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Common Interview Questions and Answers All Graphic Designers Should Know

Traditional publishing and printing may be on a steady decline, but the influx of digital media – from websites and apps to mobile advertising and even animation – make graphic design a promising career choice. Regardless of what you’re designing, you will come across a similar set of graphic design interview questions as you look to land a job.

Common interview questions for graphic designers focus on creativity, approach to the design, hard and soft skills, and of course, your portfolio. Here are a few graphic designer interview questions and answers to consider as you prepare to take the next step in your career.


Creative Graphic Design Interview Questions

Creativity is king in the realm of graphic design, and each designer has his or her own approach for taking a concept from idea to reality. Therefore, your potential employer will ask questions such as:

  • What are the first steps you take when starting a new project?
  • What happens if you encounter a creative block?
  • How do you meet deadlines, while ensuring your project is thorough and polished?
  • How long does it take you to deliver a final product?
  • How do you handle criticism?

To answer these graphic design job interview questions, walk your interviewer through your creative process. Emphasize your attention to detail and effective time management skills and be as specific as possible. For example, if you are designing a website, do you begin by sketching a mockup design? Also, when asked about criticism – an intrinsic part of graphic design – answer truthfully, but share how you are open to new ideas and delivering the best-possible final product.


graphic designer being interviewed


Skill-Based Interview Questions for Graphic Designers

Your interviewer will ask graphic design job interview questions on both your hard skills and soft skills. For hard skills, interviewers may ask:

  • What software program do you use on daily basis?
  • What is the extent of your computer or web programming knowledge?
  • With which design tools are you most experienced?
  • What types of resources do you rely on to keep up with the latest graphic design tools and trends?

Even if the employer uses a program unfamiliar to you, point out its similarities with your preferred tools. Also, convey your willingness to learn a new program and put in the required training to get up to speed. Soft skill questions include:

  • How do you solve problems?
  • What is your communication style?
  • How do you manage client relationships and collaborate with teams? (This is especially important if you are interviewing for an agency job.)

When answering soft skill questions, highlight your ability to work in a collaborative environment. Your answers will also give your interviewer an idea of how well you will fit in with the company’s culture and team dynamic.


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Portfolio Graphic Designer Job Interview Questions

Your portfolio is a key part of the interview process. Prepare your portfolio in advance, and ensure you include samples that are relevant to the types of projects you would be handling in this new position. As you share your portfolio, the interviewer may ask:

  • Which piece is your favorite? Why?
  • Which piece was the most challenging? Why?
  • Can you walk me through the steps you took to complete a particular project?
  • Why was (or wasn’t) this project a success?

As you answer these questions, it is important to exude a sense of pride in your work and confidence in your skill sets. You are the expert in your project, so explain your piece with clarity and enthusiasm. When possible, share tangible metrics of your project’s success. Did it bring in new sales revenue or generate leads? Also, frame your portfolio with two especially strong pieces, as they will leave the most lasting impact on your interviewer.


graphic designer holding his resume


Of course, your interviewer will cover some of the more standard, industry-agnostic interview questions, so be prepared for questions such as:

As with any other interview, answer these questions concisely and honestly, and share real-life examples to illustrate your points. Use your portfolio to back you up when possible.


Although the graphic design industry is evolving, the underlying talent, creativity, and skills required to succeeded remain the same. So, pick out your best designs for your portfolio, polish up on these graphic designer interview questions and answers, and nail your next interview.

by: Kristina Kelly, iHire
February 27, 2018

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