Good interview questions to ask a design intern

Written by liza hollis
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Good interview questions to ask a design intern
Design intership positions involve an interview process. (Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

The design world is extremely varied, encompassing web designers and fashion designers to interior designers or graphic artists. In the field of design, an internship can be the jumping off point for many aspiring creatives. To find the right candidate to fill an internship position, starts with a thorough interview. Getting to know the candidate's design ambitions is a matter of asking the right questions.

Design Experience

This portion of the interview will allow you to put the candidate's resume and cover letter into context. Ask questions about academic and professional experience in design, including school, classes and projects. Ask about any other internships and any responsibilities on specific design projects. Ask to see a portfolio of the candidate's work that showcases experience and ideas.

Goals/ Career Expectations

A common question for an internship interviews is, "Where do you see yourself in five years?" Intern candidates should express how they want to use design in their careers and what their professional goals are. An internship can often open doors for the intern, so during these sets of questions the employer can gauge a candidate's commitment to the industry and how this internship might help the designer achieve those goals.

Customer Service and Administrative Skills

Much of design involves working with clients to satisfy needs. Ask questions about their previous experience working with customers. They might also be expected to complete administrative tasks for the internship, from answering phones to sending memos and scheduling appointments. Ask questions that allow them to demonstrate their experience in this area.

Computer Program Familiarity

In today's design world, proficiency with many design software is essential. Many design interns are expected to have hands-on experience and formal training with several software programs. The candidate should also be technically proficient with both PC or Mac computer operating systems, as both are commonly used in the design field. Ask about projects where using these programs was essential.

Work Ethic

Some general questions for interns should help determine the candidate's work ethic. Internships can help an individual land a paying job, but the internship is often unpaid and requires long hours and tedious work. Ask the candidate questions that will gauge their commitment to this program. Try to determine a candidate's availability, reliability, punctuality and integrity with "what if" questions such as, "What if we asked you to work late on a project, and you had already made dinner plans with a friend?"

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