How To Interview A Graphic Designer: A Complete Guide

Read through our interview guide to know which questions to ask, what skills, and what red flags to look for.

Reviewed by:
Mina Wasfi
Update:
December 7, 2023
0 min read time
Nawal Malik
Copywriter

A graphic designer can make or break a brand’s identity. Therefore, it’s important you select the perfect candidate who is well-versed in crafting a strong visual identity, user experience, marketing, and design! Our hiring guide is here to tell you exactly how to do that!

After thorough research and vigorous brainstorming, we’ve compiled the best interview questions that reveal key information. It is crucial that the interview process is holistic; including both skill and cultural fit questions. Let us tell you what those are. 

What Technical Questions should you ask a Graphic Designer in an Interview?

To hire the best talent, technical questions are used for insight into a candidate’s skill level, technical ability, and know-how in tools and software. Here are some examples.

Q) What software do you use for your designs and what is your proficiency level in each one? 

The ideal answer should reflect the designer’s technical skills and ability to work across different software. At least, the candidate should be proficient in Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and After Effects. They should share what they have created using each software and what advanced functions they are familiar with.

Q) How do you ensure that your designs are user-friendly for a wider audience, including differently-abled people?

The applicant should understand that user-friendliness is an ethical, legal, and business obligation to reach a wider audience. Moreover, a good answer will detail a structured approach to designing an accessible project. The applicant must mention their use of suitable headings, font, graphics, and Semantic HTML. 

Q) What typography principles do you follow when designing something? 

The applicant must demonstrate an awareness of the 7 principles of typography. An ideal answer may mention all or focus on a set few. Overall, the candidate should connect their use of design principles to tangible work they have done. 

For more options, you can always access our interview questions generator. If you need a quick selection, here are some additional questions you can ask:

  • Walk us through your design process, from start to finish.
  • How do you create a responsive website for your brand?
  • Can you name some crucial components involved in graphic design?

What Technical Skills should a Graphic Designer have?

A skilled graphic designer should possess a thorough understanding of design principles, including typology, color theory, and editing tools like contrast, balance, and unity. Additionally, they should have a basic grasp of UI/UX concepts for creating user-friendly and visually appealing designs, including interface design and user testing. Mastery of design software is crucial, as proficiency in these tools determines the quality of their work and makes them a strong candidate for the role.

What Behavioral Questions should you ask a Graphic Designer in an Interview?

A hiring manager uses behavioral questions to assess how candidates use their past professional experiences to better their future behavior and work. Let us see what these sound like!

Q) Can you describe a project where you had to balance multiple design requests and competing priorities?

This question aims to assess a candidate’s ability to effectively manage their time. The ideal answer will reveal strong organizational skills and good prioritization skills. Ultimately, the outcome should reflect that all design requests were met promptly and efficiently. 

Q) Tell us about a time when you had to present your design work to stakeholders or clients? How did you prepare for the presentation, and what was the outcome?

A strong response is one that highlights a candidate’s communication skills and professionalism. The candidate should mention their way of articulating their design choices and process. Moreover, the outcome should be realistic and backed by validating evidence, if positive.

Q) Describe a time you had to push back against a design request that you felt was not in the best interest of the company? 

Ideally, a strong graphic designer can understand consumer and company behavior. Therefore, a good response should reflect the candidate’s ability to advocate for their design choices. Most importantly, it should highlight the candidate’s commitment to prioritizing client satisfaction and needs. 

More questions that allow you to assess behavioral skills are: 

  • How do you approach a project when the goals and objectives are not clearly defined?
  • Can you describe a time when you had to take a design project in a different direction due to unexpected circumstances or changes in the project requirements?
  • How do you handle creative blocks or challenges when designing?

What Behavioral skills should a Graphic Designer have? 

