Updated on August 30th, 2018
| Rachelle is a job search expert, career coach, and headhunter who helps everyone from students to fortune executives find success in their career.
Question 1 of 25
As an animator, what do you believe is your best asset?
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Entry Level Example
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How to Answer
Animation has a wide variety of areas in which you can specialize. This question offers an excellent opportunity to discuss your specialty or any areas of expertise. If you are a facial animator, indicate that, for instance.
"Apart from all the skills I learned during my training to become an animator, my creativity is my best asset. There will be many others who may possess the knowledge of the programs and methods I use to create my animations but what others may not have is my creative eye and attention to detail, which sets my work above par."
Entry Level Example
"My best asset is my ability to see the big picture. I create the larger picture first, when working on a project, and then work my way into the more finite details."
"At the beginning of my career, I spent a great deal of time working as a freelance animator. This experience made me incredibly strong in the area of time-management and diligence. If I did not meet a deadline, I was not paid, so it was essential for me to be diligent and organized."
What are you doing to keep current in animation technology?
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Entry Level Example
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An employee who keeps himself updated with current technology is always considered to be an asset for an organization. Discuss any industry related or tech-focused events you attend, what websites you regularly visit for industry trends, and which animation networks you may be a part of. For technical roles, if you post/contribute to GitHub or similar forums be prepared to show your user stats, code published, etc.
"I am always interested in knowing what new updates are coming up in my profession. This is a must-do professional move as it gives me an edge over others in the industry. I regularly sign up for animation webinars and global conferences. Also, I am a contributing member of a LinkedIn community for animators."
Entry Level Example
"Currently, I decided to join a local network for up and coming animators. It's been a great resource for me. I am also taking some creative writing courses so that I can post better content and articles on my animation blog which is about my life as an up and coming animator. If you have any suggestions for resources, I would love to learn about them!"
"I am a regular contributor to a popular animation forum which has positioned me as an expert in tech changes and trends in our industry. To keep up with this, and to stay abreast of new topics, I use a variety of resources including the 11 Second Club, and iAnimate.com."
Community Answers with Professional Feedback
"I visit AWN.com and the 11-second club every month. On AWN.com, I get current information about the animation industry. In the 11-second club, I learn from other animators."
Rachelle Enns' Professional Opinion:
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Depending on your area of focus, your answer could go as far back as the earliest animators (Walt Disney, Dr. Seuss, Chuck Jones). If your career is in gaming, online content, video, movies, etc., additional knowledge of the industry-specific mavericks will be good for you to know.
"I admire Dr. Seuss the most because his work in animation has been timeless. You know a great animator when even those outside of the industry can instantly recognize and name the work. I aspire to be this timeless one day."
Entry Level Example
"I have learned a great deal about Chuck Jones while attending university. Although his name is not as well known, his work is timeless and will be with us forever. His work with Warner Bros. Cartoons will always be taught in universities. He directed classics like Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck- all work that I know even my kids will enjoy one day."
"I most admire Walt Disney. His story is incredibly encouraging, and I look to his classic work for inspiration on a regular basis. I especially appreciate that he did not limit himself only as an animator. He also thrived as an entrepreneur, producer, and voice actor."
Everyone has some dream or aspirations on where their career could go. When you think about the future, what comes to mind? Openly share with the interviewer where you'd like to see your job take you. Be sure to include how you feel this particular company would fit in with those specific aspirations.
"I enjoy creating animations and want to grow from a freelance animator to a full-time staff animator. I believe your organization would be the perfect fit for me during this transition from freelance since you have supported many other professionals through similar transitions."
Entry Level Example
"By working for this company I want to polish my skills in 3D animation and someday be able to teach your recruits the art of 3D!"
"I have some pretty lofty career aspirations, and after researching your organization and learning more about this position, I feel that this role fits with my future aspirations. I would love to see myself promoted based on my hard work and results, eventually managing my own animation division."
