When you tell your family and friends that you have a job interview, you will suddenly get a barrage of job interview tips. It never hurts to listen to the advice of others who have been through an interview process because everyone has one little piece of advice to offer that is always helpful. Once you get notified about your interview, it is time to start getting ready to impress the hiring manager.
Relaxing for an interview is almost impossible, but you can calm yourself down if you take the time to prepare.
You can solve that problem by researching the company and learning about all of the new developments the company is working on. You can also boost your confidence by researching the most commonly asked interview questions and then preparing your answers in advance. Knowing what to wear at job interview is important, and that is why it is crucial to review your job interview clothes. When you are in your interview, remain calm and only speak to answer the interviewer’s questions. As usual, Job Interviews For Dummies presents content in a straight forward manner in terms that are both simple and entertaining.
One aspect of Job Interviews for Dummies that makes it unique is the information on surviving personality tests, as well as information on evaluating the job offer and how to decide when to walk away.
Though it may not be fair to the author or the purpose of the book, the fact that the job interview book is ONLY about job interviews is still a mark against it. In addition, “Job Interviews for Dummies” does not really provide any new or groundbreaking information.
We’ve compiled a list of some of the most common questions that graphic designers are asked during a job interview, along with some tips for how to deliver your answer.
You know that lame thing where you try to make your “weaknesses” sound like a positive thing?
Give a few relevant examples of your greatest weaknesses, but also provide examples of ways in which you’ve tried to work on them. If you don’t know their software or you have no idea what they use, this can be a tricky question to answer. Express a willingness to learn new programsa€”this is a good idea even if you’re familiar with their in-house software.
Some designers are lucky to be able to just sit down and crank out an amazing design with barely any thought or planning, while other designers need to utilize a dozen different drafts and outlines to get their design finished. Perhaps making a mistake in a graphic design program inspired you to research and learn more about it, to not only prevent future mistakes but discover new ways to improve your craft. This is an interview minefield that can be tricky to cross, especially if your career goals don’t necessarily include staying with a company for an extended period of time. Express your career goals as a designer in a way that makes you seem favorable to the employer. This is not your own personal forum for airing out all of the grievances you had with your last employer, and doing so is not going to help you get the job. For example, money is a common reason why people leave their jobs, and it’s not unreasonable to seek out new employment opportunities in order to increase your income level.
In some cases, you’ll be interviewing for a job without having actually left the last one. If you work freelance, you may be asked questions about your current clients and whether working for them will create time conflicts or prevent you from hitting your deadlines.
If you were fired or let go from your last job, this might be an extremely stressful and difficult question for you to answer.
Above all else, stay positive and don’t go into more detail than you need to in order to explain the situation. Employers love it when employees take an interest in their company or brand, especially in the case of designers.
Do your homework before the interview and try to come prepared with some idea of what the company is all about. Employers are looking to work with designers who want to work with them, so if there’s something about the company that you particularly like, now is the time to say so.
If you can’t find anything about the company, then this is your opportunity to learn more. Employers want to work with designers who are already good at what they do, but they also want designers who will continue to improve with time instead of stagnating. You’ll want to provide your educational background, but also talk about some of the classes you took and why that made you a better graphic designer. Like always, if you can tailor your responses to fit the particular job at hand, it will better your chances of becoming employed.
The interviewer may or may not actually ask these follow-up questions, so be ready to give them the answers anyway. If at all possible, try to fill your portfolio with works that are relevant to the job you’re applying for. For designers just coming out of school, keep in mind that a professional portfolio is a little different than a school portfolio, and what works for one may not be great to include in the other. This is because employers want to know if they’re going to have to train you on anything down the line, which could be expensive on their behalf.
If you don’t have much experience with print (or any medium you might be planning to work with), then you still need to find a way to impart your knowledge of the subject so employers know that you at least have something to bring to the table. Sometimes, unforeseen circumstances can bring additional pressure to the job and employers want to make sure that the designers they work with aren’t going to fall apart the minute the going gets tough. Be ready to answer this with an anecdote or example from your life that shows you know how to keep cool under pressure.
