Are You Preparing Yourself for Success?

I’m currently in the process of trying to find an internship for the summer. One of the significant steps of getting an internship is getting through the interview. So I wanted to share some questions I always go through when I prepare.

General Questions:

  • Tell me about yourself.
  • Why are you interested in this position?
  • What about your college studies and/or work history makes you uniquely qualified for this position?
  • What do you know about our company/ agency and what we do?
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • Tell me about a time at work or school that you have taken/exhibited leadership on a project.
  • Tell me how you made sure that the projects were completed on time and well done.
  • Give me an example of a time that you worked on a team. What was the outcome?
  • Tell me about a time when your work got critiqued. How did you react?
  • How do you meet tight deadlines? Can you work under pressure?
  • Why would you like to work with a team and why would you want to work alone?
  • Why should we hire you?



  • Tell me about some of the projects you have completed/are currently working on.
  • Tell us about a favorite piece of work in your collection.
  • Talk about one of your more successful design projects. What kind of results did it achieve, and how do you define success?

When I had my first “second interview” I wasn’t sure what I would be asked from me. What I learned after going through it was that the company wanted to know more about myself as a person and what I wanted to be as a designer. They tried to identify information that I couldn’t necessarily. Provide to them on a piece of paper.

Second Interview Questions:

  • What challenges are you looking for in a position?
  • Why are you the best person for the job? / What can you contribute to this company?
  • Why should we hire you?

If you go in for an interview, they will probably be a few things you want to know about the company. And if you move forward with a second interview, you will want to know what they are expecting of you.

Questions to ask the interviewer:

  • What is the biggest challenge facing the person in this position?
  • What were some of the things that attracted you to this company?
  • How would you describe the culture here?
  • When you think about the best people you have ever hired, what common traits do they have?
  • What about my background and experience do you see as a fit for this position? What concerns do you have about my background or experience?
  • What is the next step in the hiring process?


Going through some of these questions has helped me as a designer focus in on what I love, want to focus more on, and how I define myself as a designer. Some of the most straightforward questions can be the hardest to answer. Plus, your answer now may be different than it was four years ago. Note: I am still trying to answer some of these.

Questions to ask yourself – a designer:

  • Why did you become a designer?
  • What is your design approach / creative process?
  • How would you describe your design research?
  • How would you explain your work?
  • What is your biggest design challenge?
  • What constitutes good design?
  • How would you define graphic design?
  • What qualities and skills should a good graphic designer have?
  • How do you measure the success of your designs?
  • How do you start a project? How do you know when it is finished?
  • What do you do when you hit a creative block? Talk about a design challenge you encountered and how you overcame it.
  • What do you do when you’re running out of time on a project? As a graphic designer, whose work do you admire? Who are your design heroes?
  • Who would be your ideal brand or client to work on, and why?


Third Interview Questions:

Today was the first time that I successfully went through a third interview. To be honest, I didn’t even know these existed, and I did not know what to expect. So, what did today look like? Today was a “trial run.” I spent half a day in the office working on some mock-up projects.   These would be the kinds of projects I would be working on as an intern. I met the design/marketing team and was able to get a feel of the company culture. At the end of the day I talked through my work and ideas, and they gave me feedback based on the “look” of the company and also what they were looking for in a design intern.

Questions/Conversation points:

  • How will this position be assessed during a performance evaluation and what does success in this position look like?
  • Are you going to be a team player?
  • Are you going to be a benefit to the company? And they to you?
  • What is something you’d be happy doing every day at work?


To me, the big thing to focus on during this point of the process is what are your skills worth? Be prepared to talk about compensation and benefits. Take some time to process, think, and weigh your options. Go with your gut and follow your heart.