When an interviewer asks an open-ended question like this, it can be difficult to know where to begin...and end! This question haunts many individuals who may accidentally go a little too in-depth into their personal lives. It happens. Keep your reply light, and work relevant. Share how you became interested in this career path and what you enjoy about it. This question offers an excellent opportunity to describe yourself by discussing the strengths and qualities that you bring.
"I am a competitive individual who is driven and likes to win. In addition to my successful sales career, I also spend time playing competitive sports. I give back by volunteering at the local animal shelter and working for a variety of annual fundraisers in our community."
Entry Level Example
"I am a very active individual who loves to workout and goes to the mountains on the weekend. I feel that my level of activity on my off time greatly improves my work during the week. I have a high amount of energy to offer!"
"As an animator, we don't leave our work, ever. So, while the day may be from 8-5, I take my job home with me on nights and weekends."
6. What was the biggest change you have had to deal with in your career? You will likely face change in your career from time to time. Assure the interviewer that you can adapt to substantial changes in a professional manner. Here is an answer example: "The biggest change in my career was learning to report to an entirely new management team when we merged with a competitor." Here is an entry level answer example: "The biggest change that I have faced in my career so far would be when my previous company went through a major merger. We had to adapt to new processes and management which was quite challenging, especially considering I was just an intern. In the end, it worked out well for the company, in a financial perspective, so the changes were well worth the challenges we faced initially." Here is an experienced answer example: "The biggest change I have dealt with in my career is when my company closed their PA location, and I was asked to relocation to VA. It was a risk on my part, but I chose to follow the company to their new location. It paid off as I continued another five years of success there."7. What questions do you have for me? It's always a great idea to have questions ready for the interviewer. Review the company website and other online resources to ensure the questions you are asking are not mundane, or redundant. The last thing an interviewer wants to hear is a list of items you could have found the answers to from merely watching a video on their company site! Here is an answer example: "A few come to mind, yes. What is the next major project that you will be tackling? Also, who would I be reporting to in this role?" Here is an entry level answer example: "Here are some sample questions:
- When would you like to have this position filled?
- How long has this role been vacant?
- Is this a replacement search or a newly created role?
- What is your favorite part of working here?
- What is the company's primary goal for this position in the next 12 months?
- Is there anything from my background and experience that I can clarify for you?
- What do you see as the most significant change in this industry over the past three years?
- Is there any reason why you would not hire me?" Here is an experienced answer example: "Thank you for asking - I do have a few questions. What is top of mind when it comes to filling this role? Also, what types of career growth opportunities would follow this position? And lastly, do you have internal candidates who are also interviewing for this position?"8. What is your current salary? A potential employer will often base their offer on your current salary. You should be transparent about your most recent earnings and be prepared to back up any salary requests. Here is an answer example: "I am currently earning a base salary of $78,000 and health benefits. I am looking for a competitive salary in my next position." Here is an entry level answer example: "As I am a recent graduate, I would like to be offered a fair salary that reflects my recent education. I am most concerned with joining an organization that will help me to grow my career in (industry). Compensation is not my primary driver." Here is an experienced answer example: "I am currently making $100,000 per year with two bonus opportunities. I am looking for compensation that is aligned with the role and provides an opportunity for growth."9. Have you ever broken a confidentiality agreement? Companies will have confidentiality agreements for a variety of reasons. These could be to protect their trade secrets or to ensure that you do not bring clients over on the occasion that you leave their company. Talk to the interviewer about your thoughts on confidentiality agreements. Here is an answer example: "I never have, to my knowledge, broken a confidentiality agreement. Despite my reasons for leaving a position, I would never choose to hurt a previous employer in any way." Here is an entry level answer example: "No. I have only once had a confidentiality agreement and had no problem adhering to it." Here is an experienced answer example: "Confidentiality agreements are necessary and important to protect an organization. I understand the need for confidentiality and take those factors very seriously. I have never broken the trust of my employer."10. How often do you take work home with you? The majority of people will work overtime hours or