Are you considering pursuing a career as a graphic designer? If so, you’ll want to know what kinds of questions interviewers ask during a job interview. You should be aware that each company or organization will have different questions. This article enlists questions from graphic designer interviews to prepare you for what to expect and how you can best portray your skill and talent. The sample answers provided in this article will also help you prepare and polish your skills to fit into the job profile.
Graphic Design Patterns
Graphic design patterns are a visual way to convey information and form relationships between design elements. In fact, graphic design patterns are used in websites, videos, brochures, posters, etc. When your team understands graphic design patterns, you’ll be able to create seamless designs for your clients. It’s important that you know as many common design patterns as possible so you can work with clients using similar techniques. Here are a few most common graphic design patterns:
- asymmetrical balance;
- radial arrangement;
- focal point;
- visual weight;
- spatial order;
- progression/regression and repetition.
Get to know these popular patterns, so they become second nature to you—you might even use them yourself one day!
Learning Roadmap and Tools: Required Skills
Aspiring graphic designers have to have a high level of design skills and some art knowledge to get a leg up. Common tools required by all graphic designers include Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, and InDesign. Some graphic designers also use OpenOffice, Flash and CorelDRAW. All of these programs are essential for creating vector-based graphics that can be scaled easily. Additionally, they may be used to create logos or other branding items. When you’re interviewing for a graphic design position, it’s always important to do your homework on prospective employers and think about how you could add value to their business. During an interview, you should ask questions about your role within their organization and learn more about where your work fits into the bigger picture.
Trends and Recent Changes
As a graphic designer, you’ll need to stay abreast of any changes in your industry. Take time to research what’s new, whether that’s from an industry trade magazine or social media. If you spend a few minutes browsing Instagram for examples of graphic design trends, you’ll be way ahead of other designers who don’t bother at all. This will also help you build relationships with influencers and experts in your field—you can follow them on social media and reach out to them when you have questions about their work. This is also a great way to find job opportunities since some companies post openings on Instagram.
Opportunities and Average Salary
When looking for a graphic designer job, you should understand that salary is determined by experience, location and skill. An entry-level graphic designer can expect to earn between ₹25,000 /mo. However, a principal graphic designer who has been working in this field for 15 years can make up to ₹15L per year.
50 Graphic Designer Interview Questions and Answers
Here, we shall discuss 50 graphic design interview questions and tips to get a job in graphic design companies.
1. What inspired you to choose the field of graphic design?
A graphic designer needs to be passionate about their work and beimaginative. When an interviewer asks this question, they get a sense of what motivated the candidate.
Provide an example of a design you’ve completed that showcases your abilities. What is your educational background? What qualities define you as a graphic designer?
Sample Answer: I decided to become a Graphic Designer because I felt it fit well with my creative abilities and provided me with the platform to showcase my skill. As a child, I loved to draw and started taking an interest in graphic design. So, I decided to make it my profession. I got a degree in graphic design from ABC College and an apprenticeship certificate in design. And now, being a graphic designer seems like the perfect career for me.
2. What does it mean to be a graphic designer, according to you?
A graphic designer's job is to create designs that captivate consumers and make them enthusiastic. A good graphic designer ensures successful marketing by giving the brand a recognizable feeling. They're responsible for product design and designing advertisements, company reports, etc.
3. What is the role of communication in graphic design?
People ask this question a lot when they are interviewing for a graphic design position. Interviewers will likely ask this question to get a feel of how you see graphic design as a potential message. The speaking points are what the audience cares about, including nature, scope, and the importance of the field.
Sample Answer: For designers, good communication is of great importance because the objective of any design is to get its message across to the viewer. It has to speak to the audience and engage them. A graphic designer makes sure that the consumers understand the message being sent.
Furthermore, a designer needs to be a good communicator so that peers and teammates can contribute to the design and know about its progress.
4. How should a designer prioritize when designing?
This is a typical graphic design interview question. Designers are asked this question in order to understand their approach, as different designers have different perspectives. Begin with priorities and share the aspects of design that you find most important. Consider what needs to be explained and how to explain it clearly.
The common things that designers put at the top of their priority list are:
- Design Framework
- User Engagement
- Visual Aesthetics
Sample Answer: While I can't speak for all designers, I put user engagement and content first. For me, design has no purpose if it is not clear. I focus on designing the site with good-quality content that is engaging and compelling while still looking attractive.
5. Why do you feel you are a good graphic designer? What is the quality that sets graphic designers apart from one another?
