Prepare for your graphic design interviews with a clear understanding of common questions and effective responses. Learn how to ace questions about your decision to enter the field, your interest in the company, your design process, handling criticism, and overcoming creative blocks.

Key Insights

  • Professional interviews are an integral part of the job application process, particularly for competitive, higher-paying jobs, and requires preparation and practice.
  • Graphic design interviews may include multiple stages, focusing on different aspects of the job such as technical skills and professional compatibility.
  • Mock interviews are a useful practice tool, helping candidates formulate answers to common questions and increase comfort in answering questions on the fly.
  • Common interview questions for graphic designer positions include queries about the candidate's personal history, reasons for applying, design process, handling of revisions and changes, and overcoming of creative blocks.
  • Researching the firm and position, demonstrating passion for the field, elaborating on your design process, showing flexibility in accepting feedback, and providing anecdotes about overcoming creative challenges are key components of successful interview responses.
  • Noble Desktop offers graphic design classes and a comprehensive Graphic Design Certificate program that include hands-on assignments, individual career mentorship, and resources for starting a career in graphic design.

An important part of the job application process is being prepared for professional interviews. At various stages of the application process, particularly for more competitive, higher-paying jobs, you’ll need to interview for positions to convince hiring managers that you are a good fit for the kinds of projects and responsibilities you’ll be dealing with in your new job. This is a make-or-break part of the process and can be one of the hardest to prepare for since there is a much larger human element involved. While all interviews are going to be different, it is important to prepare for the interviews and do some work practicing answering common questions.

What to Expect in a Graphic Designer Interview

Depending on the firm's size and the job's importance, some graphic design interviews may comprise multiple stages, either with different higher-ups and managers or focusing on different aspects of the job, such as a technical interview and a professional interview. While each stage of the process will have different requirements for the interviewee, in all cases, it will be important that you are able to answer questions and demonstrate for hiring managers that you are a good fit for the position. In many cases, it won’t just be about having an answer, it will also be about how you carry and present yourself while you answer the questions, which is another reason that it is important to practice your answer. Even a perfect interview answer won’t carry the right weight if you aren’t confident in your skills

Top Interview Questions for Graphic Designers

The best way to practice for a job interview is through mock interviews. These practice sessions give students a feel for the kinds of questions that they are likely to be asked. Mock interviewees will be able to formulate answers to common questions and make themselves more comfortable in answering questions on the fly. It would be ideal to get assistance from someone you know who has given interviews like this before, but if that isn’t possible, any trusted cohort can do it in a pinch.

What made you decide to enter the field of graphic design?

One of the most common questions that you can expect to be part of your interview is your personal history. This can take many forms, but each version of the question offers you the chance to narrate your history as a designer and establish your passions for the field. This is important because most companies hiring long-term employees want to ensure that they are hiring people who are passionate about the work and are unlikely to burn out quickly.

How to answer

This answer should be short and to the point. You want to avoid an overly long narrative or a story that relies on deeply specific anecdotes. You also want to ensure that your answer tells the hiring managers that you care about the work of graphic design and that you will be a boon to their teams. If you are looking to work in a specific artistic field or your narrative of entering graphic design hinges on something like a desire, for instance, to work in the animation industry, you won’t want to make it sound to hiring managers like you will leave their position for a more specific one that opens up in the future. 

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Early on in almost any interview, you will be asked what it is about this job that made you take the time and energy to apply. This question is to help hiring managers to determine whether or not any individual candidate is a great fit for the position and to determine which candidates, if any, have spent the time researching the firm in question. It also helps them determine which candidates are less serious about the position.

How to answer

You need a good answer to this question, and it needs to be more elaborate than “I want a stable source of income.” While you may have a dozen different prospective jobs, the hiring managers will only have one position, and they will want to ensure that a prospective candidate has researched their firm. To answer this question, you’ll want to research the position and find the kinds of work the firm regularly takes on. You don’t want to sound overly flattering and insincere (hiring managers will know the difference between earnest interest and false praise), but you want to be able to sound legitimately excited about the prospect of working at the job in question.

How do you start a design assignment?

A major part of most graphic design interviews will focus on how the candidate undertakes and goes about a design assignment. Hiring managers will want to understand your process as a designer to know whether you will be an ideal fit for the job. Sometimes, this will take the form of targeted questions, such as how you start an assignment or brainstorm parts of a design. Other times, it will involve you being asked to narrate your design process from start to finish.

How to answer

This question is a bit harder to answer because it can take so many different forms. The best way to do this is to practice answering the longer version of the question (describing your design process) and becoming comfortable modifying the answer to suit the question. You’ll want to be able to describe your design process in a general way, and you’ll want to be able to narrow down and focus on individual parts of the design process if you are asked what you do at any given step of the process. This can be the toughest question to answer consistently, but it is also an important question to be able to answer.

How do you handle revisions and changes to your designs?

This can also be framed as a question about your ability to work on design teams, but the essence of the question will remain the same. Employers want to know that you are comfortable receiving criticism or feedback on your work and that you are willing to make necessary changes that may not align with your personal vision of the project. You may also be asked to work on projects that don’t immediately excite you, and hiring managers will want to be sure that you can still work productively on these assignments.

How to answer

A good way to answer this question is to have a prepared anecdote about a time when you had to put the needs of the time or the desires of the client before your personal design decisions or preferences. This can be short, but it should demonstrate that you are comfortable with collaborative design work and will put a client’s needs first. You may also want to use this as an opportunity to discuss how well you can work with other designers in a team setting. Most employers will ask some variant of this question, but if you haven’t been asked about your teamwork skills, this is a good place to motion towards them.

How do you handle creative blocks?

Employers will want to know how you respond to difficult patches or projects that just aren’t coming out as you might want them to develop. Since you’ll be working on so many different projects, there may be times when your creative juices aren’t flowing, but you’ll have to power through this to ensure that projects are finished on time. Employers will want to hear from you to know how you’ve dealt with issues like this in the past and how you overcame your creative difficulties.

How to answer

This is another place where a quick anecdote about a time you’ve had to handle creative blocks can come in handy. Telling a brief story about a time you overcame creative challenges is a good way to demonstrate that you have pushed through a moment of creative block before and that you have strategies in place to overcome these moments. You don’t want to pretend as if you never have a creative block, since most interviewers will see through this and it will make you look like a less serious candidate.

Learn the Skills to Become a Graphic Designer at Noble Desktop

If you want to start a career in graphic design, the graphic design classes offered by Noble Desktop are an excellent place to start. Students can take all their classes remotely or in-person at their Manhattan campus. For students who want to start slow by just learning one popular design program, Noble offers an Adobe Photoshop Bootcamp, an Adobe InDesign Bootcamp, and an Adobe Illustrator Bootcamp. These beginner-friendly courses take just a few days to complete and will provide students with foundational design skills.

For those who feel ready to dive into a more comprehensive program, Noble Desktop’s Graphic Design Certificate might be a better fit. Students will complete hands-on assignments using popular design programs, including Illustrator, Photoshop, and InDesign. This program is ideal for those hoping to start a career as a Graphic Designer. Certificate students at Noble Desktop receive individual career mentorship, where experts in the design industry help craft resumes and portfolios and provide helpful tips for finding lucrative employment. 

If a class isn’t feasible for your current schedule, Noble Desktop has a host of resources on its website to help start your graphic design career. You can browse their collection of articles about Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign if you’re curious about how each program works. You can also review information about other design tools to see if another field might interest you more.