If you have accolades, awards, academic achievements or other lofty accomplishments in your past, then this question is likely going to be easy for you to answer. However, many people may have difficulties answering this question for a number of different reasons. Remember why employers ask this question in the first placea€”they want to work with people who have ambition, because ambitious people tend to put in the work to accomplish their goals. Your job in this scenario is to show them why your greatest accomplishments make you the best candidate for the job, even if they don’t seem that great or have much to do with graphic design at first glance.
Tell a story about how you achieved this accomplishment and what obstacles you had to overcome to do so. Everybody has their own opinion on what makes a good designer, and your opinion on the subject can give potential employers some insight on how you operate. It’s best to go for a wide range of different qualities that show that you understand what it takes to be a successful designer. But don’t forget that the person interviewing you is likely going to hear a lot of the same thing from every designer they talk to.
Liking your job has never been a requirement of employment, but good employers know that happy workers do better worka€”especially if they like the work they’re doing. In the end, you want to answer as truthfully as possible, because it gives future employers a sense of what you’re good at and where you might fit the best.
Employers are looking for designers who can not only deliver results, but do so in a timely manner. If sticking to your deadlines is something that you have a hard time with, then you need to at least show the interviewer that you respect deadlines and that you do whatever it takes to get your job done.
Time is money, and the more time you take on a project, the more money it will cost your employers in the long run. What’s important here is to give the interviewer a sense of how you manage your time. This way, if your estimation seems too high, the employer has more information to go on and it just might help your chances. Plus, you may find that the employer has no idea how long the project should take and are legitimately asking you because they need to know what to expect. This is also a bit of a test to see if you’ve done your homework, so try to be prepared to answer this ahead of time.
Give your honest opinion, but avoid being too negativea€”after all, if you didn’t like the company or the work that they do, why would you want to interview for the job in the first place? It’s okay to impart that there is something missing within their organizationa€”perhaps it’s a void that only you can fill! Regardless of what you know or how you feel, you should have some nice things to saya€”even if it’s just your initial impressions when you came in for the interview. No matter if you’re an in-house designer or working freelance from home, you are a part of something greater and you belong to a team of people all working towards the same goal. Employers just want to make sure that everything will keep running smoothly if they hire you, and that you’ll be able to get along and work effectively beside the people who already work there.
Let’s be honesta€”artists and designers sometimes have a tendency to turn into divas when faced with criticism or editorial guidelines. Answer in a way that’s truthful, but that shows you can still be part of the team, even if you tend to be a little too argumentative and passionate about your work when faced with unjust criticism. With all the pressure and anxiety of being under the microscope during a job interview, people often tend to forget that you’re just as much interviewing them as much as they are interviewing you.
Try to avoid bringing up questions about pay rates or vacation days unless you’re in a position where you absolutely have to.

Questions about the company, the people you’d be working with, and what the job itself entails are all good places to start.
There’s much more to a successful job interview than just knowing how to answer the most commonly asked questions. I am currently working as a lighting technician and I taught myself graphic design (Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign just to name a few) way back 2012. I never had any chance to work for someone as a professional designer because of my regular day job.
Your personal designs can definitely be included, but it’s a good idea to include designs for actual clients as well. I think it’s unnecessary to have real client work, especially for entry-level, but you MUST have a portfolio. I hate to judge too quickly, but you can’t help but judge if they blurt out something like Comic Sans. Getting a job these days is a bit like winning the lottery as every job vacancy attracts a very large number of applications. What to wear for an interview is probably one of the most important decisions you will have to make as it could affect your whole future. There are certain things that should never be worn when you go to meet your prospective employer. You cannot go wrong with a classic suit, it does not necessarily have to be black but a smart black two-piece teamed with a pristine white blouse shows you know how to sell yourself without going over the top. If it is a summer interview then a smart cotton dress would be suitable, but however hot it is and however brown you are you should always wear tights. Men do not necessarily have to wear a three-piece suit but a smart jacket and trousers would be ideal and you should always wear a tie.
