27 Visual Designer Interview Questions to Find You the Right Hire

Your brand and company identity is conveyed through its visual design. So it's crucial to hire a designer who understands your company's mission and can create designs that align with who you are and what you believe in. ✨

Selecting a great candidate to join your team starts with an outstanding job application and an even better interview. Set yourself up with smart interview questions and assess applicants’ answers to move you through the hiring process and help you find the right person for the job.

Consider these essential (and unique!) visual designer interview questions to ask candidates.

<div class="inpage-callout-container"><p class="inpage-banner-text">💡 Remember: A job interview is a two-way street and your candidate is also interviewing you about your company and the role. They need to feel certain that joining your team is the best decision they can make. Be ready to answer candidates’ questions and share helpful information that will get them excited about working on your team.</p></div>

General interview questions

<h3 class="h3-small">1. What kind of work environment do you do your best work in?</h3>

Ask this question to get a better idea of what type of environment your Visual Designer candidate might succeed in and consider if this is something your company and this position can offer them. Are you all about remote work? Flexible working? Or are you 100% in-office? This is the right time to discuss your setup.

<h3 class="h3-small">2. Take me through your background. Why did you choose to become a Visual Designer?</h3>

A pretty standard question but no less a crucial one to ask your visual design candidate! You want to get to know your candidate better, beyond what they’ve listed on their CV. This allows you to hear, in their own words, how they ended up on their career journey and what makes them passionate about visual design.

<h3 class="h3-small">3. Why are you looking for in your next role that you were lacking in your previous role?</h3>

This question is about uncovering their motivations in a job and what they’re looking for in this new position. Maybe they are looking for more creative freedom or a better work/life balance and that’s exactly the sort of thing your business can provide.

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<h3 class="h3-small">4. What drew you to apply for this role at our company?</h3>

A follow-up to the previous question will help you understand what your candidate is looking for in a new position and what motivated them to fill in your job application form and hit that apply button in the first place. They may be particularly drawn to your mission or the opportunity to work on diverse projects. By understanding their motivations, you can gauge if they’d enjoy the visual design work they’d be doing at your company.

<h3 class="h3-small">5. What do you think it takes to be successful as a Visual Designer?</h3>

This question will help you understand your candidate's concept of the role and what they think it takes to succeed. Visual design is a broad field, so it's important to find a candidate who clearly understands the role and what success looks like. An acceptable answer to this question will show that they have researched the position and know the responsibilities of a Visual Designer.

<h3 class="h3-small">6. Can you tell us about some of your favorite designers and why they inspire you?</h3>

If they’re really passionate about design, they likely have some favorite designers. If they don't have favorite Visual Designers per se, you can ask them about any other visual artists they admire, be it fashion designers, architects or painters. Their answers will give you an idea of their design taste, beyond what you’ve seen in their portfolio, and what kind of visual design work they’re drawn to. This question is all about getting to know your candidate better—there are no wrong answers.

<h3 class="h3-small">7. Can you tell me about one thing you think you do really well in your work and what you would like to improve upon?</h3>

The goal of this question is to get to know your candidate on a personal level and see if they have an accurate picture of their skill set. You’re looking to see if they have a realistic understanding of their abilities and how those can add to the skills you have on your team. You’re also looking for an honest answer that shows their self-awareness, understanding of their limitations and are working to improve upon them. After all, no one is perfect!

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<h3 class="h3-small">8. How do you maintain balance in your work and personal life, and switch off at the end of a hectic work day?</h3>

Ask this interview question to get a better idea of how your candidate maintains balance with their personal life and work. Every team member should understand the importance of taking time off to recharge—and creative work can be especially draining. If they talk about valuing rest and setting boundaries so they can bring their best selves to work (and to their home life), you may be speaking to the right candidate.