take work home with them on occasion. Talk to the interviewer about how frequently you take your work home. Here is an answer example: "I make sure to utilize my work hours very efficiently, so the only time that I take my work home is when there is an extremely stringent deadline. I would say that, overall, I take my work home maybe twice per month. It's all about being diligent with your time in the office!" Here is an entry level answer example: "I try not to take my work home with me. Everyone needs downtime. However, if something needs to get done, I will get it done, even from home." Here is an experienced answer example: "I take my work home with me whenever it is necessary. Some positions I have held, I work from home nearly every day. Other roles, such as my current position, I work from home just a couple of times per month."11. How do you handle a larger than average workload? The interviewer wants to be assured that you can handle the workload required of you in this position and that you will not become overwhelmed if/when workloads unexpectedly increase. When workloads increase, stress levels do too. How do you react? Here is an answer example: "I learned in both college, but especially in my animation internship, that I do best with a larger workload. I am excellent with time management and thrive under pressure. Obviously, I need a balance to this overload, so I don't burn out, but I enjoy the challenge of extra work." Here is an entry level answer example: "Here are some suggestions on how to handle a large workload:
- List your tasks and prioritize them
- Think of which functions add to the company's bottom line, and start there (Closest to the money!)
- Exhale. Relax for a minute and collect yourself
- Organize your tasks by which ones you can complete independently and which ones you need help with
- Take sufficient breaks, so you do not exhaust yourself
- Communicate your struggles with your leadership or team" Here is an experienced answer example: "When I have a large workload on my plate, I do not stress over the tasks that are in front of me. Rather, I make a simple plan of which tasks are a high priority and which tasks are a lower priority. The higher priority tasks, I complete first. Through this system, I can focus on my tasks individually, rather than stress out by the multitude of tasks ahead of me."12. When have you worked among a diverse group of people? Are you accustomed to working with a very large or diverse team of individuals? Assure the interviewer that you can handle an environment that offers diversity. Here is an answer example: "I have worked with diverse groups of people most of my career, including my time in University. I am most comfortable, and happy, in this type of environment because it offers a great learning opportunity." Here is an entry level answer example: "In my current role, I work alongside cross-functional teams regularly. Together, we manage our projects and maintain effectiveness." Here is an experienced answer example: "I would say that pretty much every company I have worked for has valued diversity. Working with people from all walks of life help shed different perspectives and identify potential problems faster."13. What type of work environment allows you to be the most productive? Are you able to be productive in any environment? Are there particular types of settings that you find distracting? Discuss your preferences with the interviewer. Be sure to research the kind of situation that is offered in this position before the interview. Here is an answer example: "I understand that your work environment is very collaborative. I come from a similar environment and found that I could be very productive when there was the " Here is an entry level answer example: "I work well in environments where I am trusted to do my job without micro-managing, after I learn the ropes of the business, of course." Here is an experienced answer example: "I work well in a high pressure, demanding environment that requires you to work smart and make your mark. I am competitive in nature and love to be personally challenged."14. Would you say you are a better verbal or written communicator? In which manner do you prefer to communicate - written or verbal? Discuss your preference with the interviewer and support your answer. Here is an answer example: "I prefer verbal communication because I feel that with written communication, a lot can be misread due to lack of tone, fluctuation, expression and body language. I will always choose a face to face conversation whenever possible." Here is an entry level answer example: "I do not lean one way or another when it comes to verbal or written communication. Both are equally important to me. If I have to choose just one, I will choose written communication as one can always look back on written communication for reference." Here is an experienced answer example: "I like to leverage both methods of communications when dealing with business. Sometimes, situations call for verbal communications and other times, written. As a rule of thumb, I tend to practice verbal communications, with written follow up or vice versa. Utilizing multiple methods creates repetition and therefore, change."15. Animators often need to work long hours. Would you be willing to work over 40 hours a week? Before answering scheduling questions, it's important to be clear on the interviewer's expectations. If you haven't had a chance to clarify their scheduling needs, now would be the perfect time to ask!