Men’s shoes should be a smart pair of lace-up shoes or slip-ons, and they should be clean and polished with no splits anywhere. One of the reasons that people get stressed out for an interview is because they don’t know what to expect and are not prepared for what could happen. Since the interviewer will ask you what you know about the company, you can increase your confidence by being prepared. The people that are most relaxed and successful at interviews are the ones that already know what they are going to say when the interview starts.
Whether you are male or female, your job interview suit should be a business suit that is a common color such as blue, black or brown. Popular around the globe, these books are designed to simplify complex topics so that everyone can understand them. The writing is light hearted and keeps you interested with an order to the topics that makes sense.
Job Interviews for Dummies is, like all of the “For Dummies” series, informative and rich in tips and advice.
Many other books provide similar information while still providing tips for job searching, resumes, etc. It is more of a basic reference than an encyclopedia of job interview information, but that is okay, because its primary purpose is to help make interviews easier for those that struggle, and it succeeds in that regard. Include who you are, any education or experience you might have, and maybe a few snippets of information on your career thus far. Many people wait until the end of the job interview for this (if they have a business card at all), but it makes a better first impression if you offer your card during introductions.
Of course you want to showcase your best accomplishments as a designer, as well as the positive qualities that you can bring to the workplace. Obviously, your best-case scenario is to know ahead of time what kind of software they use.
You never know when the company might upgrade to new software, so designers who can make the switch without taking a long time to adjust are always favorable candidates.
Employers ask this question because they want to know how you do what you do, how long it’ll take you to do it and the kinds of roadblocks you are likely to run into along the way.
You should have a process that allows for revisions and critiques, but is also speedy enough that you’ll hit your deadlines without any problem. Employers are sympathetic to this fact, but they also want to work with designers who have learned from their mistakes and improved their craft because of it.
They want to know how this mistake has made you a better graphic designer, not merely that you were able to save face after the fact.
You want to be honest, but you don’t want to come off as someone who is simply using this job as a stepping stone to something bigger.
For example, saying that you want to eventually leave to work with bigger brands and hopefully gain larger recognition might sound like a good goal to strive for, but saying as much could hurt your chances of getting the job.
In the employer’s mind, it might be their logo that you make into a nationally recognized icon.
Saying that your career goal is to do the exact job you’re interviewing for is just going to make you look desperate and directionless.
Instead, you want to remain professional and honest without coming across as someone who makes a lot of unnecessary problems. However, telling a potential employer that you left over money is going to signal to them that you might do the same thing to them one day, or that it’ll be expensive to keep you.
Don’t be too nervous if you were fireda€”after all, everybody loves a good comeback story. If it was a personal problem, then outline the steps you’ve taken to correct that behavior and demonstrate your eagerness to get back in the game. After all, how can you design something that matches their brand’s style if you don’t know anything about them? You don’t need to know all of the facts, but you should try to have an understanding of their overall message and philosophy, and why you are a good fit for them.
Demonstrating that you share the same values as the brand helps you to look like the best candidate for the job. Let the interviewer know that you tried to find information about the company, but were unable to. You didn’t get to where you are by doing nothing, so talk about your experiences getting here. This simple question usually comes with a lot of follow-up questions about how you created each piece, how long it took, what your design goals were and so on.
You might only have enough time to go into detail about one or two pieces, so you’ll want immediate access to your best work. If you’re going for a job designing print marketing, have plenty of examples of past print work. This also rings true for any design job, not just printa€”employers want to know how comfortable you are working in different mediums.
