Graphics Designer Freelance Interview Preparation Guide
Download PDF
Add New Question

Graphics Designer Freelance Frequently Asked Questions by expert members with experience in Freelance Graphics Designer. These questions and answers will help you strengthen your technical skills, prepare for the new job test and quickly revise the concepts

78 Freelance Graphics Designer Questions and Answers:

1 :: What is your graphic design process?

Since this can be a long, detailed answer, you'll want to have prepared for it ahead of time so that you don't trip over your words, accidentally omit details, or ramble on with too much information. Employers ask this question because they want to know how you do what you do, how long it'll take you to do it and the kinds of roadblocks you are likely to run into along the way.

Employers ask this question because they want to know how you do what you do, how long it'll take you to do it and the kinds of roadblocks you are likely to run into along the way.

Some designers are lucky to be able to just sit down and crank out an amazing design with barely any thought or planning, while other designers need to utilize a dozen different drafts and outlines to get their design finished.

Employers usually want you to be somewhere in between these two extremes. You should have a process that allows for revisions and critiques, but is also speedy enough that you'll hit your deadlines without any problem. For some designers, this might mean actually sitting down and figuring out what your process is-but that's okay. The more thought you give to the kind of designer you are, the more you'll have to work with during your interview, and the easier it is to showcase yourself as the best candidate for the job.
Post Your Answer

2 :: Can I see your portfolio?

This is the easiest question to answer, as there's really only one correct response-"Yes!" Once you've said that, of course, you have to actually have a portfolio ready to show and talk the employer through some of the pieces inside. This simple question usually comes with a lot of follow-up questions about how you created each piece, how long it took, what your design goals were and so on.

This is the easiest question to answer, as there's really only one correct response-'Yes!'

The interviewer may or may not actually ask these follow-up questions, so be ready to give them the answers anyway. Before you show off each piece, you'll want to give the interviewer an idea of what they're about to see. You don't need to go into great detail, just a sort of "teaser" statement about what's coming up next. Something along the lines of, "This was a print campaign for a local brand where I was only allowed to use one ink color."

Remember to start and end your portfolio with your best pieces. You might only have enough time to go into detail about one or two pieces, so you'll want immediate access to your best work. Pad out the rest of the portfolio with three to five other pieces that you think best represent you as a designer.

If at all possible, try to fill your portfolio with works that are relevant to the job you're applying for. If you're going for a job designing print marketing, have plenty of examples of past print work. If you don't have relevant examples, there's no shame in creating some spec pieces just for the sake of adding them to your portfolio.

For designers just coming out of school, keep in mind that a professional portfolio is a little different than a school portfolio, and what works for one may not be great to include in the other. With a student portfolio, you're trying to show that you understand the techniques you've learned while also expressing your artistic identity. With a professional portfolio, you want to show that your skills are marketable and appealing.
Post Your Answer

3 :: How do you handle criticism?

Let's be honest-artists and designers sometimes have a tendency to turn into divas when faced with criticism or editorial guidelines. It can be frustrating to work in a creative field and have outside factors hinder your creative expressions. But for a professional graphic designer, criticism is a part of the job; employers want to know that you'll be able to suck it up and make changes to your design when necessary.

Let's be honest-artists and designers sometimes have a tendency to turn into divas when faced with criticism or editorial guidelines.

What's important here is to impart upon the interviewer that you can take direction, that you're open to the ideas of others, and that you understand how to work within a hierarchy. However, the interviewer might try to throw in different follow-up questions or add modifiers to test how you work when treated unfairly or when given bad criticism.

Answer in a way that's truthful, but that shows you can still be part of the team, even if you tend to be a little too argumentative and passionate about your work when faced with unjust criticism. Make sure the employer knows that you are open to critique and willing to listen.
Post Your Answer

4 :: Can you tell me a bit about yourself?

Give a brief summary of your professional persona. Include who you are, any education or experience you might have, and maybe a few snippets of information on your career thus far. You don't want to go into too much detail, just think of this as an introduction to who you are. You want to be friendly and open, with a focus on your accomplishments as a designer.

You don't want to go into too much detail, just think of this as an introduction to who you are.

It's a good idea to hand over a business card at this point. Many people wait until the end of the job interview for this (if they have a business card at all), but it makes a better first impression if you offer your card during introductions. It not only shows you have a professional attitude, it actually gives your interviewer a first look at how you design (assuming, of course, that you design your own business cards.)
Post Your Answer

5 :: What are your strengths as Graphics Designer?

