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Hiring Exercises for Junior Designers: Gauge Your Potential Hire’s Design Abilities

akin Hiring Design

While portfolios and structured interviews remain a crucial part of the hiring process, they aren’t the best or most thorough gauge of a potential hire’s abilities – particularly in the creative field, when assessing designers.

With this in mind (and after our own experiences), the team at AKÏN created a bunch of hiring exercises for a more accurate read of our design candidates’ technical skills and creativity. Since the inaugural version was launched, we’ve continued to test and iterate our exercises; and today, we are proud to officially release… VERSION 2!

This revised iteration of hiring exercises for designers are now more straightforward and more cheat-proof, while at the same time more telling of the candidate’s technical skills and creative flair.

It features a series of well-scoped design problems for the design interviewee, covering 3 main assessment areas: CREATIVE, DESIGN & VERBAL.



This portion of the assessment consists of 2 sections:

  1. Campaign Poster Design
  2. Free Style Drawing

While many junior designers are talented, they often forget to keep in mind the target audience and what appeals to them. This assessment requires the candidate to create a simple campaign poster - in doing so, it tests the designer’s ability to achieve a balance of creativity and mass marketing appeal through their work.

The second portion of the challenge looks at the designer’s intuitive, divergent and creative thinking in a given timeframe. Candidates are expected to create a drawing that incorporates the provided lines on the paper. Plus points if a narrative accompanies their drawing. (From our experience, most would end up drawing a bird or a fish!)




This portion of the assessment consists of 3 sections:

  1. Photoshop: Basic Photo Editing
  2. Illustrator: Basic Vector Drawing
  3. GIFs: Basic Animation

Each section serves to test the candidate’s technical proficiency in using various design programmes, and their most basic functions. In light of the GIF’s increasing popularity on social media platforms, we’ve added our very own ‘GIF challenge’ in this latest edition.




Verbal_Assessment.pngIt’s easy to favour a candidate for their credentials, experience and portfolio. But it’s just as important to understand their personality, and see how they could potentially fit into AKÏN’s culture.

This portion of the assessment is essentially a regular hiring interview – but with a slight AKÏN twist. It features a list of fun questions that delve a little deeper into getting to know the candidate better as an individual. (And also because… we are really curious about other people’s spirit animals!)




The overall assessment and interview should take about 2 hours, of which 30 mins should be allocated for the verbal assessment.

If you’re interested to give this a try, download the exercises here, or simply forward this link to your HR manager. Good luck in your Junior Designer hiring quest – we’ve been there, so we hope this makes things a little easier for you. : )

Download Hiring Exercises


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