graphic designer interview questions

15 Graphic Designer Interview Questions all Recruiters Should Ask

As a recruiter, you need graphic designer interview questions that will help you find the perfect candidate, quickly. Here are 15 examples you can use.

Shannon Hodgen
Written by Shannon Hodgen
October 13, 2023
Need help onboarding international talent?
Try Deel

Graphic design is a dynamic and in-demand profession that combines creativity, technical skills, and problem-solving abilities to visually communicate ideas and messages.

From logos and branding to website design and digital marketing materials, graphic designers play a critical role in shaping the visual identity of businesses and organizations.

Key facts and data

  • Average salary: The median annual salary for mid-level graphic designers in the United States is $56,182 (USD).
  • Industry growth: The graphic design industry is projected to grow by 3% from 2022 to 2032, adding approximately 8,800 new jobs.
  • Typical entry-level education: While some entry-level positions may accept candidates with an associate's degree, most employers prefer candidates with a bachelor's degree in graphic design or a related field.
  • Employment change (2022-2032): The demand for graphic designers is expected to remain steady as businesses and organizations continue to rely on visual elements to engage with their audience and strengthen their brand identity. 
  • Growth trends: With the increasing importance of digital marketing and the rise of online businesses, demand for graphic designers with experience in web and digital design is expected to grow. Additionally, the integration of new technologies like virtual reality and augmented reality will create new opportunities for skilled graphic designers.

Now, let's dive into the interview questions that will help you assess the skills and knowledge of graphic designer candidates:

1. Describe a situation in which you found a creative way to overcome an obstacle.

Aim: Assess problem-solving abilities and creativity.

Key skills assessed: Creative problem-solving, adaptability, innovation.

What to look for

Look for candidates who demonstrate the ability to think outside the box, quickly adapt to challenges, and come up with unique solutions.

Example answer

"In a project for a client, our budget was severely limited, and we had to find a way to create impactful visuals on a shoestring budget. I came up with the idea of collaborating with local artists to create hand-drawn illustrations and incorporating them into the design. This not only added a unique touch but also helped support the local arts community."

2. Describe your experience working in a fast-paced environment.

Aim: Determine the candidate's ability to work under pressure and meet tight deadlines.

Key skills assessed: Time management, multitasking, adaptability.

What to look for

Look for candidates who can demonstrate their ability to prioritize tasks, manage their time effectively, and thrive in a fast-paced and deadline-driven environment.

Example answer

"During my previous role at a design agency, I often had to juggle multiple projects with tight deadlines. To stay organized, I created detailed project plans, set achievable milestones, and collaborated closely with the rest of the team to ensure smooth workflows. By effectively managing my time and staying focused, I was able to consistently meet project deadlines."

3. Describe your typical design process and methods.

Aim: Understand the candidate's approach to design and their ability to articulate their process.

Key skills assessed: Design thinking, attention to detail, communication.

What to look for

Look for candidates who have a structured design process, pay attention to details, and can effectively communicate their ideas and design choices.

Example answer

"My design process typically starts with understanding the client's goals and target audience. I conduct research to gather inspiration and insights, and then I create initial sketches or wireframes to visualize ideas. From there, I refine the design, incorporating feedback from the client and the team, and make sure every element aligns with the brand's visual identity and message. Finally, I deliver the final design files and collaborate with the development team if necessary."

4. What experience do you have in digital design?

Aim: Assess the candidate's proficiency in digital design tools and their understanding of visual design principles for digital platforms.

Key skills assessed: Proficiency in digital design tools, UX/UI design, knowledge of responsive design.

What to look for

Look for candidates who have experience designing for websites, mobile apps, or other digital platforms. They should be familiar with tools like Adobe Creative Suite, have a good grasp of UX/UI design principles, and an understanding of responsive design.

Example answer

"In my previous role, I worked extensively on digital design projects. I have experience designing responsive websites, creating user interfaces for mobile apps, and developing visual assets for social media campaigns. I am proficient in Adobe Creative Suite, especially Photoshop, Illustrator, and XD, and I stay updated with current design trends and best practices in the digital space."

5. How do you approach a new project?

Aim: Assess the candidate's overall design process and their ability to adapt it to new projects.