Consider asking, 'What are the scheduling expectations for this position?' If they expect you to work 12 hour days, it would be important for you to know that before you respond with, 'Absolutely! No problem!' You want to be sure that you can meet their expectations.
If it turns out their schedule expectations won't work for you, think about what you CAN offer and see if you can meet in the middle. It's much better to discuss these things in an interview than for you to commit to a schedule that won't work for you.
Keep in mind that, in most states, an employer cannot demand that an employee work more than 44 hours per week. Here is an answer example: Here is an entry level answer example: "If overtime is required in this role, I am happy to accommodate whenever I can. My only restriction is that I cannot work Wednesday nights as I have an evening course those days." Here is an experienced answer example: "As an animator, we don't leave our work, ever. So, while the day may be from 8-5, I take my job home with me on nights and weekends."16. How do you get along with others at work? The interviewer wants to gauge if you can maintain healthy relationships in the workplace. They want to know more about the dynamics with your coworkers. Think about what you enjoyed about some of your relationships with past coworkers. Excellent communication, sense of humor, and support are all great qualities that make co-worker relationships healthy and harmonious. Here is an answer example: "I get along great with my coworkers. I try to maintain a positive attitude and be supportive, whether I am offering to assist someone who is overwhelmed, or if I am taking time to listen to someone who is having a bad day." Here is an entry level answer example: "I am a people person and have loved all of my coworkers. Typically, I've learned just to love them for their quirks. If they're negative, the longest I'm with them at any one time is about 9 hours, and I can handle most anything for that amount of time." Here is an experienced answer example: "I enjoy the people I work with and can get along with anyone. I have made some of my closest friends from different workplaces, and I know how important relationships in the office are for not only camaraderie but also for accomplishing tasks within your team."17. What type of manager brings out the best in you? The interviewer wants to see that you are self-aware and understand the type of manager or employer that brings out the best in you. Some individuals prefer a close working relationship with a lot of accountability, while others prefer space and autonomy. If you are unsure of the management style of the interviewing company, try to leave your answer as open as possible. You can certainly ask the interviewer to describe their management style. Here is an answer example: "I have worked with a wide range of personalities and management styles with great success. If I could express a preference, I feel that I am best with a manager who allows me autonomy while still investing time in me through mentorship and training. Can you describe the management style here?" Here is an entry level answer example: "I believe I do best under a manager who sees themselves as a teacher or mentor to me. They want to dictate what I do but also involve me in the big picture. I want someone who wants to help me grow into the animation professional I aspire to be in the future, someone who gives me leeway where they see my potential to rise to the occasion, without leaving me to flounder out on my own." Here is an experienced answer example: "I work best with managers who are highly communicative and approachable. I don't enjoy working in a hierarchy based environment as I find it does not offer room for new ideas and creative thinking. How would you describe your management style?"18. Why did you chose a career as an animator? The interviewer needs to hear that you are excited at the prospect of being an animator for their company. Talk about what interests you about this creative opportunity. Perhaps you enjoy art and technology. Maybe you are pursuing a career as an animation director, and this is a great way to begin that career path. Whatever interests you about being an animator, share it! Here is an answer example: "I fell in love with animation at an early age. Whenever I used to watch an animated movie, I dreamt of making something like that on my own. I would run with my pencil crayons and try to recreate the characters that I saw. As I matured, I realized that I could use this skill and incorporate my love of technology. It was a no-brainer decision for me!" Here is an entry level answer example: "I have always had a penchant for drawing and digital art. This seemed to be the most obvious choice as a career. Being able to be paid for what I love to do is the best case scenario for me." Here is an experienced answer example: "I went into my art program, unsure of what I wanted to major in. I stumbled across animation and took a few courses. After dipping my toe into the industry, I loved it so much that I decided to jump in full force. I haven't looked back, and that was fifteen years ago. I love that animation technology is ever-changing, and I am constantly challenged by new trends."19. Which animation programs are you best versed in? Your toolset should include one of the major animation tools such as Maya, 3DS Max, or Blender. Other popular animation tools used may include Photoshop, Unreal, MotionBuilder, After Affects, and potentially some knowledge of programming languages (C#, C, etc.) You are best to list your strongest areas and mention if you are an intermediate, advanced, or expert used in each.