A good graphic designer can keep in mind a variety of factors when they design, including their ideas, and their client's requests. Here are some qualities a graphic designer must hone to stand out.
- Ability to take criticism
6. Tell me what are you good at and what can you improve?
Use this as an opportunity to list all your strengths and talk about the skills and good qualities you have.
- Creative zeal
- Ability to meet deadlines
- Analytical thinking
- Problem-solving skills
- Artistic skills
7. When asked about your weaknesses, mention what skills you lack and how you're developing them.
Replies like I'm too punctual or I work too much are old tricks and do not suffice.
Below is an example answer.
I am an artist, enthusiastic and driven by my passions. I am an experienced graphic designer and artist with a fine, nuanced aesthetic. I am also good at persuading others to collaborate with me and steadily improve my skills. But I am not very good with time management. One of the important qualities in my line of work is my ability to meet deadlines, so I make it a point to read up on time management strategies and stay on top of things.
8. Explain a time when you had to work quickly and what actions did you take to accomplish the work before the deadline?
This is a frequently asked design question in graphic design interviews, as it helps the interviewer to understand if you can work quickly and still provide a high-quality end product. Present a project in which you faced time pressure and describe how you handled the time, discussing the limitations. Talk about time management and answer to demonstrate that you followed the roadmap and followed the correct roadmap throughout the project.
9. What kinds of graphic design projects do you know of?
The five types of projects that we come across the most are-
- Visual Identity Graphic Design: Visual elements that establish a brand's identity through images, shapes, and colors.
- Marketing & Advertising Graphic Design: Designing for marketing and advertisement. e.g., postcards, flyers, print ads, billboards, brochures, etc.
- User Interface Graphic Design: Designing to enhance the user's interaction with devices and applications. Includes web page design, interface design, app design, etc.
- Motion Graphic Design: Designing in-motion graphics like advertisements, animated logos, presentations, tutorial videos, websites, video games, GIFs, etc.
- Environmental Graphic Design: Designing spaces to make them interesting and memorable. Example- wall murals, exhibitions, designing conference spaces, stadiums, retail stores, etc.
10. What sorts of design projects appeal to you?
Graphic designers handle a variety of projects with many different purposes, even though they all adhere to the same. Let’s talk about the different types of graphic design you're interested in and what interests you the most. Think about how your skills can overlap with the job you are interviewing for.
Sample Answer: I'm a general designer interested in motion graphic design. I find that it allows me to bring life to all my designs. There are many graphics online and in libraries, and making them is fun too.
11. Which graphic design tools do you know how to use?
Graphic designers, besides possessing artistic aptitude, need to stay on top of technological developments and learn to use design tools and softwares. Add graphics to your design and discuss the software you use and how proficient you are.
Here is a list of 10 commonly used graphic design tools:
- Adobe InDesign
- Serif Draw plus
- Xara Xtreme
- Coral Paintshop
- Coral Photoimpact
12. What is the difference between associative hatching and non-associative hatching in CAD?
Moves with boundary.
Does not move with the boundary.
Auto CAD crashes may result in corrupted drawings.
No such issues in non-associative hatching.
13. What is 3D Graphic Art, and how is it useful for a designer?
3D Graphic Art is a computer graphic animation used to make 3-dimensional illustrations for video games, movie animations, etc.
Making 3D models helps the designers visualize space and enables efficient and accurate drawing, helping them observe otherwise invisible details.
14. What is the use of Adobe PageMaker?
PageMaker is a software application by Adobe used for desktop publishing.
Designers use it to make high-quality professional documents like e-books, visiting cards, brochures, newsletters, pamphlets, reports, etc.
15. What are the components of graphic design?
Here are the seven important components of graphic design:
16. Explain the components of graphic design?
Graphic design is based on seven important components:
- Line: It is any two connected points in a design. Lines divide space, stressing on specific words/phrases and creating patterns. It directs the viewer’s attention in the desired direction.
- Color: Color has the most powerful impact on the audience. It can make a statement stand individually and with other components. A well-crafted color theory develops mood and emotions towards design and creates visual interest.
- Shape: It is defined by boundaries like color or line. All components come together to make a shape. Three types of shapes are geometric, natural and abstracted.
- Space: It is the area between different elements of a design. It defines importance and leads the viewer through the design. Effective use of space makes the user perceive the design better and positively.
- Texture: Texture is the surface, look and feel of the design. It adds depth and visual interest.
- Scale: Scale is the size of elements of a design. It impacts the viewer by creating emphasis and visual interest in the design.
- Typography: Typography is the styling of words using different fonts and sizes. Just like colors and shapes, typography expresses the nature of the design.
17. What is the difference between a window polygon and a crossing polygon?
Window polygon allows the designer to select objects inside the polygon, whereas crossing polygon is used to select all the objects within and around the boundary of the polygon.
18. What is Linked layer?
Linked layer is a tool in Photoshop that helps in the formation of a relational bond between layers and allows the designers to apply changes to all grouped layers.
19. What is Lasso tool?
Lasso tool in Photoshop is used to select areas with no pre-defined shape. It is a common tool available in all image editing software and enables a free selection of area.
The three types of lasso tools are Standard, Polygonal, and Magnetic.
20. What is the shortcut to reset zoom?
The shortcut to reset zoom is ctrl+0 (Zero key).
21. What are the core graphic design principles?
The core graphic design principles are:
- Visual Hierarchy
22. Explain four crucial core graphic design principles.
- Visual Hierarchy: Allocating visual weight to elements in a design based on their importance. Segregation can be done by fonts, size, and texture.
- Color: Color enhances the overall mood of design and reflects tone and sophistication.
- Contrast: Bringing together two or more elements that oppose each other in style, color, or look. It helps the viewer focus on key elements.
- Proportion: It works together with dominance and priority and focuses on the scale of elements.
23. What are the basic composition laws graphic designers follow?
5 most basic composition laws followed by graphic designers are:
- Single Visual
- The Golden Ratio
- The "Z" and "F" Layout
- Focal Point
- Grid Design
24. What is color theory, and why is it important in graphic design?
Colors play an intricate role in establishing a strong brand identity.
Interviewers aim to understand your knowledge of color palette and if it matches their brand(s).
Observe the color theory of the company you are interviewing for and accordingly discuss the following:
- The importance of color
- Understanding of color theory
- Application of color theory to enhance visual communication
25. What is the Golden ratio in graphic design composition, and why is it important?
Also called Phi, the golden ratio is 1:1.61. The golden ratio is used to make the visitors focus on things the designer wants to emphasize.
26. How are UX, Visual and Graphic design different from each other?
- UX Design is about enhancing the user experience on the website. UX designers enhance the appearance of the website to make it simple, clear and easy to understand.
- Visual Design is concerned with the visual communication of design. Visual designers make communication of information holistically aesthetic through designs.
- Graphic Design focuses on communicating with the user through designs. Graphic designers use typeface, hierarchy, color, and images to create designs.
27. How comfortable are you with short deadlines and new trends in a fast-paced environment?
Coming up with unique designs that impress users in a small-time window is a tricky task.
Interviewers ask this question to evaluate the candidate’s ability to stay organized and meet deadlines.
Talking points to answer this question effectively are:
- Organization of time and ideas
- How you constantly learn new tricks and techniques
- Handling time constraints.
You can discuss these points for any project in your portfolio and how you overcame time constraints.
28. How do you sustain long-term interest in designing for one brand?
Working for the same brand can be monotonous, and one has to find ways to make sure that their job does not become monotonous.
Here are 5 things that can help you stay interested:
- Know the answer to "why" you are here.
- Acknowledge the learning process.
- Innovate and create new methods of design.
- Experiment with designs.
- Keep learning new trends and techniques.
29. How do you measure the success of your designs?
Good design enables effective communication and attracts the audience toward a brand.
The 3 things that define the success of a design are:
- Data-driven ROI
- Brand engagement through design
- Engagement of new and returning customers
30. Which graphic designer hero do you take your inspiration from?
Talk about a person whose designs truly inspire you so you can connect to the answer. Explain in detail why they are your hero.
31. Is there a need for graphic designers to improve their knowledge? How do you keep up with changing trends?
The design industry is constantly evolving, and graphic designers need to stay abreast with the latest trends to create unique designs.
Discuss what you do to develop your skill set and keep up with new techniques.
Sample Answer: I read books and magazines and follow vlogs and blogs of my favorite graphic designers. This helps me keep up-to-date with the latest trends and also upgrade my skill set.
I also work towards enhancing my knowledge of new software applications and keep experimenting with different tools.
32. Are you comfortable collaborating cross-functionally on your design projects?
Graphic designers need to work with various teams cross-functionally as they collaborate with clients, writers and various teams in a company to create unique and impressive designs.
To answer this question, talk about how you would-
- establish clear and transparent communication.
- involve all stakeholders in different aspects of a project.
- define purpose.
