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Interview Questions for a Graphic Designer

Need help with the right questions

8:00 pm on Jul 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

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We're in the process of hiring a graphic designer for our firm and have several people coming in for an interview over the next few days. Problem is that I'm not sure of the right questions to ask them to see what they really know about design.

They will be responsible for designing several new websites, re-designing existing websites, and building hundreds of banners (both in flash and gif format).

Anybody have suggestions?

1:23 pm on July 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

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You might first-off ask for a portfolio. This should help you gauge whether their experience/taste/etc. is par with what your expecting from an employee.

Some of the things I ask when hiring ... And this is all off the top of my head so keep that in mind:

When creating graphics, what do you feel is the most important aspect: Planning, design or implementation ... And why?

When working in Flash, what is a reasonable timeframe for say a 800x100 px banner?

When creating graphics, when is 'eye catching' "too much"?

In the past, what was your favoite project and why?

What is your experience with CSS and do you find it superior or inferior? Explain why.

CanadianChris, consider this: If you don't know about the position you're hiring for, you might plan some really off-the-wall generic questions. Try to catch them off guard with maybe some humor and then drill them again with relevent questions. Test how the take 'relaxed pressure' as I like to call it. The more explaining they can do, and the better they handle it ... either 1) the more they know, or 2) the better they are at *BS*ing. This you just have to take a gamble on.

There are a few books available that I have seen for hiring graphic designers.

Good luck!

-- Zak

1:26 pm on July 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I think an easy way to cover all the points mentioned above would be to select a few sites - one that you like and several that suffer from design problems, and ask him to critique them.
1:55 pm on July 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

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A few off the top...

* How much experience do you have?
* Where do you go for inspiration?
* Who is your favourite designer?
* What software do you have experience using?
* Do you design using standards/tables/css etc?

Then I would sit them down and ask them to build a simple site (give them half hour with nothing more than notepad). That'd be an interesting test - Webdesigners worth their salt HAVE to know how to write html/css.

3:38 pm on July 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I've hired many graphic designers over the years and probably the most important question regarding a portfolio is: What exactly was your part in producing a particular piece?

The reason for this question is there is often a certain misrepresentation of portfolio pieces. For instance, an artist has a knock-out site or print piece and upon thourough questioning you find out 'their part' was merely adding the copy - they didn't do the layout, imagery etc.

Ask very specfic questions about the work they represent as 'theirs'.

1:25 am on July 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

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The portfolio will speak for itself. If you like the work, ask them what kind of time frames they would propose for some of our initial projects to see if your expectations are in order with what they can do.

When interviewing my favorite questions are the off beat ones like, if you were a super hero, which one would you be and why? (It tests their creativity on the fly and it's a great barometer to see if they have a sense of humor!)

You really need to know if you can spend hours with this person every day. That is the biggest question of all out side of their natural ability to produce good work.

8:41 pm on Aug 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Give them a made-up banner spec and ask them to come up with three different banners to put across a particular message and provide the finished work at the interview - you'll see straight away whether they'll be up to the job or not.