Additionally, as an animator, you will need to show some level of experience or knowledge of other areas of this field like:
- Animation Aesthetics
- Motion Capture
- Film/Game Production
- Film/Game Composition
- Visual Effects
- Video Editing Here is an answer example: Here is an entry level answer example: "Here are some programs you may want to be prepared to mention:
- Flash: Storyboards, Animatics, Character Animation, Elements, and Design
- After Effects: VFX, Compositing, Camera Animation, Lighting
- Blender 3D: Backgrounds and Vehicles
- Photoshop: Matte Painting and Backgrounds
- Standard office applications such as Microsoft Office Suite" Here is an experienced answer example: "I have been exposed to a variety of programs in my eight-year career as an animator. I would rate myself as an expert used in Flash, Photoshop, and Maya. If you don't mind sharing with me the programs you use here, I would be happy to elaborate on my level of exposure to those specific programs."20. If you had not pursued a career in animation, what would you have chosen instead? A hiring manager will be able to tell a lot about your personality by learning about your other career interests. If you could do anything over, what would you do, and why? Here is an answer example: "Working as an animator gives me the creative freedom to display my art, which I would need in any career path that I chose. If I could not be an animator, I would chase a career in 3D modeling as it would still give me the creative outlet that I need." Here is an entry level answer example: "I certainly do not regret the direction I have taken my career; however, if I had to start over in a new direction completely I would likely pursue my Degree in Education and become a teacher. Both of my parents were teachers, and they seemed to have a very fulfilling career. I enjoy coaching and leading others so, any tasks in my current career that related to these skills, are very welcome." Here is an experienced answer example: "I am delighted with the direction my career has gone. After fifteen years as an animator, I cannot think of anything else I would like to do. If I could change anything I would perhaps have furthered my education to include a unique focus; however, I have no regrets!"21. What steps are you currently taking to improve your knowledge and skill as an animator? The interviewer wants to know if you are growth-oriented and have a belief in skills upgrading. The more immersed you are in your industry, the more likely you are to take continued education coursework. Mention any webinars, online courses, conferences, etc. in which you may have participated. Anything that you do to upgrade your knowledge as an animator should be mentioned here. Here is an answer example: "I regularly attend webinars and industry conferences from well-known animation experts. I am also a member of a LinkedIn group full of animators, where we share knowledge and thoughts on trends." Here is an entry level answer example: "I like to stretch myself and try to create certain animation projects of my own to make sure that I get to practice any new skill that I have learned on the job. I have a YouTube channel where I post these animations on a regular basis. The feedback from other animators has been quite encouraging." Here is an experienced answer example: "I fully believe in continued education and encourage my team to take coursework on a regular basis. I take a new course every year, usually focused on advances in 3D animation. Are there any courses that you would like to see me take, to be more successful in this role?"22. Tell me about your animation education. What was your best course? Which course did you struggle with the most. When the interviewer can better understand your educational background, accolades, and struggles, they will be able to understand better where to place you. We all have some courses that we loved and some that we disliked, entirely. Here is an answer example: "I have a Bachelor of Media Arts in Animation from Emily Carr University. During my program, I found 3D modeling and texturing to be the most challenging. It stretched my belief in myself as an artist which I am thankful for. My best course was motion graphics. I excelled in this space, graduating top of the class." Here is an entry level answer example: "I have nearly completed my Interactive Media degree. So far, the most challenging course has been Experiential Animation primarily due to the professor's teaching style and not necessarily the content. The class moves very quickly, and I find there to be a great deal of homework. My best course is media and sound. I have a strong interest in the connection between sound and animation." Here is an experienced answer example: "I have worked in animation for the past fifteen years which means that my time in university is a bit tougher to recall! I certainly excelled in most areas, graduating top of the class my final year. If I had to choose one area of struggle, it would