How to Hire a Graphic Design Intern: Reviewing portfolios

By Adam Robinson,
May 23, 2013

At the beginning of the year, after 4 failed attempts at creating an ebook on Microsoft Word, I was desperate for help from anyone that could open Photoshop. It was evident, Hireology needed a graphic designer. 

Now we are cranking out beautiful educational and perfectly designed ebooks weekly. Sadly our graphic design’s time with Hireology has come to an end and he must graduate and enter the real world. So we are stuck in the middle of our hiring process again and it’s time to start reviewing portfolios.

As a Marketing professional with a non-design background I have no idea what I am looking for in terms of good designers. For the last several weeks I have been reviewing amazing online portfolios and not-so amazing portfolios. What should you be looking for? I asked Hireology Director of Marketing and Graphic Design whiz, Erin Wasson, this is what she said:

Their portfolio should contain…

  • A variety of skills from illustration, to layout, to photography. 
  • Their personal brand and if they developed a brand for themselves, does it show their understanding of the importance of a brand and how to design in the context of it?
  • Their resume design. If a graphic designer can’t catch your eye with the one piece they are using to sell themselves, that is usually a red flag.

Do they play fair?

Wasson says a good graphic design intern will have experience working with marketing professionals or marketing students. This means they will have experience adapting to what the marketing or leadership team is looking for in a design. Good graphic designers will understand non-designers language when trying to describe a design they have in mind.

Think “Can you move that dark red bubble to the top of that line and make it bigger?” Compared to “Can you increase the stroke on the gradient oval?”

Graphic designers are great assests to your team. Make sure you are hiring the right one. Hope these tips helped!

Check out our hiring myths ebook below designed by Hireology’s FIRST graphic design intern.

About the Author

Adam co-founded Hireology with the mission to help growing companies make better hiring decisions through data and better technology. Adam is passionate about entrepreneurship, donating time to a number of organizations that support the entrepreneurial cause. Adam completed his undergraduate study at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and received his MBA from DePaul University in Chicago, IL.

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