Common designer interview questions (with example answers)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 19 August 2022 | Published 25 June 2021

Updated 19 August 2022

Published 25 June 2021

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 have an upcoming designer interview, you may consider preparing for common interview questions. Understanding what hiring managers typically ask during an interview can help you get ready to answer confidently and thoughtfully. It can also help you make a positive first impression, which may get you hired. In this article, we explore the most commonly asked interview questions in design interviews and learn methods you can use to answer them.

General designer interview questions

Here are a few general questions a hiring manager may ask you in a designer interview:

  • Tell me about yourself.

  • Why did you leave your last design position?

  • What types of creative activities do you like to do in your free time?

  • What do you most enjoy about working in a creative field?

  • Can you describe your strengths and how you might apply them in this role?

  • What are a few design skills you have that you'd like to improve?

  • What made you decide to become a designer?

  • What are your design career goals?

  • Where do you see yourself in five years? How about in 10 years?

  • What's your dream job?

While these questions may be easy to answer, thinking about what you might say before the interview can help you prepare a confident response. Answering confidently can also ensure you're making a positive first impression, which may motivate a company to give you the job for which you're applying.

Related: Interview question: "tell me about yourself"

Designer interview questions related to education and experience

In the next part of a designer interview, a hiring manager may ask you in-depth questions to learn about your design education as well as your experience in the design field. These questions might include:

  • What's your educational background? Did you attend design school?

  • Tell me about your favourite piece in your portfolio. How did you design it?

  • Tell me about your previous design positions. What were your main responsibilities?

  • Which designers inspire you? How has their work influenced your design style?

  • Tell me about a challenge you encountered at work. What did you do to overcome it?

  • Why are you interested in this particular design position?

  • Are you currently pursuing professional development?

  • Tell me about a time when you collaborated effectively on a design project.

  • Do you specialise in a particular type of design? If so, what motivated you to choose that speciality?

  • Why do you want to work here?

Related: How do you answer the question: "why do you want to work here?"

Designer-specific interview questions

Designer interviews often include questions that are specifically about art and design. Some of these questions might include:

  • How do you plan a successful design project?

  • Tell me about your leadership experience. For example, have you led a design team?

  • Have you trained design employees in the past? If so, tell me about how you plan training activities.

  • What kinds of problems do you often encounter working in the design field, and how do you typically solve them?

  • If you work on a project that requires you to learn new design skills, what methods might you use to obtain those skills?

  • Tell me about a time when you received criticism from a client about a design. How did you adapt your project to meet the needs of the client?

  • Tell me about your time management experience. How do you ensure you and your team complete design projects on time?

  • Tell me about a design project that you've worked on that you feel proud of, and explain why you feel proud of it.

  • Have you ever delegated a design project? How did you prepare your colleague for success with the project?

  • What's your experience doing freelance work or working with freelancers in the design field?

Related: What is delegation? (including types and benefits)

Technical designer interview questions

In the next part of your interview, the hiring manager may ask you technical questions. It's helpful to consider your responses carefully to ensure you provide answers that show your practical expertise. The technical questions an interviewer asks you might include:

  • What types of software do you use to create your designs?

  • Do you have experience with AutoCAD?

  • What is your experience with Adobe InDesign?

  • What are some key aspects of designing in your particular niche?

  • Tell me about an occasion when you evaluated a prototype and it needed a redesign. What did you do to ensure the project went smoothly?

  • What types of design aesthetics do you typically incorporate into your work?

  • How do you see the design industry changing in the future?

  • How do you collaborate with the marketing and sales teams after you finish a project?

  • Tell me about a time when you worked directly with a client to design a project.

  • How would you explain colour theory to a client who might not be a design expert?

Related: How to answer 'Are you a team player?' in an interview

Questions to ask the interviewer in a designer interview

At the end of a design interview, you may have an opportunity to ask a few questions of your own. Asking the right questions can reveal more about the job duties, which may help you determine whether the role is right for you. Before your interview, you can prepare a few key questions you'd like to ask the hiring manager. Consider asking the following questions:

  • What are the advancement opportunities for this position?

  • What types of projects do designers typically work on at this company?

  • What project is the design team currently working on at this company?

  • Does this position offer any training programmes that I could attend to continue my professional development?

  • How large is the design team at this company?

  • What kinds of clients does the design team typically work with, and does the company have a main client?

  • What kinds of benefits does the company offer to designers?

  • What is the salary for this position and how might it adjust as my skills increase?

Related: 33 examples of questions for the end of an interview

Design interview questions and how to answer them

Here are a few questions a hiring manager may ask you in a design interview. You can use the example answers below to help you prepare your own answer:

"What design aesthetic inspires you most, and how does it affect your work?"

An interviewer might ask this question to learn about your style as a designer and determine your experience working with specific styles. You can use your answer to this question to show your personality and passion for design, which may influence your target employer to give you a job.

Example: I love the Art Deco style that was popular during the 1920s in America. It definitely impacts my design style. I often try to incorporate this aesthetic when I'm creating new designs by using bold lines, bright colours and long, elegant figures.

"Have you trained design interns or junior designers? If so, how did you support your trainees?"

This question aims to reveal your experience leading teams and mentoring employees. This is your opportunity to demonstrate to the interviewer that you're a supportive and collaborative employee who often helps junior colleagues.

Example: I've supported junior colleagues on a few occasions before and I enjoyed the relationship we built. I supported them by organising fun training events. During these training events, I taught my colleagues about the company's design style, which gave them the tools they needed to work independently on future projects.

Related: How to answer interview questions on initiative (6 examples)

"Tell me about a time when you received negative feedback from a client. How did you adapt your process to ensure the product met their needs?"

Hiring managers often ask this question to learn about your experience with overcoming obstacles. Rather than focusing on how you felt about the feedback, you can concentrate on how you solved the problem in your answer to show the interviewer that you're able to listen to feedback without taking it personally.

Example: In my previous job, I was a product designer for a toy company. I was responsible for designing dolls and figurines for an influential client. On one occasion, the prototype of a doll I designed was too large and realistic for the client's preferences. I took the criticism back to my team and we adjusted the design based on the client's criticism. During our next product presentation, we received positive feedback.

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

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