Jobs in Graphic Design: Interview Tips

Graphic design interviews are by nature complex. The range of subjects can include materials, techniques, qualifications, competencies and doing a presentation of your hard work. Graphic designers are entitled to feel like they're undergoing an ordeal, but it doesn't have to be one. As a graphic artist, you've got your portfolio selected; now all you need is some practice, like doing a draft.

Practice questions:

Can you give us an outline of your previous work in advertising, including any agency work you've done?

Answer: I've recently done freelance work on online ads and hardcopies for ABC and XYZ agencies. These were both background images for brand products. The agencies wanted the backgrounds as abstract images with high shape definitions. ABC required both still and animated versions of the graphics for publication and broadcast media.

Explanation of answer: Keep it simple and brief, and above all on topic throughout your answer. The question needs clarity more than quantity to be answered properly.

Question: What work can you show us done on job criteria software, and can you give us some details of your experience working with this software?

Answer: I've been working with the software for four years. I brought along a few good examples of my work on this platform. These are current recent commercial jobs, done to specifications for ABC agency on the most recent upgrade. (Show materials.) As you can see, I've used just about all the applications in these samples, including the layered effects and the customized template structure for the online versions.

Explanation of answer: This very important question must and will be asked in some form, because it's part of the usual criteria for graphics jobs. It's so important you should rehearse it verbally if necessary, until you're sure you can give a good answer. The question will usually be asked by the arts or computer expert on the panel. Make sure you can answer any technical questions, because the employer or contractor will have particular systems in mind.

Question: Give us an example of your commercial color usage.

Answer: I have some samples of high primary color usage and some more complex materials using compounds as the primary themes. (Show materials) The compounds are part of the brand images, and I had to do some matches to highlight the compounds effectively.

Explanation of answer: Color usage is often a make or break in graphics, particularly commercial work. The interviewers need to see your level of experience and your basic competencies. Check out the employer's own materials, and find some examples of your own work which are good matches.

Question: We need a good black and white line artist for this job. What can you show us in this area?

Answer: These are some pieces I did as part of a print job. I used calligraphy pens and high grade ink for the line accuracy, and brush for the black fill areas.

Explanation of answer: This is pure show and tell. Line artists and artwork are self explanatory. The verbal part is purely technical and simple.