Since this is print we’re talking about, it makes an even bigger impression if you have actual, physical examples that the employer can touch, hold and possibly even keep for themselves. For example, do some research on print design before the interview so you can at least say that you understand the basic concepts and limitations of working in the medium.
Questions like this tell the employer two thingsa€”not only how you handle pressure, but what constitutes a stressful situation in your book. Stories about deadlines, editorial mandates or last-minute changes are good to include, because these are the kind of stresses that will naturally occur in the design field. This is your chance to blow them away with all the great stuff you’ve been able to accomplish in the design field so far.
Employers also want to understand what inspires you; what do you consider an accomplishment in the first place? That’s because the qualities you describe are going to be ones that you either already have or aspire to become better at. Come prepared with a few unique attributes to set yourself apart from the rest of those being considered for the job. You could mention that you would like to work your way up into a position that would let you work on your favorite types of projects, if that’s a possibility.
You could say that you like projects that allow you to work with a team, or that you like working on challenging projects that everybody else has given up on.
You never know, you could go in for an interview for one job and leave with a different job you didn’t even know was available. Failing to meet your deadlines can cost your employer money or make them lose face to their customers, clients and business associates. Give examples of times when you weren’t able to complete a task on deadline, and explain why you fell behind and how you rectified the situation. Potential employers want to know how you’re going to handle their deadlines, so you can always turn a negative experience into something positive. You might answer the question by saying you’re good at keeping deadlines so long as you have everything you need to do the job ahead of time.
However, this can be a problematic question to answer, because you also need to look out for your own interests. If it takes you longer than others to get a job done, then you need to be able to show why that extra time makes for a better final product.
For example, if you spend a lot of your work time coming up with ideas, it might not be an issue at your new job if some of those ideas will be provided for you by a creative director.

They may be just trying to figure out how to work you into their workflow based on their own timetable.
Employers love to hear you talk about their company and the work that they do just as much as you like to hear people say nice things about your design work.
Constructive criticism is okay, but again, you want to frame it around why you’re the best person for the job. But you don’t want to come across as someone who is ready to start tearing everything down and doing it all your way. It can be frustrating to work in a creative field and have outside factors hinder your creative expressions.
However, the interviewer might try to throw in different follow-up questions or add modifiers to test how you work when treated unfairly or when given bad criticism. Most employers don’t like to discuss pay until a follow-up interview, so try to wait out these questions if you can. However, you’ll want to find questions that make you seem engaged, not just going through the motions.
To make things easier for you, we’ve prepared some more tips that will help you prepare for everything else that comes with a job interview.
With his team of designers and experts, he helps customers put forth the best possible impression with high-quality collateral. Right now, I am in a stage where I know that I am ready to jump to another career, which is Graphic design, entry level at least. Alternately, if they get really excited and start talking about the intricacies of a nice respectable typeface, I know that I may just have someone as passionate (aka crazy) about type as my company. Therefore it is important that you create the right impression as soon as you walk through the door. Dress to impress should be your guideline which does not mean the latest outfit on the catwalk. However old or young you are jeans should be ruled out immediately, even if they are the most expensive designer jeans. You may look absolutely stunning and think that your new boss will be swayed by your looks, but what happens if you arrive and find you are to be interviewed by a woman. Once employed you will be the face of the firm and a representative of the company you are working for so they will be looking for someone they can be proud of. Some companies expect their employees to wear a uniform and this always means tights or stockings must be worn. If you are not used to wearing very high heels do not wear them for the interview, choose a pair of clean, smart shoes you feel comfortable with which match your outfit.
Never wear trainers or sandals, ladies may be able to get away with a smart pair of sandals with a summer dress but they should never be worn by men for an interview.
You should never wear bright or flashy colors and avoid colorful accessories such as loud ties or bright scarves. You need to bring your own pen, paper, copies of your resume and copies of your references.
