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Art Director interview questions and answers

This Art Director interview profile brings together a snapshot of what to look for in candidates with a balanced sample of suitable interview questions.

Christine Del Castillo
Christine Del Castillo

Former Community Manager at Workable specialized in employee experience, talent brands and our event series, Workable Ideas.

art-director

10 good art director Interview Questions

  1. As a designer, whose work do you admire?
  2. What product would you like to design or redesign?
  3. What creative projects do you do on your own time?
  4. How do you keep up with the latest creative tools and technologies?
  5. What tools do you rely on in your day-to-day work?
  6. How influenced are you by current trends?
  7. How has your design direction contributed to solving a business problem?
  8. Let’s say you’ve started working on a high-profile brand. What do you do in the first week to learn about the brand?
  9. Describe one of the most challenging design projects you’ve ever worked on.
  10. Your most important client hates your work. What do you do?

Here are 10 essential interview questions and sample answers to help identify the best candidates for this role.

1. As a designer, whose work do you admire?

This question aims to understand the candidate’s inspirations and influences in the design world.

Sample answer:

“I’ve always admired the work of Paula Scher for her groundbreaking typography and brand identity projects. Her work has influenced my approach to design.”

2. What product would you like to design or redesign?

This question assesses the candidate’s creative vision and their ability to identify design opportunities.

Sample answer:

“I would love to redesign public transportation apps to make them more user-friendly and visually appealing.”

3. What creative projects do you do on your own time?

This question explores the candidate’s passion for design outside of work.

Sample answer:

“I enjoy working on personal branding projects and experimenting with different illustration styles in my free time.”

4. How do you keep up with the latest creative tools and technologies?

This question gauges the candidate’s commitment to professional development.

Sample answer:

“I regularly read design blogs, attend webinars, and experiment with new software to stay updated.”

5. What tools do you rely on in your day-to-day work?

This question assesses the candidate’s familiarity with essential design tools.

Sample answer:

“I primarily use Adobe Creative Suite for most of my design work, along with Sketch for UI/UX projects.”

6. How influenced are you by current trends?

This question explores how the candidate balances trends with timeless design principles.

Sample answer:

“While it’s important to be aware of trends, I believe in creating designs that are both contemporary and enduring.”

7. How has your design direction contributed to solving a business problem?

This question evaluates the candidate’s ability to align design strategy with business objectives.

Sample answer:

“I once led a rebranding project that resulted in a 30% increase in customer engagement.”

8. Let’s say you’ve started working on a high-profile brand. What do you do in the first week to learn about the brand?

This question tests the candidate’s approach to understanding a new brand’s identity and objectives.

Sample answer:

“I would immerse myself in the brand’s existing materials, talk to key stakeholders, and conduct market research.”

9. Describe one of the most challenging design projects you’ve ever worked on.

This question assesses the candidate’s problem-solving skills and resilience.

Sample answer:

“The most challenging project was designing an e-commerce site within a tight deadline. Effective team collaboration and time management were crucial.”

10. Your most important client hates your work. What do you do?

This question gauges the candidate’s client management and conflict resolution skills.

Sample answer:

“I would seek specific feedback to understand their concerns and make revisions accordingly, while maintaining the integrity of the design.”

What does a good art director candidate look like?

A strong art director candidate will have a robust portfolio, demonstrate a deep understanding of design principles, and possess excellent communication skills. They should also be adept at team management and aligning creative strategies with business goals.



Art Director Interview Questions

Art Directors, whose specialties lie in storyboarding, typography, logo design, web layout design and a multitude of other visual communication skills, are veteran designers. Your most promising candidates should have a polished and relevant portfolio of work. They should anticipate displaying and discussing a few strategically chosen work samples during their interviews, either in print form or on a mobile device.

In addition to serious design chops, you’re looking for a team leader. Art directors provide strategic direction for the team, create project schedules and manage less experienced creatives. They should be able to present their work to non-creative management staff, give constructive feedback to their colleagues, and enlist assistance from people in other departments as needed.

Use open-ended and situational interview questions to hire the right art director for your team. During this conversation, be on the lookout for candidates who highlight their business acumen and staff management skills. It’s a red flag if they haven’t done their homework on your company and are not familiar with your brand or your clients. Finally, the relevance of their experience is as important as the length of their experience. Look for someone with a strong understanding of your industry, or someone whose experience easily translates to your company’s mission.

Let’s summarize some of the questions and add a few more divided into specific types.

Role-specific questions

  • As a designer, whose work do you admire?
  • What product would you like to design or redesign?
  • What creative projects do you do on your own time?
  • How do you keep up with the latest creative tools and technologies?
  • What tools do you rely on in your day-to-day work?
  • How influenced are you by current trends?
  • How has your design direction contributed to solving a business problem?
  • Let’s say you’ve started working on a high-profile brand. What do you do in the first week to learn about the brand?
  • Describe one of the most challenging design projects you’ve ever worked on.
  • Recall a time you took charge to turn a negative situation into a positive situation.
  • What are some ways in which you have trained or mentored colleagues?
  • Your project is delayed for reasons you can’t control. How do you update your colleagues and clients about the situation?
  • Your most important client hates your work. What do you do?
  • Describe a time you’ve reduced the scope of a project based on what your team could realistically accomplish.
  • How do you keep your team motivated in the face of tight deadlines?
  • Which of our clients are you most interested in working with? Why?
  • Have you seen any of our creative materials? What are your impressions?

Frequently asked questions

Ready to fine-tune this interview kit?
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