Graphic Design Jobs Interview Tips

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    • 26th November 2018

    If you're looking for graphic designer jobs in Leeds, you'll need to bring your A-game. Leeds is a major hub for all things design and digital, which means every creative job is highly sought after.

    But don’t worry; with a little planning beforehand, you’ll be ready for anything an interviewer can throw at you!

    That’s why we’ve put together this guide to graphic design interviews, to ensure you have a better idea of what to expect.


    1. Questions About Graphic Design

    The first thing an interviewer will discuss is your understanding of graphic design work. They may ask why you became a graphic designer in the first place, what you consider the key qualities of a graphic designer, and what makes you unique as a designer.

    Take this chance to talk about people and projects that inspired you in the past; that passion is what will make you stand out.

    minimalist design book
    What style inspires you?

    They may also delve into the nuts and bolts of your job, asking you about colour theory or the latest design trends. This is why it’s essential to be up to date with both the latest trends and ideas in your industry; it could be one of the first things you get asked about.

    The key here is to put as much personality as you can into your answers.

    Try to say things only you could say, and don’t just say what you think the company wants to hear! A great graphic designer needs to be able to think for themselves and make their own choices.


    2. Questions About Your Portfolio

    The portfolio is an essential tool in the designer’s arsenal, but just bringing it along isn’t enough. You need to be prepared to discuss it in-depth.

    Tailor your portfolio to show your skills within the most relevant sectors for the role and to show off the overall versatility of your abilities.

    Start by highlighting any major brands you’ve worked on; this is a simple but effective way to prove your design chops. You should also be clear on what exactly you did for each client, and how you handled any problems that may have come up during the project. If you have any positive feedback from clients, or favourable statistics, including these is a great way to add more credibility.

    graphic design online portfolio
    Presenting your skills

    We’ve discussed how to create a great portfolio in the past, and that advice certainly applies here. A portfolio doesn’t contain all the work you’ve ever done; it’s a curated document that contains the work you’re proudest of. It should have your best work at the front, and exhibit as many different skills as possible. It’s also a good idea to put your work in context; can you talk about the design process, and client feedback? Helping the interviewer understand your journey is a great way to sell yourself.

    You can learn more about creating a portfolio in our article 10 ways to make a top drawer portfolio.


    3. Questions About the Role

    While all design jobs will have some overlap, each one will also have specific requirements. It’s on you as a candidate to understand these requirements, and be ready to answer questions relating to them.

    graphic designer workspace
    Feel at home

    Businesses will divide each role between core skills (like understanding Photoshop) and additional skills (like project management) so it’s important to look for jobs that fit your skillset.

    It’s also worth remembering that different kinds of business have their own expectations. An integrated marketing agency, for example, might expect a basic level of marketing knowledge from all its staff members. Make sure you’re prepared to talk about all aspects of the job you’re applying for.

    If you want to learn more about how business write job descriptions, you can read our previous article on the subject.


    4. Challenges to Your Creativity

    Sometimes a great portfolio and good answers aren’t enough. A business may want you to show off your creativity on the day in question, which can be a nerve-wracking experience. They may want you to pitch a business idea, or show you can use key pieces of software then and there.

    sketch pad and creative leafs
    Be ready to shine

    A good way to anticipate this is to set yourself creative briefs.

    Why not practise a pitch with friends or brush up on your technical knowledge before the big interview. This allows you to get used to the idea, and means you aren’t totally blindsided if an interviewer asks you to be creative on the spot.


    5. Challenging Questions During the Interview

    After the creativity phase, the interviewer will push you with some really tough questions. The goal here isn’t just to pump you for information; it’s to see how you react to a stressful situation. That’s why it’s important to keep as cool a head as possible.

    Interviewers may ask:

    • Why you applied for the job? / what specifically attracted you to it
    • What you like about this specific company
    • How you approach the design process
    • What advice you’d give others for responding to criticism
    • What project you view as your greatest success and why
    meeting room with laptop and phone
    Let your natural creativity shine through

    Don’t be afraid to take a moment to think about the questions.

    You can use phrases such as “That’s a good question” and “I’ve not been asked that before” to give yourself a little breathing room, but make sure you use them sparingly!


    6Don’t’ forget to follow-up with your creative recruitment agency

    Once you finish the interview, there are a few important tasks to take care of.

    Say thank you to the interviewers, and send a follow up message of thanks to them afterwards. If you’ve been working with a creative recruitment agency, they can pass on any thank you messages on your behalf.

    thank you card
    Always important to say

    You can also use this opportunity to follow-up with your recruiter and to discuss your overall feeling of how the interview went. At Gloss Recruitment we make sure there’s the right match between candidate and employer. Don’t be afraid to share how you feel about the fit from your perspective.


    7. Never forget: Always be yourself

    Whoever you’re interviewing with, it’s important that you be yourself. Don’t try to imitate a personality or put on a way of acting that isn’t you; instead try to relax, and focus on answering the questions to the best of your ability.

    How else would you know if there’s a good fit between yourself and the company, if you’re not being you?

    4 women talking at a party
    You’re awesome – don’t hide it

    When you look for work through Gloss Recruitment, we try to make the job-hunt as frictionless as possible.

    This means matching candidates to the most appropriate businesses, which results in a better interview experience. You can learn more about the work we do with our clients on this page.


    8. Never be afraid to ask for help

    If you’re still nervous about the interview, don’t be afraid to talk to your recruiter about it. They’re there to support you and should be able to fill in any missing info, whether it’s on the business or the interview itself.

    coffee with inspirational quote
    Always time to talk over a coffee

    You’ll, of course, complete your own research, however gaining some tips from creative recruitment experts can not only point you in the right direction but helps to boost your confidence for the big interview too.

    All you need to do is ask!


    For anyone after graphic designer jobs in Leeds, Gloss Recruitment is the perfect choice. With more than a decade of experience we know how to find the best opportunities and match-up cream of the crop candidates with the top creative agencies of Leeds.

    We work to build a close working relationship with each of our candidates, and we listen carefully to what you want from your career. We’ll help you create the perfect CV, optimise your portfolio, teach you how to interview and help you get the role that you can thrive in.

    Take a look at our latest job roles, or get in touch with us via our Contact Us page today to discuss graphic designer jobs in Leeds.