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9 Questions to Ask When Hiring a Motion Designer

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Looking to hire a Motion Designer? Here are a few important questions to ask.

Hiring can be risky business...

  • What if they don't collaborate with others well?
  • What if they turn out to be a negative nancy?
  • What if they smell like feet?

Asking the right questions during the interview will give you the best chance of finding the right match. The interview is a great way to find out how well you and the Motion Designer communicate with each other. So to help with the hiring process we put together a list of interview questions that will help you find the Motion Designer of your dreams.


1. How do you work with collaborators such as writers, creative directors, technical artists, and producers?

The answer to this question will tell you a lot. This gives the Motion Designer an opportunity to talk about their process. How they speak about their collaborators is a good indication of how they are to work with. Do they have a generally positive view of collaboration? Do they value frequent communication or are they more hands off? The answer to this question will give you a good idea of their working style and how it may or may not fit with your needs.

Collaboration is a difficult, yet essential, part of the Motion Design process. If they don't collaborate well, or have stories of collaboration, they will likely be a pain to work with.

2. How to you respond to criticism of your work? Tell me about a time you received particularly tough criticism of your work and how you responded to it?

Professional Motion Designers are in the business of making clients happy. If they can calmly hand positively answer this question, you know you are working with a pro. If they hesitate or get uncomfortable, take notice. This may mean they aren’t willing to work to your vision or make adjustments to the work to fit your needs.

Motion Design is a service more than a product. If they don't have a good outlook on working with clients this can be very problematic.

Sorry, Dude. Nobody likes a know-it-all.

3. What Motion Designers do you admire and how does their work influence your work?

Any motion designer worth their salt will be excited to answer this question. You may not be familiar with the Motion Designers they admire, but the way they talk about them will give you an idea of how they work. Do they continually strive to improve? Do they respect, admire, and learn from others in the field? The Motion Designer you want to work with is one who is engaged with and current in their field.

If they think that all their ideas come directly from their head, they must have a pretty big one...

4. What pieces in your portfolio are you most proud of and why?

This one might seem straightforward but pay close attention to how they answer this. Does their most favorite work have anything in common with what you are looking to have them create? Do they have confidence in their work when they speak about it? Like Goldilocks and the Three Bears, you want to find the middle ground. You don’t want the overly confident prima donna who can do no wrong. You also don’t want the overly self-critical designer who can’t confidently design to a vision. You want the Motion Designer who is confident, but not cocky.  

5. Can you walk me through the process you followed to create this portfolio piece?

This question is a gold mine. If you haven’t worked with a Motion Designer before, this question should put you at ease and give you a clear idea of who the project process will go. If they don’t have a clear process, this may be their first rodeo. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, if you have some experience working with the Motion Design process. If you don’t, then look for a designer who can guide you smoothly through the project process. This question can also give you a good idea of how hard-working and detail oriented they are. A solid repeatable process leads to solid repeatable results.  

Kinda a negative way of looking at things, but you get the idea...

6. What is the most challenging project you have worked on professionally and how did you approach the challenges?

This is one of those tricky interview questions. You are essentially asking the Motion Designer to talk about something that didn’t go well and how they solved the problem. Good Motion Designers learn from challenging situations and approach them head on with a solutions oriented attitude.

If they can answer this question in a way that leaves you feeling positive and confident about their abilities, then you found a proactive problem solver.

7. How do you stay current with the technology and processes in the industry?

This is another tricky question. The industry is always changing and good Motion Designers know this and work continually to keep up with the trends as well as improve their own skills. An eagerness to learn and grow is an important quality for a professional creative. If this question is met with a less than confident response, you may not have a dedicated pro.  

8. Tell me about your experience working with this type of project?

This might seem like a no brainer but it’s often overlooked. Make sure to ask the Motion Designer about their experience with the type of project you are doing. If you are hiring them to create explainer videos, you want to know if they have done this before. If they have similar experience, but not an exact match, they should be able to share their related experience in a way that makes you feel confident in their abilities to create your vision.  

9. What is your availability on a daily and weekly basis?

If you are looking for a full time, on-site Motion Designer, this question may not apply to you. In the world of remote work and freelancing, it’s super important. If you need a full-time gig for 3 weeks and your Motion Designer is only available half time for the next three weeks, that’s a problem. You also want to be sure that the Motion Designer you hire has some overlap with your work day on a regular basis. Let’s say you work 8AM-6PM in San Francisco. You need a motion designer who is going to have some overlap with that. If you hire someone in Dubai, it had better be a night owl.

If your schedules don't overlap very well you'd better be prepared for a delayed feedback process.

Remember, a good Motion Designer will make your life easier. Asking the right questions up front in the interview will help both you and the Motion Designer find out if this relationship is going to be the right fit.  

How to Hire a Motion Designer

When you're ready to hire a new Motion Designer go check out the Jobs Board here on School of Motion. We have a custom job board created specifically for hiring Motion Designers around the world.


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Not sure where to start?

If you’re a beginner, here are some great courses to help you get started:

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More Advanced?

If you’re a more advanced student looking to up your game, here are some great options:

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Now is the time to learn the skills you need to advance in your motion design career: