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If you've been scheduled to meet with a perspective employer to interview for a graphic designer position, you’re probably wondering what types of questions are commonly asked. Although the specific interview format varies by employer, the interview questions are generally focused on the essential skills and requirements needed to succeed in this line of work such as creativity, project management and communication skills. Review the job description or advertisement you initially responded to in order to get a clear picture of what qualities the employer is looking for in its ideal candidate.
Show Your Creative Flair
First and foremost, a graphic designer must be able to think creatively. While you may be presented with text, images and some general guidelines, it is up to you to piece them together in a way that is original, visually appealing and true to the client's overall style. In order to get a better idea of your overall creative process, an employer may ask questions such as “Tell me about a time when you were asked to design something with very little instruction or guidance,” “Describe your process for generating design ideas for a project,” or “How do you get to know your client's audience and voice so that you can incorporate these into your designs?” You may also be presented with a role-playing scenario such as “Suppose you were tasked with designing a new logo for our business. Describe what it would look like and why.”
Dealing with Pressure
As a graphic designer, you will likely be working on multiple projects for various clients with overlapping deadlines. In order to function in this environment, you must be able to set priorities, be organized and have strong time-management skills. One method employers use to assess your project management skills is to inquire about your past experiences with questions such as “Describe a time when you had to complete a task under a tight deadline,” “How have you handled stressful projects in the past?”, or “What steps do you generally take to make sure that all project requirements are completed?”
Talking a Good Game
As a graphic designer, you’ll collaborate with advertising and marketing representatives to design projects according to their clients’ specifications. Additionally, some graphic designers may even work directly with clients when creating their materials. An employer may ask questions to assess your communication skills such as “Tell me about a time when you have to work with a difficult client,” “Describe a time when you worked as a part of a team to complete a task,” or “How do you handle constructive criticism of your work?”
Creativity at the Core
Expect to be asked questions about your prior graphic design experience such as “What software have you had experience with?”, “What was your average workload in your previous position?”, or “Describe the different types of graphic design projects you’ve created.” If you’ve never been employed as a graphic designer, use examples from your internship, school projects or design work you’ve done just for fun in your spare time. Also, don’t be surprised if the employer asks to review your graphic design portfolio and be prepared to answer questions about your work such as “How did you come up with this design?”, or “How much time did you spend working on this piece”?
2016 Salary Information for Graphic Designers
Graphic designers earned a median annual salary of $47,640 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, graphic designers earned a 25th percentile salary of $35,560, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $63,340, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 266,300 people were employed in the U.S. as graphic designers.
- Monster.com: How to Interview: Graphic Designers
- University of California, San Francisco: Samples of Appropriate Interview Questions
- Iowa State University: Graphic Design Interview Questions
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Graphic Designers
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook: Graphic Designers
- Career Trend: Graphic Designers
- Ryan McVay/Lifesize/Getty Images