7 Graphic Designer Interview Questions and Answers

Whether you are preparing to interview a candidate or applying for a job, review our list of top Graphic Designer interview questions and answers.

What are the steps of your creative process as a graphic designer?

Every graphic designer should have a specific way of channeling their creativity into designing products that delight customers. Finding out how a candidate generates ideas, works through design roadblocks and creates final deliverables can help you determine how thoughtful and thorough they are, as well as their ability to meet tight deadlines.

    What to look for in an answer:
  • Attention to detail
  • Focus on planning
  • Time management skills
Example: “Before I start designing, I gather as much information as I can to pinpoint the problem I’m solving and determine the client’s goals. I then brainstorm ideas, sketch out mockups and start turning this information into compelling visuals. I typically go through two rounds of feedback with my teammates and the client to tweak the design before I submit my final work.

How do you respond when a client gives you harsh criticism?

How a candidate takes design criticism – especially if they disagree – can show you how open they are to viewing their work from a new perspective and whether they use feedback to bring their design projects to the next level.

    What to look for in an answer:
  • Willingness to listen
  • Appreciation of feedback
  • Adaptability
Example: “I never take design criticism as a personal attack. I know clients want the best possible end result, so I actively listen and use the feedback as a way to not only iterate and perfect the design, but also to grow as a graphic designer and stay grounded.”

Describe a time you collaborated cross-functionally on a design project

An exceptional graphic designer knows how to collaborate – not just with other designers and clients – but with non-design team members like writers, marketers, developers and project managers. This question will reveal if a candidate can work effectively with a wide variety of individuals to deliver a final product.

    What to look for in an answer:
  • Team player mentality
  • Collaboration skills
  • Ability to compromise
Example: “During my previous role, I was a lead graphic designer on a large campaign that required me to interact with colleagues in other departments, which challenged me to step outside my comfort zone. I worked with copywriters to craft the brand’s message, set KPIs with the marketing team and regularly interfaced with project managers to keep the campaign on schedule.”

What key metrics do you use to track your design’s success?

Good graphic design communicates ideas effectively, engages and attracts an audience and motivates people to take action. Ask this question to determine the specific metrics a candidate leverages to determine if their designs have been successful – and how they use this data to improve their work.

    What to look for in an answer:
  • Data-driven adjustments to design
  • Desire to improve ROI
  • Specific metrics they’ve used
Example: “Measuring the success of my designs is important because it shows me what works and what doesn’t. For my digital work, I use click-through and conversion rates to measure the success of my designs. For my print work, I look at customer satisfaction, brand loyalty and overall cost savings.”

How do you stay abreast of the latest design trends?

Since the graphic design industry is constantly shifting, designers must stay aware of current trends to stand out and keep their designs fresh. This question will reveal if a candidate has the design mindset and true passion for graphic design that can give your company a winning edge.

    What to look for in an answer:
  • Strong knowledge of cutting-edge style trends
  • Commitment to continuous learning
  • Involvement in the graphic design community
Example: “I follow my favorite designers on Instagram, subscribe to art magazines and challenge myself to read two blog articles on graphic design per day. I also regularly attend local graphic design meetups and take design courses on Lynda.com in my spare time.”

What is color theory and why is it important in graphic design?

Color is a powerful way to tell a story, convey emotion and establish a strong brand identity. Ask this question to test a candidate’s knowledge of foundationational graphic design skills

    What to look for in an answer:
  • In-depth knowledge of color theory
  • Appreciation for color in design
  • Visual communication skills
Example: “Color theory is the science and art of how colors interact, complement and contrast. I use the elements of color theory to inform my work and invoke feeling in my designs. For example, when I designed the brand identity for a sports equipment company, I suggested using orange with oversized typography to convey energy and vitality and bring immediate impact.”

Tell me about the best design piece from your portfolio.

Questions about a candidate’s portfolio will give you a glimpse into their artistic style and what they’re capable of. Asking about the piece they’re most proud of can also reveal insights about what gives them the most satisfaction.

    What to look for in an answer:
  • Pride in their work
  • Ability to explain a design piece
  • Confidence in their design skills
Example: “I’m most proud of this print and digital coupon I designed for a retail company experiencing low redemption rates. I interviewed customers and gathered critical data to overhaul the design, and even though the discount being offered was exactly the same, my new design led to a 65% increase in redemption rates compared to the previous coupon.”

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