Questions to Ask Yourself Before a Graphic Design Job Interview

Graphic Design, Inspiration

Once you are done with your studies, heading into the right direction from the beginning is very important. As a graphic designer, you will need a portfolio to show people how talented you are. If you want to land into your dream job, it is important for you to have a great online portfolio. Apart from having an awesome online portfolio, you need to appear as a very confident graphic designer during interviews. What are your goals with a new job? Do you want to design layouts for color flyer printing, websites, or blog templates? Just make sure the job fits what you have in mind. If you are about to start a journey of a job hunt, you will obviously land into a lot of interviews and to find the right job, you need to make sure you are well prepared for interviews. Today, we will be discussing a few interview tips which can help graphic designers into finding a new job.


Tips to Help You Float through a Graphic Design Interview

1. Get enough Knowledge

1. Get enough Knowledge

Before going to any interview, you should have enough knowledge about the company you are going to get interviewed in. Make sure you have every minor to major information about the company. Also, you should be well aware of the position and the job description you will be interviewed for. When it comes to graphic designing, there are a lot of variations. You should know if you will be designing websites, logos or anything else related to graphic designing. You should be able to answer key questions. Instead of just listing down your skills, you should inform the employer as to how your skills will prove to beneficial for their company.

If you are not going to a certain company for an interview and some headhunter is interviewing you, you should have your own question list as well. Do ask your headhunter as to what kind of clients they will refer you to. You need to design your portfolio according to the clients.  Never represent yourself as an all rounder. Companies prefer people who are specialized in certain areas so your portfolio should highlight your specialization.

Get good knowledge about the design team company already has so that you can present yourself as a good fit in for the company’s design team. Gathering knowledge is never that difficult. Every company has its own website so you should simply visit the website to know the basics of the company.  You will definitely make a very good impression if you come across as someone who is well informed about the company as employers might think that with so much knowledge already, fitting in the company won’t be an issue.

2. A Perfect Portfolio to Accompany You

2. A Perfect Portfolio to Accompany You

A nice portfolio should always accompany you on your interviews. A nice portfolio will give you a great entry in the designing field. Having an online portfolio is also very important so that it can be emailed it to the client as well. Be prepared for any questions that might come your way during the walkthrough of the portfolio. You should be able to define the background and concept of your design. Not only this, you should be able to highlight your efforts for the project and how the design met the client needs. Apart from portfolio, a nice resume with all your skills mentioned should be with you.

3.  Be Honest and Be Yourself

3.  Be Honest and Be Yourself

If you are being interviewed for a freelance project, make sure you are very honest about the deadlines. Lying about deadlines just for the sake of getting project is not a good thing. There is a lot to take care of in the project so it is better making an estimate with some extra time recheck the project as well. You should never underestimate the size of the project and if you do not meet deadlines, you will make a bad impression on the client which you would never want to.

Underselling and overselling is also not a great idea. If you oversell yourself and then you do not meet the standards set for yourself, you will block future opportunities. You are very well aware of your limits so make sure you only tell what you really are. If you are not capable of completing the project or if you are not the right designer for the project, feel free to recommend some good designers to the client.

4. It is Okay if You Don’t Know a Few Things

4. It is Okay if You Don’t Know a Few Things

When you are being interviewed, the employer or client will definitely ask you a lot of questions. They obviously want some convincing answers from you to assure themselves that you are capable of handling the project. If you do not understand any question, be sure that there is no harm in cross questioning.

If you are unaware of a few things, there is no need to get confuses as you can always write down the stuff you are unaware of and do a good research afterwards. For instance, you are a brilliant graphic designer and illustrator; however, if you are asked about a new printing technique which you don’t know, it is not something to be embarrassed of. Employers might want you to make a sample for the project so you need to work on that too. As mentioned earlier, not knowing a few thins is okay as things are always changing in the designing field.

5. Never Hesitate in Discussing Salary or Project Payment

5. Never Hesitate in Discussing Salary or Project Payment

There will come a point in your interview when you will be asked about your salary expectations. However, you should never bring this question on your own. At times, people are reluctant to tell about their expectations however, there should be no reservations in defining a salary range. Once a firm offer has been made, then you can ask about additional benefits being offered to you. Also, make sure that the range you give is sound and reasonable enough as per the position being offered to you.

6. Charging as a Freelancer

6. Charging as a Freelancer

Working as a freelancer is also not that easy and deciding your project charges can also give you a hard time. No matter you are offered smaller things like designing booklets, calendars and rack cards etc or have been asked to design a full fledge advertising campaign, you should charge according to the project and it entirely depends on you if you want to charge on hourly basis or on project basis.

If you are working on hourly basis, make sure that you are being paid for every effort as devaluing yourself is not a very good thing. However, as mentioned earlier, undercharging or overcharging is never ever a good thing. Also keep in mind if you are a beginner of if you have gained some experience. These things should be kept in mind before making a deal as a freelancer.

5. Charging on Hourly Basis or Per Project

5. Charging on Hourly Basis or Per Project

Before deciding this, you need to analyze how big or small the project is. Also, even as a freelancer, you should always sign contract with your client especially if you are signing on hourly basis. Keep a record of the hours spent on the project so that you do not remain underpaid. This decision also depends a lot on the kind of the project so do a good analysis of the project before you decide anything.


Last but not the least; you should always act like a professional. Professionalism is not limited to emails or signing contracts, you should always dress up professionally. Also, giving the right impression is very important so wherever you go or whoever you meet, you should always come across as a professional. Networking is a great way to get some new clients and projects. Always keep in mind that you are selling yourself so you always have to look perfect and act perfect.

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About the Author

Arfa Mirza is a EuroPakistani and a graduate of Media Studies. Writing is both, her passion and profession. She is big fan of world cultures and is the proud co-founder of dzineblog360 and webblog360, alongwith her husband.

Comments and Discussions

  1. Ben Clarke, 24 January 2012

    Great write up here with some very nice points, I think the freelance points help a lot with up and coming designers! When i first left university and was doing some freelance work on the side I didn’t have a clue what to charge people having something to base your prices off was always a start but even then id think I know im a good designer but im very new to the business should i lower my rate for the first 6months then gradually build it up. Any way thanks for this post!

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