Hard skills questions

<h3 class="h3-small">9. Can you talk to me about your favorite example of your previous work and the process you went through to design it?</h3>

Talking through an example from a candidate’s portfolio together is a great way to understand their creative thought process. Pay attention to the level of detail, use of color and overall aesthetics. Also, listen to how they talk about their work—note if they sound passionate and enthusiastic about what they do.

<h3 class="h3-small">10. What software do you prefer using and why?</h3>

From Photoshop and Illustrator to InDesign and Sketch, there are tons of different design software options out there. By asking this visual designer interview question, you can get a sense of what software your candidate is most comfortable using and gauge their level of proficiency. It’s important to remind yourself that software can be taught and it’s likely that if they know how to use one design program, they should easily be able to learn how to use another.

<h3 class="h3-small">11. Take me through how you would approach designing a logo. What steps would you take?</h3>

A solid response here will show that they clearly understand the steps involved in designing a logo and can articulate their thoughts. This situational question can help you dig into the candidate’s design process and also see if they can explain their process in a concise way.

<h3 class="h3-small">12. How would you rank good elements of design in order of importance?</h3>

There are multiple schools of thought regarding what makes good design. By asking this question, you can understand your candidate's priorities and what they think is most important in the design process. The answer to this question will differ for every candidate, but some common elements often mentioned include balance, hierarchy, unity, contrast and use of space.

<h3 class="h3-small">13. What do you think is the most important thing to keep in mind when designing for a brand like ours?</h3>

When designing for a brand, keeping the company's goals and objectives in mind is paramount. They should have a firm grasp on concepts like target audience, brand voice and mission. An acceptable response will show that they understand the importance of aligning their designs with the company's overall mission. Consistency across channels is also an ideal answer, as it shows that they understand the importance of creating a cohesive brand identity.

<h3 class="h3-small">14. How do you come up with new ideas?</h3>

Creative block often happens in the early stages of the design process when trying to come up with new ideas. This question will provide insight into your candidate's creative process and how they overcome the everyday obstacles of being in a creative industry. They should understand the importance of brainstorming, researching and sketching out an idea before jumping into the execution phase.

<h3 class="h3-small">15. In your opinion, what are some common design mistakes people make?</h3>

This question will give you some insight into your candidate's design sensibilities. They should have a keen eye for detail and can spot even the smallest of errors.

<h3 class="h3-small">16. How would you describe your design style?</h3>

This question will give you a better understanding of your candidate's design aesthetic. Their answer should be specific and well-articulated, showing that they understand their personal style. It should also match what they presented in their portfolio. Bonus points if they also mention how their style has evolved over time and how they plan on continuing to grow as a designer.

Soft skills questions

<h3 class="h3-small">17. How do you collaborate with multiple teams and personality types?</h3>

Next, you need to see if the candidate is a team player and is willing to work collaboratively with others. They should be able to explain how they are able to contribute to a positive team dynamic and how they handle group conflict. They might also have some experience working remotely and be able to share how they stay connected with their colleagues in different timezones when issues arise.

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<h3 class="h3-small">18. How do you handle criticism?</h3>

This question is suitable for all jobs but is especially important for designers. A stellar candidate can accept constructive feedback and use it to improve their work. When answering this interview question, they should be able to share an example or two of how they’ve handled criticism in the past and most importantly, what they learned. This question will provide insight into their emotional intelligence and how they handle those inevitable difficult conversations at work.

<h3 class="h3-small">19. What do you think sets our company apart from others in the industry?</h3>

Ideally, your visual design candidate will have taken the time to learn a little bit about your company's history, mission and values. They should also be able to articulate how their skills and experience align with what your company is looking for. However, when you ask this question be sure that you’ve given your candidate the necessary introduction to your company and background so they have all the information they need to fairly answer this question.

<h3 class="h3-small">20. How do you go about finding inspiration for your work?</h3>

Inspiration can come from anywhere, so there’s no wrong answer to this question. The candidate can find inspiration in both traditional and non-traditional sources. They should be able to explain how they can translate that inspiration, whatever it may be, into their work.

