Nine design interview questions and example answers

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 8 July 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

If you're looking for a new design role, you can prepare for interviews by practising answers to some common questions. During the interview process, the hiring team may also ask you to complete a practical project to demonstrate your skills, such as following a brief, designing a logo or putting together an advertisement so they can understand your thought process and assess your expertise. Although you won't know the interview questions in advance, it can be helpful to prepare relevant information you would like to share. In this article, we explore nine design interview questions to help you prepare.

Examples of design interview questions

Here are some design interview questions and answers to help you prepare for an interview:

1. Where do you find inspiration?

Here, the interviewer is assessing who or what influences your designs and whether it matches the company's style. They may also want to know if you keep up with current trends. Talk about the people, companies, concepts and ideas that inspire you and where you find them. You can also tailor this question to the company. For example, you can mention designers you like that have a similar style to the company.

Example: ‘I like to be proactive when finding inspiration, as it's a significant factor in my creative process. I use a variety of platforms to follow designers who inspire me and also browse magazines, industry-specific publications, books and even films. I've found that inspiration can come from the most unexpected places, such as a walk in the woods, and even though I know and follow a core set of designers, I also try to expand my awareness'.

2. Please share a project you are most proud of and why

Talking about your previous experience and projects is a great way to showcase your expertise. Before the interview, make a list of projects you're proud of and want to share. Be specific regarding the details of the project and what your responsibilities were. In particular, mention any specific duties you had that are similar to the job description of this new role, as this can show you are a suitable candidate for the role.

Example: ‘In my previous role, I was involved in a website design project for accountants, in which I managed four different freelancers spread across graphic design, web development and marketing. The output was successful, and we received positive feedback from the client. I learned a lot about managing a group of different people and applying my leadership skills to solve internal conflicts'.

3. Please tell me about your portfolio

It's helpful to highlight examples from your portfolio that are relevant or similar to the kinds of projects indicated in the job description. If you designed your own portfolio, now is the time to share the reasons behind your selections. This is also a good place to share your process of logically organising information.

Example: ‘My portfolio shows my skills in recording and editing videos. I've included recent work that I think captures the essence of the client's brief. This project, in particular, shows my technical skills in adding animation to videos while also clearly expressing the nature of the client's products'.

Related: How to make a digital portfolio and tips for success

4. What systems and software do you use?

This is the time to mention any specific skills you have that match the job's description. It's also a good opportunity to talk about any additional skills you might have, such as animating, illustrating and video editing. If you recently learned a skill, explain why and how you learned it. Before the interview, find out what skills the company is looking for and highlight them in your answers.

Example: ‘I'm most comfortable working with graphic design systems and have experience with several platforms. As I am currently freelancing, I've learned to adapt swiftly to clients' requests. Recent platforms I've worked with include InDesign and Photoshop'.

5. How do you respond to feedback?

Responding well to feedback can improve your work and your relationships with colleagues. Describe a specific occasion in which your work was subjected to feedback. Try to strike a balance in your answer between believing in your work and being receptive to feedback. Detail the specific actions you took and the results they had.

Example: ‘I actively seek feedback for my work, as previous experience has taught me that when I receive more feedback, the outcome of the project is much more successful. I work best with constructive feedback that includes clear goals. I also aim to explain the reasons behind my designs to provide additional context'.

6. Tell me about a project that required communication with people from different teams

As a designer, you may work across multiple teams and departments. This question allows you to express your skills in collaboration and teamwork. Share a specific project in which you interacted with many people and how you learned to work with those who have different working styles. Be sure to describe the role and the responsibilities you've had.

Example: ‘I was a graphic designer on a product launch project that included people from marketing, supply chain and product design. I worked from a brief that the client produced, and I adapted to the feedback from the marketing department. Because the stock for the product arrived earlier than expected, the supply chain team requested an early launch. I adapted to the new timeline and delivered the work on time'.

Related: Teamwork skills: definition, types and tips for improvement

7. How do you organise your time for a design project?

Here, the interviewer is gauging your organisational skills and your ability to manage multiple priorities. It can be helpful before an interview to think of a few examples to give of occasions on which you managed your time successfully to work to a deadline. Now is the time to explain any specific organisational strategies you have, such as making lists or using the software. This shows the interviewer you have the necessary skills for successful time management.

Example: 'Recently, I was involved in a project that had three deadlines in one day. I made sure to schedule certain milestones in advance to help stay on track and communicate with my manager if I encountered any challenges or delays. Every day, I prioritised four key tasks, as I found that strategy helped keep me focused on priorities. I ended up meeting the deadlines with time to spare'.

Related: What are organisational skills? (Types and examples)

8. Talk me through your creative process

Here, the interviewer is looking to understand how you work and whether your working style fits with the style of their team. Explain how you approach a brief, how you handle changes from the client, how you work in a team and whether you prefer to lead or follow someone else. Try to answer honestly to determine whether you may thrive with the company or if they work in a different way to you. It is a good opportunity to discover the company's creative process.

Example: ‘I start by asking the client questions about any clarifications they may need and confirm their expectations. I like to sketch a timeline in advance and mark the milestones in my diary. If I'm working as part of a team, I begin by getting to know the others and discussing our contributions. Previous experience has shown me how important it is to have regular communication with the client, so I check in with them throughout the process'.

9. How do you hand over a project?

The handover of a project influences its success and future actions. Having a clear handover strategy that you can discuss and reference can bolster the interviewer's confidence in you being the person for the role. Explain the way you save files, how you organise files for future use, what your naming strategies are and how much time you allot to a handover. You can also share a specific project handover and what you did to ensure it was successful.

Example: ‘I typically allot at least half of the day to hand over a project and cover any last-minute questions. I save all the files with a logical naming process and write a handover document that summarises what I've done and the reasons behind my strategy. I also leave my contact details for any future queries'.

Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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