A successful graphic designer should excel in several key behavioral skills. Time management is crucial as they handle multiple deadlines and deliverables simultaneously, ensuring seamless operations and timely delivery of quality content. Professionalism is equally important, as they collaborate cross-functionally, present work to stakeholders and clients, and demonstrate confidence and eloquent communication. Adaptability is essential in dealing with changing directions, demands, and guidelines, allowing the designer to thrive in various situations and create designs to different standards. These combined behavioral skills make for a proficient and effective graphic designer.

Read more: Graphic Designer Job Description Template 

What Soft-Skills questions should you ask a Graphic Designer in an Interview?

Soft skill questions aim to evaluate a client’s communication, emotional intelligence, problem-solving, and critical thinking levels, amongst others. Let’s take a look at some example questions.

Q) Can you describe a project you worked on that required you to collaborate with team members from different departments or disciplines?

The ideal answer will prove the candidate’s ability to work collaboratively. Moreover, the candidate must mention a unique example that reveals their communication skills, goal-setting abilities, and their design process.

Q) How do you handle stress and pressure in a fast-paced environment?

This question aims to assess an applicant’s ability to work under pressure and meet tight deadlines. A good response will reflect the designer’s stress management strategies. Alongside this, they should detail their process for staying focused and productive in a high-pressure or high-stake environment.

Q) Tell me about a project where you had to think creatively to solve a design problem?

A strong candidate will describe a specific project with thorough detail. The ideal answer will reveal the interviewee’s critical and creative thinking alongside their ability to adhere to the brand identity. It will showcase an experimental mindset that considers the target audience and brand guidelines to design something visually creative and satisfactory to all parties involved.

Other possible questions can be:

  • How do you stay up to date with the latest technologies and industry trends?
  • What is your approach to handling constructive criticism of your work?
  • Can you describe a time when you had to adapt your design style to meet the needs of a specific audience or demographic?

What Soft-Skills should a Graphic Designer have?

An ideal graphic designer should possess strong communication and collaboration skills to foster effective teamwork and cohesive designs. Open communication allows them to articulate design concepts clearly, understand client requirements, and work seamlessly with others to achieve project goals. Stress management is crucial for staying focused and composed in fast-paced environments, enabling the designer to deliver high-quality work within tight deadlines and challenging projects. Additionally, creative problem-solving is essential for identifying design issues, proposing effective solutions, and meeting client expectations with visually appealing and impactful designs. These skills combined make for a highly competent and successful graphic designer.

Red Flags to look out for when Interviewing a Graphic Designer

Missing or Undeveloped Portfolio: A candidate without a comprehensive or incomplete portfolio showcases a lack of effort or work to maintain a portfolio. Brilliant portfolios showcase work, skills, and growth. A missing one, thereby, showcases a lack of effort or work to maintain a portfolio. 

  • Cluttered Work: Chaotic designs, multiple fonts, grammar issues, or over-editing may indicate a lack of sophistication and adherence to design principles.
  • Lack of Individualism: A graphic designer should display originality and creativity with their distinct style and voice; a lack thereof suggests conformity.
  • Doesn't Ask Any Questions: A candidate's lack of questions indicates disinterest or a lack of investment in understanding the role and responsibilities.
  • Lack of a Process: Disorganization and inefficiency in work ethic may manifest in the designer's creations, and a structured approach is desired.
  • Lack of Initiative: Weak applicants may not showcase leadership, creativity beyond guidelines, or willingness to upskill and learn.
  • Inability to Take Criticism: Failure to accept and incorporate feedback indicates an unwillingness to grow and improve professionally.
  • Poor Collaboration Skills: Difficulty in communicating ideas, listening to others, or incorporating feedback can lead to misunderstandings and subpar outcomes.
  • Lack of Understanding of Consumer Behavior: Design choices should cater to the target audience's needs; a candidate who doesn't consider the audience raises a red flag.

Conclusion

You are all set for a seamless candidate screening process! Remember that improving the candidate experience is as important as conducting an effective interview. With Qureos, trust that you can do both.

‍

Hire Top Talent with AI
From a pool of 350,000+ top candidate