<h3 class="h3-small">21. How do you handle tight deadlines or unexpected obstacles?</h3>

Here’s another question that’s important for all jobs, but especially for designers in a creative field. An insightful response will showcase the candidate’s ability to stay calm under pressure and adapt to unexpected changes. Listen for any mention of planning in advance and how they stay organized.

Behavioral questions

<h3 class="h3-small">22. Tell me about a time when you had to think outside the box to solve a design problem.

Elite Visual Designers are a mix of creative problem solvers and technical experts. If your candidate can tell you a story about a time when they had to get creative to solve a design problem, it will show that they can think creatively to come up with unique solutions.

<h3 class="h3-small">23. Have you ever failed to meet a goal at work? If so, what happened, and how did you handle the situation?

It could be a deadline, a budget, or anything else, but we’ve all faced disappointment when we don't meet a goal. This question will show you how the candidate copes with failure and whether or not they are able to learn from their mistakes. Be sure to put more weight on how they’ve overcome their failure, rather than the failure itself.

<h3 class="h3-small">24. How do you stay up-to-date with current design trends?

Being proactive is a trait that all employers value. A Visual Designer should be interested in looking for new sources of inspiration and be willing to experiment with new techniques. They should also be able to explain how they can balance staying current with trends while still maintaining their unique style.

<h3 class="h3-small">25. Can you walk me through how you execute on a design idea?

This question will give you some insight into the candidate's creative process and how they approach a design project. From start to finish, what are the steps they take to turn an idea into a reality? Remember that there is no 'right' answer to this interview question! Listen for a logical and well-explained process.

<h3 class="h3-small">26. Tell me about a time when you had to design something outside of your comfort zone.

Not all projects will be in the candidate's wheelhouse, and that's okay and expected. What is important here is how they approach a design challenge outside their comfort zone. A good answer will show that the candidate is able to research and experiment until they find a solution that works.

<h3 class="h3-small">27. Tell me about how you manage stakeholder relationships. How do you keep them up to date and do you manage different opinions and requests?

Visual designers often have to wear many different hats. They also have the tricky task of managing multiple important stakeholder relationships. You’ll want to listen for how your candidate has managed various needs, wants and opinions in previous roles and how they might be successful doing the same as part of your team.

<div class="inpage-callout-container"><p class="inpage-banner-text">🔥 Tip: Be sure to leave ample time for your candidate to ask questions throughout the interview or at the very end. It’s easy to forget, but an interview is a conversation after all! The candidates’ own perspective should also be taken into account. Give them the time, space and information they need in the interview process to properly consider the position.</p></div>

Find and hire the right Visual Designer with Homerun

Hiring the right collaborative, communicative and customer-focused Visual Designer for your team can feel like a job all on its own. But just because your team is small and your resources may be slim, it doesn’t mean you can’t level up your hiring process.

When you use a tool like Homerun, you can organize and streamline your entire hiring workflow, and most importantly, make a good impression with Visual Designer candidates.

Create and share your job post, make a shortlist of ideal candidates, then involve the rest of your team in the hiring process. You can share feedback on the candidates, get a visual of the hiring workflow, email candidates, invite them to final interviews, share visual design assignments and keep everything related to the hiring process organized in one place. 🤩

<div class="explainer-block color-bg-lightskyblue"><img src="https://assets.website-files.com/58d684124f3644b01d649b26/611e5c54aba88f50fff715d1_cover-organize-big.png" loading="lazy" alt="" class="banner-image padding-top" data-airgap-id="23"><div class="div-block-243"><div class="h3">Simplify your hiring and grow your team with Homerun<br></div><p>Organize your hiring workflow so you can welcome the Visual Designer your team has been dreaming of.</p><div class="btn-container horizontal"><a target="_self" href="/product/organize" class="btn-primary color-black w-button">Learn more</a><div class="btn-divider"></div><a href="https://app.homerun.co/register" class="btn-secundary color-white w-button">Create job post for free</a></div></div></div>