Key skills assessed: Design thinking, project management, adaptability.

What to look for

Look for candidates who have a structured and adaptable design process. They should demonstrate their ability to understand the project requirements, conduct research, gather feedback, and iterate on their designs.

Example answer

"When I approach a new project, I start by understanding the client's objectives and target audience. I conduct research, gather inspiration, and create mood boards to guide the visual direction. I then create initial design concepts and present them to the client for feedback. From there, I iterate on the designs, incorporating feedback and making sure they align with the client's vision. Throughout the process, I maintain open communication with the client and the team to ensure a collaborative and successful outcome."

6. Describe a time when you had to collaborate with others to achieve a design goal.

Aim: Assess the candidate's teamwork and communication skills.

Key skills assessed: Collaboration, communication, adaptability.

What to look for

Look for candidates who can effectively communicate and collaborate with team members, clients, and stakeholders. They should demonstrate their ability to listen to others' input, incorporate feedback, and work towards a common design goal.

Example answer

"In a recent project, I worked closely with the marketing team to create a series of social media graphics for a product launch. We had regular meetings to align our objectives, and I actively sought feedback from the team to ensure the designs catered to their needs. By collaborating closely, we were able to create visually consistent and impactful graphics that effectively communicated the brand's message."

7. What is good design if not designing for good?

Aim: Assess the candidate's understanding of the broader impact and purpose of design.

Key skills assessed: Design thinking, empathy, understanding of design's role in society.

What to look for

Look for candidates who showcase an understanding of the role of design in creating meaningful experiences and making a positive impact on society. They should be able to articulate how design can change behaviors, solve problems, and enhance communication.

Example answer

"Good design goes beyond aesthetics; it encompasses purpose, usability, and the ability to solve problems. Design can inspire, inform, and engage people in a way that creates positive change. Whether it's designing for sustainability, accessibility, or social impact, good design considers the needs and experiences of users and leverages creativity to make a difference."

8. What kind of designer are you?

Aim: Assess the candidate's specialization within graphic design and their areas of expertise.

Key skills assessed: Specialization in specific design areas, portfolio evaluation.

What to look for

Look for candidates who have a clear focus or specialization within graphic design, such as branding, web design, or illustration. Their portfolio should demonstrate expertise and a strong body of work in their chosen area.

Example answer

"I consider myself a visual designer with a focus on branding and identity design. I love creating cohesive visual systems that communicate the essence of a brand and resonate with its target audience. Over the years, I have developed expertise in logo design, typography, and brand strategy, and I continuously challenge myself to stay updated with emerging trends and techniques in the branding industry."


9. Why do you want to be a graphic designer?

Aim: Assess the candidate's enthusiasm and passion for the field.

Key skills assessed: Passion for design, motivation, long-term commitment.

What to look for

Look for candidates who genuinely enjoy graphic design and have a passion for creating visually compelling work. They should be able to articulate their motivation and commitment to the profession.

Example answer

"I have always been drawn to the power of visual communication and the ability of design to influence emotions and behaviors. Becoming a graphic designer allows me to combine my passion for art and creativity with problem-solving and strategic thinking. I find immense satisfaction in translating ideas and messages into visually appealing designs that engage and resonate with people."

10. How do you handle constructive criticism of your work?

Aim: Assess the candidate's ability to handle feedback and embrace opportunities for growth.

Key skills assessed: Adaptability, openness to feedback, ability to learn from mistakes.

What to look for

Look for candidates who have a growth mindset and can demonstrate their ability to receive feedback constructively. They should show a willingness to learn and improve their work based on feedback received.

Example answer

"Constructive criticism is an essential part of the design process, and I welcome it as an opportunity for growth. When receiving feedback, I actively listen, ask clarifying questions, and take notes. I then evaluate the feedback objectively, considering how it aligns with the project goals and the target audience's needs. I see feedback as a chance to refine my design and ensure it meets the client's expectations."

11. What kind of experience do you have in video editing?

Aim: Assess the candidate's proficiency in video editing tools and their ability to create visually engaging video content.

Key skills assessed: Video editing skills, storytelling, attention to detail.

