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To succeed at an interview for a graphic designer position, it’s important to think ahead about the questions you might be asked. 

In light of this, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most common graphic designer interview questions you should be ready to answer, and how to answer them. 

1- Why Have You Applied for the Position of Graphic Designer With Us, and Not With One of Our Competitors?

graphic design print portfolio
Source: pinterest.com

This is a common interview question, but also one that can be challenging to answer if you haven’t prepared a solid response. Answering this question correctly can make the difference between getting the job offer and being rejected. 

This question is important to most employers because they want to hire someone who believes in the company’s mission. The hiring managers also want to find someone who is a strong fit for the company and the position. 

That said, interviewers may use this question to set the tone of the conversation, meaning you’re likely to encounter this question in the early stages of the interview process. However, this question can also come up at the end of the interview as the hiring manager attempts to gauge your enthusiasm for joining the company after you’ve learned more about it. 

Tips for answering this question:

  • Demonstrate a genuine motivation to work for company X by thoroughly browsing their website to understand the company’s needs, recent developments, and future plans.
  • Show that you have a clear understanding of the company’s brand, reputation, and corporate values. 
  • Point out the suitable working environment, job location, flexible work schedule, and overall arrangement.
  • Emphasize that you’re capable of executing a variety of design projects, including branding, t-shirts, machines, websites, brochures, signage, advertisements, magazines, or whatever else the company may design. 
  • Support the above claim with your portfolio by drawing attention to examples of projects you’ve worked on. If you’d like to place your portfolio on your own website and you don’t have a domain name, ClientName.com is up for sale.

Expert Tip: Make it clear that the company you’re interviewing with is your first choice. 

2 – What Skills Do You Think Are Critical for Good Graphic Designers?

Every organization has different needs. However, there are some common skills hiring managers look for in graphic design candidates. Therefore, it’s important to understand which skills and qualifications are required for your specific job application. 

For instance, graphic designers need to have excellent Adobe Creative Suite skills, which emphasize Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign.

Moreover, the hiring manager will want to know if you possess critical soft skills such as time management, problem-solving, and communication skills. It’s important to note that soft skills are often the key differentiator between two seemingly equal candidates. 

Therefore, when answering this question, be sure to demonstrate how you put each skill into action. 

The table below outlines some must-have skills that you can share with your interviewer:

Skill Good For
Adobe Photoshop Photo manipulation
Adobe Illustrator Graphical illustration and logo design
Adobe InDesign Print designs
Sketch UX and UI design
Creativity Developing new ideas and original designs
Time management Delivering projects on time, multi-tasking and solving problems
Photography Promoting an understanding of design principles, marketing, branding, and visual communication

Photo retouching service

Communication Knowing how to explain graphic design work to non-designers and account for design choices
Typography Comprehending how fonts, numbers, letters, characters, and other text are used to create a design
Problem-solving Making adjustments to designs based on intended purpose
Social media Understanding technical requirements as well as trends in order to design better for different channels

Creativity is piercing the mundane to find the marvelous.” 

Bill Moyers

3 – How Do You Work With Collaborators Like Web Developers, Copywriters, Project Managers, and Other Team Members?

As a graphic designer, you need to have excellent teamwork and communication skills because you’ll be working and consulting with people in other departments. In fact, doing a good job or having creative ability isn’t as important as being a good team player.

With this in mind, teamwork is a priority for most employers, and this question aims to help hiring managers assess your experience and how well you’ll function as part of a diverse team.

Consequently, your answer should reflect your ability to work well with others. Besides knowing how to solve design problems, the interviewer will want to know how you handle criticism and how you incorporate constructive feedback into your final designs or output.

Tips for answering this question:

  • Emphasize that collaborating with others is an important part of your graphic design job.
  • Talk about your ability to collaborate on projects, share your ideas, listen to compromise, and seek advice to achieve the desired goal or solution. 
  • State that you believe you’re a good team player because you had no problem working with others during your previous employment. 
  • Clearly explain at least two team situations where you displayed your teamwork skills. 

For instance, you can talk about a time when you helped solve a design problem or challenge that struck the team. In other words, sharing a story from your past is a great way of communicating or demonstrating your strengths as a team member.

talk about your ability

4 – Where Do You Find Inspiration for Your Design Work?

The idea behind this question is that even the most creative or established graphic designers need someone to not only look up to, but to push their work forward. Graphic designers are constantly learning from the work of others.

Additionally, hiring managers use this question to determine how involved you are in the design community. They also want to know if you have an open mind and take inspiration from unlikely sources, or if you follow the same sources of inspiration as everyone else. 

Tips for answering this question:

  • First and foremost, be sure to show your passion for graphic design. 
  • Talk about things or people that spark creativity within you or what motivates you, whether it’s what you see, your own imagination, quotes, art books, the work of your go-to graphic designers, or where you go when you’re stuck.

    For example, you can touch on how you get inspired by quotes that remind you of why you’re a graphic designer in the first place.
  • Talk about something deeper that tells the interviewer how you get unstuck, and why you do what you do.
  • Talk about how your unique sources of inspiration inform your work, especially in relation to specific graphic design projects you’ve undertaken. 

5 – Tell Me About a Time When You Had to Juggle Two Projects at Once 

There’s rarely a time when graphic designers are only focusing on one client or one project. Consequently, the hiring team may ask this question to get a sense of how you manage priorities and work under pressure, or how you stay organized. 

In other words, this question allows the interviewing team to learn about your strengths and weaknesses in terms of organization, time-management, and prioritization skills.

Therefore, you need to be able to prove to the interview panel that you’re capable of multitasking and making quick adjustments as your workflow demands. 

Most importantly, your answers should be backed up with concrete examples of how you have handled multiple projects effectively and efficiently in the past. 

Tips for answering this question:

  • Clearly explain your task prioritization process to the interviewing team.
  • Share how you use a to-do list in your work and how you assign low, mid, or high priority to each task on your list. 
  • If you tend to take care of the simpler, less time-consuming projects early in the day or later, after you’ve completed the more difficult project that requires more time, be sure to explain your rationale.
  • Mention how you create a timeline to help you keep everything on track.
  • If you tend to ask your superiors which task is most important or which should be done first, be sure to share that with your interviewer.
  • Describe the impact your ability to juggle multiple projects at once had on the company or teams you’ve worked with before.

Expert Tip: Being unable to share a specific situation when you handled multiple projects successfully may indicate a lack of this invaluable skill and also make you lose credibility.

How to Write a Graphic Designer Resume That Gets You Noticed

As competition for graphic design jobs grows, a vague, uninspiring resume just won’t cut it. Consequently, an effective resume is highly important in your quest to find a graphic designer job. 

At Small Revolution, we offer a course known as the Anatomy of a Winning Resume. This course aims at helping both experienced and novice job seekers master the tips, tricks, and hacks of writing a winning resume. 

Visit our website to enroll or learn more about our online courses.

Resumes, the stuff that dream jobs are made of”

Pinterest.

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Small Revolution

I'm Katrina McKinnon, founder of CopySmiths and Small Revolution. I'm using my 20 years' experience in building and operating online businesses to create engaging educational materials that helps others become successful online workers. Find me on LinkedIn and Twitter.