I and my team at Chocolate City Group recently organised an interview to recruit designers for our design team.
We received over 70 application for Designers based in Nigeria and shortlisted 7 who was then invited for a quick chat to access how much they understand their art and fit to our company’s culture. During the interview sessions, I realized a couple of set backs for most of the designers and decided to create 10 questions I think designers with a plan to join a design team should answer before walking through an interview door since Interviews especially design interviews can be nerve-wracking.
It doesn’t help when the person doing the asking is firing off interview questions that seem like loaded guns. Queries like, “Why do you want to work here?” may appear to be no-brainers, but the obvious response isn’t always the right one. In fact, prospective employers often seek deeper insights into your ability to do the job and fit into the company culture when asking these types of questions.
1. What qualities and skills should a good graphic designer have?
This is a great opportunity to see how a designer thinks of their profession. “To create great designs” is not enough. A good designer will be able to articulate how their designs communicate a brand’s vision and solve practical problems.
2. How do you work with collaborators like copywriters, developers, and project managers? Tell me about the final hand-off process.
Great graphic designers are team players who ask questions and solicit feedback. A good candidate will feel comfortable collaborating with clients on a project. You should be able to recommend specific file types for review, source files, and deliverable to make the final hand off as smooth as possible.
3. How do you incorporate feedback into your designs? What’s a time you received hard criticism for your work?
You want to make sure you’re a designer who can solve design problems, not create them. Great designers aren’t precious about their work, and mature designers appreciate and incorporate constructive feedback.
4. Describe your creative process. What are the major steps?
Every designer should have a detailed answer prepared for this. A good designer won’t just jump in and start designing. Great designers begin by trying to understand the problem they’re being asked to solve. Depending on the project, they might interview users or look through data to determine the best course of action. Good designers should also allow for at least one round of substantive feedback and iteration before they submit their final designs.
5. What brands do you most admire and how do they influence your work?
This is a good opportunity to see whether a designer is abreast of current design trends and a good fit for the brand’s specific business needs. You should be able to articulate what makes a brand stand out, graphically speaking, whether that brand is directly related to the business or if it shares similar attributes.
6. Let’s say you’re designing a new logo for our company. What would it look like?
This question gives an opportunity for the interviewer to observe a designer’s thought process first-hand and see how well they understand the company or product.
7. How do you meet tough deadlines? Tell me about a time you completed great work under pressure.
Good designers are thoughtful and thorough, but this is where you show that you know how to prioritize and work well under time constraints.
8. Walk me through your portfolio. Which pieces are you most proud of, and why?
As a good designer, I think being able to explain the problems each of your design decision was meant to solve and how you accomplished it will send a message to the interviewer and creative director present at the interview that you understand your passion and you don’t place things up and down just because you feel like it.
Taking up a design educational carrier or courses will help you better understand and interpret your design decisions.
9. Why do you want to join our team?
You should research about the company, their culture and design team if they have one and be clear with why you want to join the team, whether it’s to improve your skill as a designer or to improve certain design practices the company is currently dealing and so on. But this research and self examination will help you be clear with your reason to join the team when done before coming in for the interview so that you are comfortable when explaining.
10. What is your financial expectation? How much would you like to receive as salary and why should we pay that amount?
Employers usually have a budget top that they work with when hiring so, this part is where you need to be confident about your pricing and comfortably state with facts why you should be paid that amount. This is usually easier when you make this decision after researching and creating a perception of the brand before coming in for the interview.
E.g. I am fine with between the range of N270,000 – N530,000 (There is a good chance that the employer will settle for N150,000 – N200,000 based on the price range you stated.) or freelancers, you are at the best place to make a deal comfortable because you can negotiate stating that you will quit freelancing during your employment and you make between that above range monthly when you freelance based on the cost you bill for your designs.
In short, for whatever price you decide confidence and comfort is key while you say it. Do ensure it’s a price you are happy about.
Ps. Keeping your responses straight to the point, staying confident and comfortable is key.
Kindly let me know if this was helpful in the comments below. If you have more ideas on how to answer these questions better or even have more questions, kindly share in the comment below.
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