What to look for

Look for candidates who have experience in video editing software like Adobe Premiere Pro or Final Cut Pro. They should be able to demonstrate their ability to tell a compelling story through video content, use visual effects and transitions effectively, and edit footage to enhance its visual appeal.

Example answer

"I have extensive experience in video editing, both in my previous role and through personal projects. I am proficient in Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects, and I have created various types of video content, including promotional videos, event recaps, and social media ads. I pay attention to details like color grading, transitions, and audio synchronization to create visually engaging and impactful videos."

12. How do you stay updated with current design trends and industry developments?

Aim: Assess the candidate's commitment to professional growth and their ability to stay relevant in a constantly evolving field.

Key skills assessed: Continuous learning, adaptability, awareness of design trends.

What to look for

Look for candidates who demonstrate a proactive approach to staying updated with design trends and industry developments. They should mention subscribing to design blogs, attending webinars or design conferences, and engaging with the design community.

Example answer

"I believe in the importance of continuous learning and staying updated with emerging trends and technologies. I stay connected with the design community by following influential designers on social media, participating in online forums, and attending design conferences. I also dedicate time to explore design blogs and magazines, allowing me to stay inspired and informed about current design trends and best practices."


Stay ahead in global hiring with Deel’s Global Hiring Summit

Learn from industry experts on compensation, compliance, candidate experience, talent location, inclusivity, and AI. Watch on-demand now or read the recap.

13. How do you handle multiple design projects with overlapping deadlines?

Aim: Assess the candidate's ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously and prioritize tasks effectively.

Key skills assessed: Time management, multitasking, organizational skills.

What to look for

Look for candidates who can demonstrate their ability to manage their time, prioritize tasks, and maintain productivity when dealing with multiple projects and tight deadlines.

Example answer

"When faced with multiple projects and overlapping deadlines, I rely on effective time management techniques. I create a detailed project plan, breaking down each project into manageable tasks and setting realistic deadlines. I prioritize tasks based on urgency and importance, ensuring that I allocate enough time for each project. I also communicate proactively with clients and team members to manage expectations and address any potential conflicts or bottlenecks."

14. Describe a time when you had to work on a design project that required collaboration with cross-functional teams.

Aim: Assess the candidate's ability to collaborate with individuals from different disciplines and effectively communicate design decisions to non-designers.

Key skills assessed: Collaboration, communication, adaptability.

What to look for

Look for candidates who can demonstrate their ability to translate design concepts and decisions into non-technical terms and effectively communicate with individuals from different disciplines.

Example answer

"In a recent project, I had to collaborate with the marketing, development, and product teams to design a user-friendly interface for a mobile app. I actively involved team members from the beginning, conducting brainstorming sessions and gathering input and feedback at each stage of the design process. To effectively communicate my design decisions, I created detailed design presentations that highlighted the user experience, interface elements, and visual language. By collaborating closely with cross-functional teams, we were able to deliver a design that met both the functional requirements and the brand's visual identity."

15. How do you handle tight deadlines and unexpected design changes?

Aim: Assess the candidate’s ability to handle pressure, adapt to changes, and maintain quality under tight schedules.

Key skills assessed: Adaptability, flexibility, attention to detail.

What to look for

Look for candidates who can demonstrate their ability to remain calm under pressure, adapt quickly to unexpected changes, and still deliver high-quality work within tight deadlines.

Example answer

"Tight deadlines and unexpected design changes are not uncommon in the design industry, and I have developed strategies to handle them effectively. When faced with tight deadlines, I prioritize tasks, focus on the most critical aspects of the design, and maintain constant communication with the client or project stakeholders. If unexpected changes arise, I remain flexible and open to feedback, quickly adapting my design and workflow to accommodate the new requirements while still maintaining the quality of the final output."

Next steps

Asking the right interview questions is crucial to assessing the skills, knowledge, and suitability of graphic designer candidates. By incorporating these 15 interview questions into your hiring process, you can gain deeper insights into a candidate's problem-solving abilities, creativity, communication skills, adaptability, and overall design process. 

Remember to customize the questions based on your specific requirements and the role you are hiring for. By doing so, you can confidently identify qualified and passionate graphic designers who will make valuable contributions to your team.

Additional resources

Deel makes growing remote and international teams effortless. Ready to get started?






Legal experts