have been motion graphics. I hired a tutor for that class, which helped a great deal. My expertise with motion graphics has improved greatly over the years."23. What is your favorite advancement in animation over the past 5 years? The interviewer is checking to see how involved you are in your field. Do your research on animation trends and your particular area of expertise. Research the history of animation, old tools, newer tools and what problems these new developments may solve. Here is an answer example: "My favorite advancement in animation this year has been the return of stop-motion animation and the increasing level of sophistication that has come with its return. Stop-motion has a nostalgic feel and a hand-crafted feel as well. It's a great storytelling tool." Here is an entry level answer example: "That's a great question! I think that the immersion into virtual reality has been incredible for gaming, and other platforms. I would love to know what your favorite advancement has been in the animation industry." Here is an experienced answer example: "Being an animator for the past decade, I have seen a large amount of growth and change in this industry. Over the past few years, I have especially appreciated the increasing quality of 3D animation. It's incredible to compare the differences between animated films just five years ago, to now."24. What animation methods are you most familiar with? The interviewer would like to know what types of specialties you may have. This is also an excellent opportunity to discuss any exposure you'd want to have to new forms of animation. Be sure to mention the type of animation you will be focusing on in this particular role! Here is an answer example: "I am most familiar with 3D animation, as that was the focus of my degree. I see in your job posting that you are seeking a candidate with intermediate level 3D animation expertise. I would rate myself as intermediate to advanced." Here is an entry level answer example: "Here is a list of animation types:
- Traditional animation
- 2D animation
- 3D animation
- Typography Animation
- Clay animation
- Sand Animation
- Flipbook Animation
- Stop-motion animation" Here is an experienced answer example: "I am most experienced with stop-motion and claymation. I bring approximately twelve years of experience in each. I would like to mention that I also bring experience in 2D and 3D animation, with about six years of experience in each. Is there any other experience that I can clarify for you?"25. Why are you the best animator for us? Bragging about yourself in an interview can be tough to do, but this is your time to shine! Which characteristics and career accomplishments have made you a stand-out candidate? Perhaps you have received some academic awards or have been given individual accolades in your most recent position. There is nobody like you, and now you need to express that to the interviewer. Here is an answer example: "I am the best candidate for you because I show levels of dedication and follow through that is uncommon in the workplace. You will not be disappointed in my performance if you choose to hire me. In addition to being highly technically savvy, I also do what it takes to meet my deadlines at all times." Here is an entry level answer example: "As a recent graduate with a degree in fine arts and animation, I plan to be the best and most eager employee in your organization. I am here to prove my capabilities, and you can be assured I will work overtime as needed, and deliver work to the standard that you've seen in my portfolio." Here is an experienced answer example: "I believe I'm the best candidate for your company because of my decade of experience at your competitor. I have experience in the specific expertise in question, as an animation team leader, and I look forward to building on those leadership skills with your organization. I know I can make an immediate, and long-term, impact."
Author of Animator Answers and Questions
Rachelle Enns is a job search expert, executive headhunter, career catalyst, and interview coach. Utilized by top talent from Fortune companies like Microsoft, General Electric, and Nestle, she helps professionals position themselves in today's competitive digital marketplace.
Rachelle founded Renovate My Resume and Executive Resume Solutions, two companies focused on helping job seekers get their edge back. She helps everyone from new graduates looking for their first placement, to CEO's who want more out of their career.
Rachelle coaches students to executives on how to master the toughest interview questions and how to handle the most bizarre interview situations; all with confidence and poise.
Rachelle trains other career coaches, recruiters, and resume writers, globally. A big part of her job is also spent coaching HR professionals on how to bring the human touch back into their interview and hiring process.
First written on: 05/30/2013 Last modified on: 08/30/2018
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