What to Expect When Interviewing as a Graphic Designer

      Apr 16, 2012 / 5 Brilliant Comments

Interviewing for a Graphic Design position coming out of school can be a bit nerve wrecking. I’ve interviewed and worked at many design studios and advertising agencies in Chicago, and still get a bit nervous. Some employers turn out great, while others simply don’t know how to be an employer. But they all pretty much ask the same questions in that pivotal initial meeting.

Starting with:

Tell me about your work? (This can be awkward if you’re not ready to tell your life story)
Why did you choose that (specific identity/graphical element)?
What’s the meaning behind (specific identity/graphical element)?
How do you feel it incorporates into the design/ad?
Why do you want to leave your current design job?
(this can raise questions about your loyalty or your lack of teamwork)
If you’re just out of school, make sure to intern at least twice. It looks better than sales rep on your resume.
Why do you want to work at (_____ design)?
(Pay close attention to their website, work, and content and draw your answer from your newfound knowledge)
Do you do freelance work? (Employers will want to see you work 2-3 months before committing to you long-term)

It’s not the full list, but these are the basic questions employers will ask you.

Some interviewing tips

1. Brand yourself, create a unique logomark and identity people can remember. Read the concept behind my logo here
(I bet you didn’t know that).

2. Add a wide variety of projects to your portfolio. Some people like type, some illustrations, others love identity. You’d be surprised to find out which ones stand out and that one piece can land you a job.

3. Have conceptual work in your portfolio.

4. Relax.


5 Comments to "What to Expect When Interviewing as a Graphic Designer"

  1. I found your blog on google and read a few of your other posts. I just added you to my Google News Reader. Keep up the good work. Look forward to reading more from you in the future.

  2. Great post. I’m thinking having a good story from previous work helps in situations. Generally this shows you can incorporate elements from the experience into the design, or why you came to the decision that you did. It shows them how you think.

  3. I completely agree. I had the priveledge to meet with Joseph Michael Essex of Essex 2. A leader in his field and specializes in identity and logo design. One of the best things he told me was that execution of a design might not be as important as the concept and thinking behind a design. One’s thoughts, if great, are tuly preferred over anything else, as other things can be developed with time. Thanks for the comment, Paul.


  4. Thanks, Matt

    I appreciate the comment and positive feedback. I’ll be updating my portfolio and posting about my latest work through the following weeks.

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