35 Graphic Design Interview Questions (With Sample Answers)
By Indeed Editorial Team
Published 31 August 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're interviewing for a job in graphic design, consider taking some time to prepare before meeting with the recruiter. Being prepared for a job interview can help you boost your confidence, feel more relaxed and present the best version of yourself to the employer. One of the most important steps you can take before an interview is reviewing common questions that recruiters often ask candidates for graphic design roles. In this article, we list common graphic design interview questions that interviewers may ask you and provide sample answers that you can use to prepare your own answers.
General graphic design interview questions
During the first stage of the interview, the interviewer typically asks general graphic design interview questions. This includes asking about your personality, why you've decided to work in this field and why you want to work for this particular company. Here are some general questions you may expect to hear at the start of your interview:
Why have you decided to work in graphic design?
Who's your favourite illustrator?
Walk us through your portfolio.
What's your biggest strength as a designer?
How would you describe your personality?
What's your biggest professional challenge?
How do you improve your creative thinking skills?
If you had to master a new skill, what would you like it to be?
What's your greatest professional achievement?
If you weren't a graphic designer, what other career would you choose?
Questions about background and experience
Employers interviewing for graphic design roles usually want to get to know you better by asking about your background. This may include previous work experience, education or how you improve your skills. Here are some common questions about background and experience that you can prepare for:
How has education prepared you for working in this field?
What relevant work experience do you have in graphic design?
Why have you decided to pursue a career in graphic design?
Do you consider yourself a good designer?
Describe your creative process to us.
Have you ever had to deal with negative client feedback?
What's one thing about working in this field that you like the least?
Do you typically work within a team or individually?
What's your strategy for dealing with difficult clients?
What skill or experience puts you above our other qualified candidates?
Asking in-depth questions allows the recruiter to better understand your values and behaviour. This type of question functions as a way of predicting your performance. To know what to expect from you, the interviewer may ask you these questions:
You're working on a project and the client requests to change the concept two days before the deadline. What do you do?
What would you want to achieve in this role in the first three months?
If you could change something about our company's brand identity, what would it be and why?
What software do you use to design and work on logos?
Are you comfortable with the software our company uses?
Describe a situation when you used your communication skills to resolve a conflict.
Tell us about one project from your portfolio that you're most proud of, and explain your creative process.
What publications, blogs or digital sources do you follow to learn about trends in design?
How do you incorporate client feedback into your designs?
How would you explain the colour theory to someone with no design experience?
Common graphic design questions with sample answers
Here are some sample answers to common graphic design questions that you can use as inspiration while preparing for your meeting with the interviewer:
How would you assess your software skills?
Questions about your hard skills, such as computer skills, help interviewers understand how prepared you are for the duties of the role for which you're interviewing. From an employer's point of view, a qualified candidate who has experience using specialised software requires less time to adjust and often doesn't need extensive training. If you've got excellent computer skills, but you know that the company uses software that you're not familiar with, be sure to mention your adaptability. You can also spend some time ahead of the interview getting to know the program.
Example: 'Although I know there's always room for improvement, and I constantly try to improve my software skills, I'd say that I'm close to becoming an expert. I've not only spent years training on my own, but I also followed my passion for design and chose to study design at university. After completing my undergraduate programme, I began freelancing for individual clients, helping them with various creative projects. All throughout this time, I always made sure to follow trends in design software and completed several relevant e-courses.'
Do you plan to work in graphic design long term?
Employers typically like to invest more in employees who plan on staying with the company for a longer period of time. Asking this question in an interview helps them understand your plans and if they align with the company's vision. In your answer, be sure to highlight your passion for the role you're interviewing for and share those details that may help them make sure you're not only a qualified candidate but also one that they can invest in.
Example: 'Yes, graphic design is not only my specialisation but also my passion. I feel really lucky to have the opportunity to support myself and my family while doing what I love. My current professional goal is to strengthen my essential skills, gain more experience and learn from more advanced employees. I believe that doing this would allow me to advance my career. Ultimately, I'd love to test my skills in a leadership role as a creative director.'
What are some essential qualities of a good graphic designer?
Interviewers often ask this question to see if you understand the responsibilities of working as a graphic designer. Although it's a creative role, designers often work directly with clients, trying to understand and meet their expectations. In your answer, be sure to mention a mixture of different skills, from listing useful software to talking about communication and interpersonal skills. Consider talking about some personality traits that you have that help you improve your work in the field.
Example: 'A good graphic designer is someone who has knowledge about colours, shapes, patterns or composition and can use it in a creative and innovative way. They are also highly skilled in using graphic design software, from basic to more advanced programs. On top of this, a successful designer is someone who's assertive and can easily communicate their ideas to others, particularly their clients. A good designer also knows how to work independently and remain productive in a very social setting.'
Related: 6 Essential Graphic Designer Skills
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Asking this question allows the interviewer to see if you do something outside of work to improve your knowledge and strengthen your skills. Candidates who are passionate about graphic design are often more likely to come up with better ideas and know where to get inspiration from, even if they're having a bad day. To provide a good answer, you can explain your creative process to them and describe how you motivate yourself.
Example: 'Although I find that designers can find inspiration everywhere, one thing that works best for me is finding inspiration in nature. Whenever I feel stuck in a project, I dedicate some time during the weekend to go on a quick trip to the woods. I typically travel to a nearby bird sanctuary and soak in the energy, sounds, smells, images. This practice allows me to find peace and harmony within myself and focus on what's most important about my job—finding design solutions to my clients' design problems.'
What skills would you like to learn in this role?
If an interviewer asks you this question, it's possible that they want to see if you've read the job description carefully. It's important that you're familiar with the duties and responsibilities for the role you're applying for. In your answer, mention a skill that you'd like to improve or learn and be sure to indirectly refer to the job ad.
Example: 'I'd love to strengthen my problem-solving skills in this role. Although I have previously experienced working with clients and handling difficult situations with them, I know that this role requires that I work with more clients at a time. I believe that working in such a dynamic work environment would also help me strengthen my communication skills and learn how to create in-depth project reports.'
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