- consider ideas and feedback from all teams.
33. Can graphic designers impact society with their works?
Unique designs have the potential to impact cultural shifts. They reach out to a huge audience and inspire people, becoming the voice for political and socio-cultural causes.
Graphic designers who work for social causes design websites and logos to create awareness and invoke empathy.
These designs become the face of the cause and enable better engagement with people.
34. How do you deal with negative feedback? How would you handle negative client feedback on one of your designs?
Nobody likes criticism, but incorporating it in your work can make you stand out.
Interviewers try to evaluate if you can take criticism positively and work on your design again and again until the stakeholders are satisfied.
Here are some tips for dealing with negative feedback:
- Don’t react immediately; take time to understand the concern.
- Analyze feedback.
- Identify the pros and cons.
- Take feedbacks positively.
- Learn from the feedback.
An interviewer might ask how would you handle negative client feedback on one of your designs to see how well you are accustomed to receiving critical feedback. Your answer should reflect a positive outlook on the situation and how you approach such situations.
Example: "Negative comments are always disappointing, as you want to deliver the best quality of work to represent your company and please the client. In these situations, I would use the client's feedback as fuel to revamp the project to incorporate their new vision and restructure my design based on the elements they disliked."
35. How can graphic designers overcome creative block?
According to me, some ways to overcome creative block are:
- Seek inspiration.
- Do something monotonous.
- Accept failure as it comes.
- Digital detox- take a break.
- Always carry a sketchbook.
- Organize your thoughts.
- Play around with Designs.
36. What is your process to create design?
Every designer has a way of channelling their ideas into the designs they create.
Asking about the creative process helps the interviewer assess the candidate's creativity and problem-solving skills through potential roadblocks.
Talking points to answer effectively are:
- Research about the project
- Dealing with multiple ideas
- Time management
- Attention to detail
37. On what parameters do you draft the design brief?
I draft design brief based on 5 parameters:
- Business Profile
- Market Position
- Target Audience
- Objective of Design
38. How is designing for print media different from designing for digital media? Are you comfortable working with both?
Interviewers ask this question to assess the candidate’s ability to work for print and digital media.
Here is the difference between designing for digital and print media:
Changes in final products are not feasible.
Allows the designer to preview and test the design at every point.
Apart from a strong design and color theory, the design should stand out with its texture and the weight of the paper.
Design should be clear, intuitive and navigable.
Allows the user to engage with design physically, enabling the sense of touch.
Digital media disables any physical senses and allows the user to see the design only.
DPI (Dots per inch) and CMYK (Cyan-Magenta-Yellow-Black) determine image quality.
PPI (pixels per inch) and RGB (Red-Green-Blue) determine image quality.
It is ideal if you are comfortable working with both formats. In case you are not, discuss it with the interviewer and talk about how you plan to develop skillsets to suit the organization.
39. What do you do to meet deadlines?
To meet deadlines, I make sure that I set milestones in advance. I take ownership of the project and focus on getting the work done within the set time frame.
If required, I communicate with the team to get help well in time rather than getting worked up at the last minute.
40. How would you describe the process of graphic design?
Graphic designers draft roadmaps to make designs that fit the brand/cause. Some designers go with the flow, while others follow a plan.
Explain the process you follow and focus on answering the “why” of your process.
The popular approach to designing includes the following 6 steps:
- Identification of objective
- Launch final design
41. Walk us through a design that you are proud of, and describe the process involved.
Interviewers ask this question to get an insight into your thoughts and way of working to assess your ideation process.
Talk about a project from your portfolio that is relevant to the industry you are applying to.
Explain the research, strategy, tools, software, and elements involved in shaping the design.
42. How do you incorporate feedback into your work?
This is a common graphic design interview question asked to evaluate your ability to work on feedback.
Discuss how well you accept it and how you include it in your work.
Sample Answer: I consider feedback to be constructive criticism that enhances my work. To incorporate feedback in my work, I-
- Listen carefully
- Assess feedback
- Evaluate Pros and Cons
- Ask questions to understand the idea
- Follow up
43. What is the latest design campaign that you saw? What did you like or dislike about it?
The interviewers aim to assess your skills as a critique through this question.
Pick a campaign that you have an opinion on to connect to the answer better.
Back your opinion with answers to the important aspects of design like:
- Did the design meet the objective?
- If it appealed to the target demographic?
- Is the use of color, type, and typography appropriate?
44. Do you like working alone or with a team?
The interviewer aims to assess if you can work in a team or solo to adapt to the need of the project.