This is your chance to show off-but don't overdo it. Of course you want to showcase your best accomplishments as a designer, as well as the positive qualities that you can bring to the workplace. But that's where many people lose their focus-they forget about what's important to the company they're interviewing with. Frame your strengths in a way that they are relevant to your potential employer. Whenever possible, try to tailor your responses so that they match closely with what the company is looking for. For example, instead of just saying that you know InDesign, you might mention that you have plenty of experience designing multi-page materials if you're interviewing with a company that puts out a lot of brochures.

Avoid using clichés, like saying you're a "hard worker" or a "team player." These are empty words unless you have examples to back up your claims-which you should. You want to sound impressive to potential employers, but you also have to present yourself in a way that makes you stand out over all the other candidates, who are likely just as "hard-working" and "team-playing" as you are.

You also have to present yourself in a way that makes you stand out over all the other candidates, who are likely just as 'hard-working' and 'team-playing' as you are.
Post Your Answer

6 :: What's your greatest accomplishment?

A hiring manager wants to know about your career grand slams but also may be trying to find out what success means to you. If you're like most designers, you probably don't have a shortage of projects you're happy to discuss. It's wise to offer an example you are proud of that also benefited a previous employer. Perhaps you identified eco-conscious vendors because a greener approach to design is a personal interest. In doing so, you also saved your firm money and helped it enhance its brand.
Post Your Answer

7 :: What are your weaknesses as Graphics Designer?

You know that lame thing where you try to make your "weaknesses" sound like a positive thing?

"Oh, I work too hard. I'm too much of a perfectionist. I'm too nice!"

Interviewers can see right through that act. When they ask about your weaknesses, they're not trying to find out what's bad about you, they're trying to find out how you deal with your own shortcomings, and what steps you've taken to improve yourself as a designer. When you try to cover up your weaknesses, it demonstrates to the interviewer that, well, you try to hide your weaknesses instead of fixing them.

When you try to cover up your weaknesses, it demonstrates to the interviewer that, well, you try to hide your weaknesses instead of fixing them.

Give a few relevant examples of your greatest weaknesses, but also provide examples of ways in which you've tried to work on them. Once again, you should back up your claims. Suppose your biggest weakness is that you have difficulty managing your time. Instead of just saying it's something you need to work on, mention how you got a new app for your phone that's helping you better manage your time, or that you've started writing out a schedule before working each day.
Post Your Answer

8 :: What kind of design projects are you interested in?

A question like this is why it's so important to do your research. You don't want to apply for a job doing layout design for educational materials and moon over how much you love motion graphics for social marketing campaigns. A sample answer might sound a little like:

"I'm always trying to develop better practices for streamlined User Interface layout graphics. I'm really excited at the work this company has done for XYZ website, and I hope I'll get a chance to contribute to a similar project."
Post Your Answer

9 :: What kind of design software are you familiar with?

When interviewers ask this question, they're trying to find out if you're able to use their in-house software, or how quickly you'd be able to learn if you're unfamiliar with it. Obviously, your best-case scenario is to know ahead of time what kind of software they use. If you already know how to use their preferred software, this will be a pretty straightforward answer.

If you don't know their software or you have no idea what they use, this can be a tricky question to answer. Tell them what you do know, and try to include any program you think they might use. If you use something that's similar to another program, that can also be a big help and the interviewer might not always be able to make that connection, so be sure to do it for them. For example, if you use one of the many Photoshop alternatives out there, you probably understand the basics of Photoshop too.

Express a willingness to learn new programs-this is a good idea even if you're familiar with their in-house software. You never know when the company might upgrade to new software, so designers who can make the switch without taking a long time to adjust are always favorable candidates. If you've ever had to learn new software for a job in the past, be sure to mention this in your interview.

Express a willingness to learn new programs-this is a good idea even if you're familiar with their in-house software.
Post Your Answer

10 :: Which software do you prefer to work with and why?

Again, this is where research comes in handy. If you're applying to a design job as a 3D modeler with a company that uses 3DStudio Max you want to be able to say that you use that same program, not that you only use Maya because you think 3DS is inferior. You can frame it like this:

"I think it's important to know multiple modeling systems, because each has it's benefits and drawbacks. I understand that your studio uses 3DStudio Max;
Post Your Answer
Add New Question