Interviewing questions for graphic designers vary from those often asked of job candidates in other career fields. Designers represent their skills when sharing the visual content they’ve created.
In many ways, a graphic designer “professionally lives or dies” by the quality and scope of projects they’re worked on throughout their careers. This why is why interviewing graphic designers is much more of a show and tell event.
Unlike other job roles, such as sales or network administrators, graphic designers provide a portfolio that reflects their work that could also include client testimonials, case studies, letters of recommendation, links to social media, or other portfolio resources that reflect more of the designer’s work.
This could be a print portfolio, yet graphic designers prefer using online portfolio sites, such as Behance, Wix, Dribble, and others.
Career building in this field has grown in popularity, as some graphic designers get near-celebrity status for their work.
Using an online service provider can make updating your portfolio less of a monster. Portfolios can range from simple and silly to interactive and intricate. Building a body of work for graphic designers can get made of many twists and turns, making an online portfolio great for categorizing and grouping projects by theme.
Indeed, graphic design is used to describe many types, including those used for advertising and marketing, software, product packaging, editorial (e.g., magazines, books), and so on.
These different uses mean there are many design specialties, including:
- Visual Corporate Branding
The First Interview Question to Expect
When interviewing a graphic designer, often the questions begin with, “Do you have a link to a portfolio of your work that I can take a look at?”
Of course, this is presuming the interviewer hasn’t viewed the job candidate’s work already, before stepping into the interview room.
By the time the job candidate steps into the room, chances are the interviewer already has some understanding as to their skill and experience level.
What most interviewers seek answers for as they gear up to ask interview questions just like those below, are:
What’s this designer’s personality and professional level?
Will this job candidate be a positive fit for the existing team?
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Sample Interview Questions for Graphic Designers
- Talk about your experience producing visual designs, from concept to production.
- Tell me what excites you about design?
- How do you go about understanding your client’s business problems and identifying how to explore solutions through your designs?
- What are the steps you take in putting together a project proposal?
- Tell me about your process. For example, what research do you conduct before you begin the design process?
- What software do you prefer for creating sketches?
- How do you establish a more holistic perspective for clients to help them understand strategy as it impacts their business?
- How often do you take on a project that involves learning a new program, language, or technology?
- Have you used Agile (or other) methods throughout the development and implementation of a project?
- What other design or support professionals do you collaborate with; e.g., social media strategists, copywriters, website developers?
- Talk about a time when you had a creative conflict with a client. What was the issue and what resulted?
- How do you handle conflict with a creative director?
- Have you ever had to quit a job or fire a client? If yes, what were the employment circumstances that brought you to that decision?
- What do you think are the warning signs of a potentially difficult client?
- How many years of experience do you have using Adobe Creative Suite, InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator?
What Designers Should Also Talk About in Job Interviews
Knowing exactly what interview questions to expect can be tricky because interviewers like to shake things up. However, there are some questions you can almost guarantee to be asked.
Have you won awards or received some sort of recognition on a local, state, or nation-wide level? Hiring managers want to learn about how unique you and your work are. If you haven’t won any awards, don’t worry. Instead, highlight your best and most complex projects.
Hiring managers also want to hire creatives who’ve produced works for major employers.
When giving your answers, highlight the most well-known clients you’ve worked with. Also, provide a breakdown of employer industries you’ve supported, including consumer products, retail, financial services, banking, insurance, manufacturing, chemical, and so on.
What’s Next & Career Outlook
Graphic designers were accustomed to working as contract workers and telecommuting, long before COVID-19 reared its ugly head.
The biggest change to the industry comes from states wanting to put a stop to employers who prefer hiring contract workers instead of employees in an effort to save money.
California was one of the first to change its law to could inevitably put a kink into the growth of the gig economy.
This means graphic designers who take on client projects without being on an employer’s payroll could find themselves in a predicament especially when they’re located in one of the affected states.
Unlike other job roles, such as mechanical engineers, graphic designers are expected to see jobs decline as we approach 2029, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
The shrinking number of open jobs could shift job seekers from seeking a design career.
Making matters worse, interview questions for graphic designers could also shift as more hiring employers find themselves in the position to cherry-pick the best employees because there’s a “surplus of inventory.” :/