You’ve landed the interview – congrats! Along with having an extra copy of your resume, double-checking that your portfolio samples are the latest and greatest, and having done research on both the organization and the person you will be meeting, you should prepare a list of questions you expect the interviewer might ask you, and rehearse your answers. The goal is to sound confident, knowledgeable, and maybe even enjoy the process.
Keep in mind that the studio/company wants to learn more about you, how you can contribute to their organization, and how you would fit into their team. Most interviewers will try to make you comfortable with this conversation. This is your time to shine!
Top Interview Questions for Motion Graphics Designers
Question #1: “Tell me a little about yourself.”
This is a standard question that starts most job interviews. One approach is to think of this as an elevator pitch to someone knowledgeable about motion design. It should be short, organized, and express why you have chosen to do this as your career. What excites you about motion design? You can also mention any relevant accomplishments or awards.
Question #2: What are your strengths and weaknesses?
This is another standard question. Most people find that their strengths are easy to discuss: “I’m really good at mask reveals. I love how they surprise the viewer.” Weaknesses are a little trickier, as they reveal something about yourself that is lacking: “Expressions are something I find challenging. I’m ok with simple wiggle or slider control expressions, but anything more complicated than that, and I’m in over my head.” You could pick an area that you are looking into exploring more over time: “I currently don’t know Redshift, but I recognize that it’s an important skill to have, and it's next on my to-do list.” This approach shows you know yourself and that you are proactive in keeping your skills competitive, turning a weakness into a strength.
Question #3: How would you describe your collaboration style?
Collaboration is a big theme these days: it is the essence of teams. How you integrate into a team is of primary importance to a prospective employer. “I tend to be pretty easy going. I acknowledge two heads are better than one, and by working with other creatives and project managers, the final product is bound to be improved. It's also efficient to bounce ideas off colleagues to make sure that my ideas are on-brand before I spend time working on them.”
Question #4: How would you describe your workflow or process?
Everybody’s process is unique. Just share how you go about your work: “I tend to think about my projects all the time, while commuting, at the gym, even brushing my teeth. By the time I sit down in front of my monitor, I usually have a clear vision of what I want to accomplish and the best way to get there.” Or, “I think of design as solving a puzzle. I look at the task from various angles, and an idea pops into my head.”
Question #5: Describe a challenge you had and how you solved it.
Being any kind of designer involves solving challenges. Some are more arduous than others, and sometimes so are the results. Times when you’ve solved a big problem are usually compelling learning experiences, which are perfect for sharing in an interview. A great way to tell that story is with a beginning, middle, and an end: “I was selected to design an animated banner for a senior executive’s web experience. They needed it ‘knocked out of the park.’ I kept reviewing the design brief and thinking, ‘what would be a unique look for this project, something new and fresh?’ and proceeded to work on my mood board. I came up with an idea that the senior executive loved. I felt so accomplished.” Or, “my boss came to me with a great idea that initially intimidated me because I didn’t know how to accomplish it. I started researching and experimenting with different workflows and eventually gathered a body of knowledge that allowed me to complete the task. That workflow is now part of my bag of tricks.”
Also, remember to bring a list of questions you want to ask your interviewer!