In hiring a graphic designer, it’s vital to clearly understand the creative skills and expertise you need in your new team member—then ask the right questions to assess a candidate’s skills, experience, and creativity. Not only do you need someone with the technical skills to create stunning designs, but you also need someone who can understand your brand and create designs that resonate with your customers and audience.
If you’ve written a great job description for a graphic designer, you’re already ahead of the game. So, now asking the right interview questions can help you find out more about how they work and their style to find the ideal fit.
To begin with, you’ll want to ask the candidate about their experience with specific design software, their knowledge of design principles, and their ability to work as part of a team.
What are the basic skills any graphic designer should have?
Here are some of the basics of what a graphic designer does:
- Understanding the principles of design, such as balance, contrast, emphasis, and movement. They should also be able to apply these principles to their work.
- Creativity and a strong visual imagination. They should be able to come up with new and innovative ideas, and they should be able to translate these ideas into effective designs for your brand and audience.
- Proficiency in design software like Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign. Many will also have a basic understanding of web design and animation.
- They need to be able to communicate their ideas effectively to clients and other stakeholders. Even if only internally, they need to be able to pitch their ideas to the marketing director or advertising account executive. They should be able to explain their design process and why they made the choices they did.
- They must be able to solve issues creatively. They should be able to identify and address problems with a design, and they should be able to come up with solutions that are both effective and visually appealing.
- A keen eye for detail. They should be able to spot errors in their work, and make sure that their designs are accurate and consistent.
From there, here’s a list of more than 50 graphic designer interview questions to consider asking at your next interview.
General Graphic Designer Interview Questions
- What attracted you to graphic design as a profession?
- Can you walk me through your design process?
- What are your career goals in design?
- Do you prefer working for print, web, or other deliverables?
- What are your strengths as a graphic designer? Your weaknesses?
- How do you see yourself as standing out from other candidates?
- How do you learn new design skills?
- How has the branding and design of your current (or most recent) company evolved over time? What role did you play in that evolution?
- What is your process for adapting a design concept for different audiences?
- What are your top priorities when creating a design?
- What experience do you have in designing a logo? Tell me about the process working with the client and how you adapted the work based on their feedback.
- What are some of the differences in designing for print versus digital media? Are you comfortable working with both?
- As we review your portfolio, can you tell me more about your favorite projects? Which ones have the most client influence on them?
- What do you think the next big design trend will be?
- What’s your favorite design project that you’ve worked on?
Performance-Based Graphic Designer Interview Questions
- In your first week of work with us, what would you want to learn about our brand?
- How do you prefer to receive project briefs or requests?
- What qualities and skills do you think are essential for a great graphic designer?
- Do you work better alone or with a team?
- What is your process for incorporating feedback into your designs?
- How do you handle negative feedback?
- Tell me about a time you disagreed with feedback on your design. How did you handle it?
- How do you deal with creative blocks?
- If a client tells you they want the logo to “pop” more in a design, what would you reply and how would you implement the feedback?
- What have your past design teams looked like? Who would you include in your ideal design team?
- Tell me about a time you collaborated cross-functionally on a design project. What was great about it, and what challenges did you encounter?
- Describe the final hand-off process when you’ve worked with collaborators like the account manager, writing team, developers, or project managers?
- Describe a time when the scope of a project changed significantly when the project was already well underway. What was the situation, and how did you react and adapt?
- Tell me about a time you made a mistake on a design project. What was the scenario, and how did you recover and adapt?
- In this position, you’ll be using [specific design software]. What is your experience or comfort with it?
- If I asked you to design a series of graphics for a website, which software would you use?
- What do you do to continually improve your design skills?
- How do you still deliver great work when working on a tight deadline?
- What communications do you use the most in your current and past work? For example, Slack, email, in-person communication, presentations, etc.
- What is your approach when presenting your work to clients?
Creative Process Interview Questions
- When you begin a new project, what are the first questions you ask?
- Tell me about a recent time where you had to present your work to a client or stakeholder?
- What kind of design projects do you most enjoy?
- What is your design superpower?
- Describe the steps of your creative process.
- How do you refill your creative cup?
- When you need inspiration, where do you look?
- Who are your graphic designer heroes, and what do you admire about them and their work?
- Which brands do you admire the most, and why?
- What do you think of our company’s look and branding?
- If we asked you to revamp our logo, what changes would you make and why?
- How do you stay creative and fresh when working on one project long-term?
- What elements are essential to a successful design?
- How do you know your design is a success?
- What do you do when you’re feeling burned out on a project or process?
- How does the work of graphic designers impact a company’s bottom line?
- What role do communication skills play in your work as a graphic designer?
Finding the Right Graphic Designer for Your Team
The graphic designer you hire will impact the look and feel of your brand. Their vision and skills become part of how and what your company communicates to everyone who views your marketing—online and off.
- Be specific. Get into the details of how they work and what they enjoy to learn about the candidate’s skills and abilities and how they’ll work within what you need for your team.
- Ask open-ended questions. They give the candidate a chance to share their thoughts and ideas and expand more on topics instead of simply answering yes or no.
- Listen carefully to the candidate’s answers. Pay attention to what they say and how they say it.
- Follow up with clarifying questions. If you’re not sure about something the candidate said, ask them to explain.
Combined with general interview questions, these questions can help you get a better sense of a candidate’s skills, experience, and creativity as you build your marketing or creative team.
Insight Global is an expert in hiring creatives—whether you need to hire a graphic designer, UX designer, web designer, or someone else. If you have any questions about finding the right designer for your business, connect with our team. We are happy to help!