This article’s content is going to be a little different than usual, although definitely informative. Covered in this article this week, will be graphic designer interview questions, along with how I currently feel about my portfolio. Simple enough! Let’s get to it.

Interviews

In this bit, we’ll get into some very common questions asked during interviews involving digital designers. While some may be rather personal to you, others may be very similar to what you’ll hear in other fields. Along with the common questions, I’ll also give hints and answers as to what the interviewers are looking for when they ask these things.

What qualities and skills should a good graphic designer have?

When you’re asked this question, they’re trying to see what you think of your job, along with if their idea of qualities and skills match up with yours. Good graphic designers must have good communication skills, and being able to answer this question with ease will make you seem like a good candidate for a job.

I’d answer this question with qualities I believe are needed, such as a team player, along with being able to communicate with others easily. A graphic designer that works in a team has to be good at keeping on schedule, along with being on time. Time management and the ability to work under pressure are some great skills to have!

Describe your creative process. What are the major steps?

I think every designer should already be one step ahead, and already know what they do before working on creative project. This is a question to bring out your problem-solving brain, along with allowing those interviewing you to see how you go about things. Do you start with a plan? (Hopefully you do.) How do you plan? What strategies do you use? Make a mental checklist of what you do to prepare for a creative project, or even recount what you did with a past one!

What Is Your Favorite Part Of The Design Process?

This one is linked with the above question. This can be helpful as it can allow the interviewer see where you’re strongest and what makes you tick. This one can be considerably personal, but it also should be easy to answer, as you know what you like and what you enjoy. If you can’t figure out one thing, name a few things you personally enjoy- be it wireframing to color-picking.

What brands do you most admire and how do they influence your work?

Here’s a pretty good one! This question is given by potential employers to see where you get your inspiration from, along with what you like. It can also help see if you’re up-to-date with current trends, along with seeing if their aesthetics match up with your own. While having different aesthetics is not a problem, having an outdated one may be not very helpful to your company.

While it may be a personal question, listing off a few brands that you like and listing why you like them (ex: color usage, their shapes, etc) will help your interviewer get a feel for whatever makes you tick.

If you don’t have any idea what inspires you, I’d recommend investing in a folder on your computer or maybe even a bookmark folder on your browser for things that inspire you! Having a folder that contains things you think are visually appealing can help you get out of a slump or even help you work out a few kinks in your own work.

How do you meet tough deadlines? Tell me about a time you completed great work under pressure.
This is a big deal. While being in the industry, you may come face-to-face with any thorough designers nightmare. Unexpected Deadlines… The bane of our existences. Hopefully, your reaction to these deadlines aren’t too terrible, as we need to be able to easily work through them, while not losing quality. This question is to see how you handle things in said situations.
Asking this is pretty much expected, and knowing how to answer it is also important. Don’t lie about this either, or else this’ll bite you in the butt. Be honest, but I’d recommend if you don’t do well under tough deadlines to start working on that. Old habits die hard, however, changing yourself is much harder along with being commendable.
Why Did You Apply For This Job?

This should be the most obvious question out of all of these. Why did you apply for the job? Did you see it and believe you were a good fit for this company? If so, why? Was there something specific you saw that was created by a member? Make sure you know why you chose this company, and also think it over prior to getting an interview.

Which portfolio pieces are you most proud of, and why?

This is your time to shine! Be prepared to show you best work, and put your best foot in front of you. Showing off a bit is a good idea, because confidence is important, however, also be sure to explain why. Why did you do this? What was it’s meaning? Was it for a real company, or a made up one? Just be sure to ask yourself many questions beforehand. Try to showcase the best things you have, along with the most varied things. Us designers do a lot of different things, so having a diverse amount of projects that are well done are important.

How do you measure the success of your designs?

Any designer and any artist must be prepared for criticism. While you must be confident, well-spoken, and generally charismatic, you must be ready for criticism. Learning to measure the success of your designs is important, as well as avoiding flaws that can get you stuck in a loop.

When answering this, think of how you decide success. Is it putting in the most work? Is it simply the most visually appealing? Did a lot more people enjoy this work in comparison to the others? Think all these things over. It may make it easier to correlate this question with the previous question above.

How do you work with collaborators like copywriters, developers, and project managers? HOW ABOUT OTHER TEAMMATES?

You have to be a real people person! Or at least a real team player. A good digital designer collaborates with others and tries to get along with everyone, and a great digital designer listens in on everyone’s ideas, along with taking others’ ideas into consideration. Timing and planning is also important, as your teammates will rely on you for certain things. Politeness is important, as well, along with openness.

As a digital designer, we all have our own visions. We can be stubborn, and dig our feet in the ground, it’s inevitable. But, a good designer listens and will take their feet out of the metaphorical ground for the betterment of their team, along with also not being afraid to speak up on their own ideas. Pitching ideas should be even, as is communication.

Have You Disagreed With  A Client’s Choices? How Did You Handle It?

This walks hand-in-hand with the previous question in a way. While you should be able to defend your own creations (backing it up with reasoning) and be confident, you have to know when to be polite, come to a compromise, and listen to others. Artists that dig in their heels with clients are unwise, as the client is the one paying you. So, if a client is paying you to do something specific- you do it. Of course, you can provide them guidance to their decisions, giving them light pushes to change something that may not look right and/or good in  a design. However, you will not and cannot make their decisions for them, then you’re creating for yourself, not for them.
If this has never happened to you, you can always roleplay what you would do in your mind before answering.

Portfolio Self Check

In this section, I wanted to do a brief portfolio check for myself, and I’d suggest doing it for yourself too! Look at other people’s professional portfolios, and ask yourself a few crucial questions. Questions such as “how do I compare to others?”, “what are my flaws and weaknesses?”, and “what are my skills?” are some pretty good questions to start with. I’m going to ask these things myself.

While my portfolio is very small, clearly still in the works, I think I have an okay look thus far. My work isn’t very prominent or eye-catching, and I can afford to go out of my creative bubble a bit more too. One of my design weaknesses is a small fear of doing new things, however, I am working to overcome that, and my creative bubble grows almost every day I work. In comparison to other professionals, I am lacking a lot of content, and I need to get onto that.

Some of my design flaws do hinder me, and they do show. I’m a bit of a perfectionist, and it’s been one of the issues I’ve been having that hinders me from posting into my portfolio. I have a lot of fears towards criticism, however, I’m still moving forward, and keeping an open ear towards criticism, as it will help me grow.

I feel like I have a few good design strengths. I am believe I am great with picking color pallets, along with working with different color schemes! I feel like I can pick up on issues in my own work visually with ease (partially due to my perfectionism- however, this isn’t totally bad). I can work with my own projects until they are the way I like them.

All in all, doing a little soul searching or even simply design searching can really help with your interviews, along with finding a good place in your own design. In all honesty, I feel like I’ve gotten myself together a bit, and now I can even move forward a bit more easier with my digital design learning.

Featured Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash.