use tools such as Grammarly and Hemingway to spot grammatical and spelling errors. I also double-check all facts and statistics to ensure they are up to date.

  4. Student Feedback: I regularly seek feedback from students to ensure that the information I deliver is relevant, and the students grasp the intended concepts. I use this feedback to make the necessary adjustments deemed necessary to improve the content's accuracy.

By implementing these measures, my content has minimal errors, and students have found it helpful. According to a survey I conducted in the last quarter, 95% of students found my modules accurate and relevant.

8. What challenges have you faced in the past when designing instructional content?

During my time designing instructional content for a large corporation, I encountered a challenge in ensuring that the content was accessible to all learners, including those with disabilities. After conducting research and consulting with experts, I implemented changes such as providing captions and transcripts for video content and designing materials with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines in mind.

  1. Challenge: Limited Engagement
  2. Solution: To overcome this issue, I developed a game-based approach to learning, which included interactive quizzes, simulations, and puzzles. As a result, our learners reported an increase in satisfaction and engagement.

  3. Challenge: Accommodating Different Learning Styles
  4. Solution: I conducted a needs assessment among the learners, and identified their learning styles. Based on the results, I created instructional content that catered to different learning preferences, such as visual aids, audio recordings, and hands-on activities.

  5. Challenge: Keeping Pace with Technological Advances
  6. Solution: I conducted regular research to keep up with the latest trends in instructional design technology. I attended conferences, participated in webinars, and collaborated with other professionals in the field. As a result, I was able to introduce new tools and techniques that enhanced the learning experience for our employees.

In conclusion, I believe that through careful planning, innovation, and collaboration, any challenge can be overcome in the field of instructional design. My experience has equipped me with a diverse skill set which enables me to create engaging, accessible, and effective instructional content for learners of all kinds.

9. How do you stay current on industry trends and best practices?

As an Instructional Designer, I believe that staying current with industry trends and best practices is crucial for success. To stay current, I use a variety of resources such as online courses, professional associations, and social media.

  1. Online Courses: I regularly take online courses on platforms such as Coursera and LinkedIn Learning. Completing courses on various topics such as gamification, microlearning, and e-learning helps me learn new skills and stay up-to-date with emerging trends in the industry.

  2. Professional Associations: I am an active member of the Association for Talent Development and attend their workshops, webinars and conferences. Attending these events helps me network, learn about new technologies and industry trends, and gather ideas for instructional strategies.

  3. Social Media: I follow industry leaders and organizations on social media platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter. I regularly read their articles, blogs and posts to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies. I also participate in industry-based chats, which provides me with the opportunity to discuss different topics with industry peers and learn from their experiences.

By staying current with industry trends and best practices, I can create engaging and effective instructional programs for learners. In my previous role, I implemented microlearning modules for compliance training, and the results showed that learners completed the training faster and retained the information better compared to previous methods. This demonstrated that staying current with trends and implementing them in my work has a positive impact on both learner engagement and knowledge retention.

10. Can you give an example of a time you worked on a project that required cross-functional collaboration?

During my time at XYZ Corporation, we were tasked with creating an e-learning module to train our sales team on a new product line. As the Instructional Designer on the project, I worked closely with the project manager, the sales team leads, and subject matter experts from the product team.

  1. First, we held a kickoff meeting to establish goals and timelines. During this meeting, I asked the sales team leads to provide key performance indicators (KPIs) that they hoped to achieve with the training.
  2. Next, I met with the subject matter experts to gain a deep understanding of the products and determine the most important information to include in the training.
  3. Then, I drafted a storyboard that included accurate product information, assessments, and interactive activities that aligned with the KPIs we had identified.
  4. The sales team leads provided feedback on the storyboard and we made revisions together to ensure it met their needs and was engaging for the learners.
  5. Once the storyboard was approved, I worked with our graphic designer and instructional technology specialist to bring the e-learning module to life with engaging visuals and interactive elements.
  6. Throughout the project, I facilitated regular check-ins with everyone involved to ensure we stayed on track and kept communication flowing.
  7. At the end of the project, we launched the e-learning module to the entire sales team and saw an improvement in KPIs, including an increase in overall product knowledge and a bump in sales rates for the product line.

This project taught me the importance of cross-functional collaboration and communication in developing successful training programs. By bringing together different teams and expertise, we were able to create an effective, engaging e-learning module that achieved our goals and had a measurable impact on our sales team’s performance.


Congratulations on making it through the 10 instructional design interview questions and answers in 2023! Now that you've got a good handle on what to expect in an interview, it's time to take the next steps in your job search. Don't forget to write a cover letter that showcases your skills and experience. Our guide on writing a cover letter for content designers can give you some great tips and examples to get started. You also want to make sure your resume stands out from the competition. Check out our guide on writing a resume for content designers to help you create an impressive CV. At Remote Rocketship, we've got you covered for your content design job search. Our remote content designer job board features a wide range of opportunities from top companies. Start browsing today to find your dream job in instructional design!

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