It is ideal if you can work in both environments, depending on the need of the task.
Talk about your experiences and refer to situations where you worked alone and as a part of a team successfully.
In case you have apprehensions about working either way, clearly express them to the interviewer and discuss how you can overcome them if need be.
Sample Answer: I have experience working both alone and with a team. I realized both have their own perks and challenges.
I like working with a team better because it brings more creativity and helps me keep track of time.
46. Have you pursued any online graphic design courses to enhance your skills?
Graphic design is a dynamic field where changes happen in a blink. Through this question, interviewers assess how keen you are on developing your skills.
Discuss all the online certification courses and diplomas you pursued to stay updated with the new trends.
In case you have nothing to discuss, talk about how you are willing to take up the necessary courses to meet the requirements of the organization.
47. How would you explain the color theory to someone without any graphic design experience?
By asking this question, the interviewer wants to find out what graphic design theories and terminology you are familiar with. Your answer should address the definition of color theory using simple language.
Example: "Color theory is very important to graphic design as it theorizes that colors have a significant impact on a consumer's receptiveness to a design. It looks at the aesthetically pleasing nature of certain color combinations and the psychology of color. The aim of color theory is to help graphic designers and other artists to use colors in a purposeful way."
48. Are you comfortable with the design programs you would be expected to use in this position?
This question is designed to gauge how well you read the job description and the requirements that are expected of an ideal candidate. A good answer should include the names of the design programs that a candidate is expected to be familiar with and examples of when they used those programs.
Example: "I have in-depth experience working with Adobe Dreamweaver, Illustrator and InDesign with my previous graphic design projects. At my current job, I use Dreamweaver to revamp client websites by writing new codes and creating an appealing, modernized site. I utilized the program features of Adobe Illustrator to design company logos and used InDesign to create marketing materials like posters, brochures and interior layouts for magazines."
49. How do you handle stress?
Stress is a component in many jobs; employers want to know you’ll handle it constructively with a good attitude to maintain good company culture. You can answer this question by explaining how you typically respond with an example to support it.
Example:“Communication is key for me in stressful situations, even if over-communicating is necessary to ensure everyone is on the same page. For example, I was working on a project with another team and we found there was duplicate work being done. By scheduling a weekly stand up and keeping open lines of honest communication with our teams and managers, we pushed the project forward and ended up contributing to a significant company goal in a big way.”
50. What have been your most positive and negative management experiences?
Employers might ask you this question to understand what you like and dislike in certain management styles. This might help them decide whether or not you would be a good fit under a particular manager. You should answer this question honestly and as tactfully as possible.
Example: “One of my past managers, while very talented, tended to manage our team’s work closely with little flexibility on how things were to be done. It made me feel like I wasn’t trusted, and there wasn’t much room for process improvement. My most recent manager was terrific at listening to my needs and helping me get the resources I needed to achieve my goals. I thrive under managers who create a collaborative, trusting team environment.”
Tips to Get a Job in Top Graphic Design Companies
Here are 5 tips to land your dream job in top graphic design companies.
1. Ask Questions to the Interviewer
Prepare a list of 3-5 questions you need to ask the interviewer. Ask questions that will help you understand the company's culture and the scope of your role.
You can ask questions about the nature of work, team culture, future projects and your role in the company.
2. Dress for the Job You Want
How you dress for an interview speaks volumes about your seriousness towards the job. The dress code is generally formal across organizations.
We suggest that you do your homework and find out about the culture and profile of the organization.
3. Find the Right Organization
The first thing to do after preparing for interviews is to find the right fit.
Graphic design is a creative course and working for a company that has a different objective than yours may hamper the process.
Research about top graphic design companies to identify the culture, objectives, and vision that matches yours.
Speak to people who work there and get insights. You can also read reviews by a company's current employees at Ambitionbox.
4. Focus on Growth
Graphic design is based purely on creativity and skill set. While creativity is a natural trait, skills can be developed.
Try to pursue certification courses to enhance your skills and develop new ones. You can take up online graphic design courses such as UI/UX Design Expert master’s program to learn new skills at your own pace.
5. Focus on Body Language
Body language plays a very important role in the interview process.
Maintain a positive demeanor and be open to taking questions.
Ensure that your body language reflects confidence and positivity.
Also, you can kickstart your career growth story with Simplilearn’s UI/UX Design Expert Masters Program, and learn the design-centric approach toward user interface and user experience, including UX research, UI styling, User-Centered Design process, wireframes and prototypes, usability testing, and more.