That makes this book less valuable, even if it ultimately wasn’t designed for that purpose. When he is not writing he is interested in all things baseball, dogs, film, people and psychology. But when anxiety, pressure and nerves get in the way, you might give answers that don’t exactly paint a lovely picture of you as an employee. You don’t want to go into too much detail, just think of this as an introduction to who you are.
When you try to cover up your weaknesses, it demonstrates to the interviewer that, well, you try to hide your weaknesses instead of fixing them.
If you already know how to use their preferred software, this will be a pretty straightforward answer. If you use something that’s similar to another program, that can also be a big help and the interviewer might not always be able to make that connection, so be sure to do it for them. If you’ve ever had to learn new software for a job in the past, be sure to mention this in your interview. For some designers, this might mean actually sitting down and figuring out what your process isa€”but that’s okay. Be prepared with examples from your career that demonstrate your ability to bounce back from a mistakea€”without making you look like a total doofus.
Employers realize that their employees aren’t always going to stay with the company for the entirety of their career, but they also want to work with people who are committed. The company you’re interviewing with wants to expand and grow, and they want to work with designers who also want to expand and grow. Instead, you can say that you felt there was no longer any room to grow at your last company, or that you were looking for new opportunities to advance your career.
Just make sure to spin this answer into something positive that helps demonstrate your growth as a designer.
Just present the facts, show that you’ve grown from the experience, and move on to the next question. Pad out the rest of the portfolio with three to five other pieces that you think best represent you as a designer. With a professional portfolio, you want to show that your skills are marketable and appealing. Showing that you’ve already dealt with these kinds of stresses makes you a stronger, more experienced candidate. This way, no matter what your achievement might be, the interviewer knows more about what motivates you and how you utilize that motivation to get stuff done. Focus on unique attributes that relate back to your own personal experiences as a designer, and also tie into the job you’re applying for. If you are good about keeping up on your deadlines, you’ll be good to go when it comes time to answer this question.
This way, you can answer the question positively and truthfully while also giving the employer some insight as to how you work best.
Many designers make the mistake of underselling how long it actually takes them to finish a project, which can create a whole heap of problems down the road.
However, that can also be a dangerous game to play, because it may make you look less attractive than other candidates who can work faster than you.
Break down your workflow into blocks of time so they know exactly how you work and what you use your time for. Are you the type of person who can always be counted on to put in the extra work to do last-minute tasks that pop up?
Not only does this make you seem engaged and show your interest in the position, but it also gives you a chance to make sure this job is the right fit for you. Learn more about Vladimira€™s history and experience, and connect with him on Google+ and Twitter. What you see as fashionable might not be suitable for the office and could give the impression you are more interested in your clothes than in the job on offer.
Many companies have a dress code and that usually means no jeans are allowed in the office.
Even if your interviewer is male they may well fear your sexy looks could cause problems and give the job to someone who knows what to wear for an interview.
In the summer it would be acceptable for men to wear a plain short sleeved shirt and tie and slacks.
I guess for now i’ll settle for book-marking and adding your RSS feed to my Google account. If you take the time to be completely prepared for your interview, then you will find that your confidence will allow you to relax and give a great interview.
In many ways that is all you need, but if you have read an in depth interview book before, the information may be less useful.
For example, if you use one of the many Photoshop alternatives out there, you probably understand the basics of Photoshop too.
The more thought you give to the kind of designer you are, the more you’ll have to work with during your interview, and the easier it is to showcase yourself as the best candidate for the job.
When the interviewer is done telling you about their company, reiterate your interest in the position based on your new knowledge of the company, and give some examples of why you fit in with their overall identity. Surprise the interviewer with an answer that is well thought-out and one they haven’t heard a dozen times before.
Post your job interview horror stories in the comments below (we can’t wait to read them)! Whenever possible, try to tailor your responses so that they match closely with what the company is looking for. For example, instead of just saying that you know InDesign, you might mention that you have plenty of experience designing multi-page materials if you’re interviewing with a company that puts out a lot of brochures.

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