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Animator Interview
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25 Questions and Answers by Rachelle Enns
Updated 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.
Job Interviews     Careers     Arts    

Question 1 of 25

What is your current salary?

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1.

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.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"I am currently earning a base salary of $78,000 and health benefits. I am looking for a competitive salary in my next position."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"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."

2.

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.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"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."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"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."

3.

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.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"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."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"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."

4.

What are your career goals as an animator?

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.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"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."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"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!"

5.

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.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"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."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"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.

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.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"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."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"No. I have only once had a confidentiality agreement and had no problem adhering to it."

7.

What animator do you admire the most?

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.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"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."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"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."

8.

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.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"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!"

Rachelle's Answer #2

"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."

9.

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?

Rachelle's Answer #1

"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."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"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."

10.

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
- Acting
- Motion Capture
- Film/Game Production
- Film/Game Composition
- Visual Effects
- Video Editing

Rachelle's Answer #1

"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"

Rachelle's Answer #2

"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."

11.

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.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"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?"

Rachelle's Answer #2

"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."

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.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"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."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"In my current role, I work alongside cross-functional teams regularly. Together, we manage our projects and maintain effectiveness."

13.

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.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"The biggest change in my career was learning to report to an entirely new management team when we merged with a competitor."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"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."

14.

As an animator, what do you believe is your best asset?

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.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"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."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"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."

15.

What are you doing to keep current in animation technology?

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.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"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."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"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!"

Anonymous Answer

"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's Answer

Your answer is nice and specific. Well done.

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25 Animator Interview Questions
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Interview Questions

  1. What is your current salary?
  2. Would you say you are a better verbal or written communicator?
  3. How do you get along with others at work?
  4. What are your career goals as an animator?
  5. Animators often need to work long hours. Would you be willing to work over 40 hours a week?
  6. Have you ever broken a confidentiality agreement?
  7. What animator do you admire the most?
  8. How often do you take work home with you?
  9. If you had not pursued a career in animation, what would you have chosen instead?
  10. Which animation programs are you best versed in?
  11. What type of manager brings out the best in you?
  12. When have you worked among a diverse group of people?
  13. What was the biggest change you have had to deal with in your career?
  14. As an animator, what do you believe is your best asset?
  15. What are you doing to keep current in animation technology?
  16. Tell me about yourself.
  17. What questions do you have for me?
  18. How do you handle a larger than average workload?
  19. What type of work environment allows you to be the most productive?
  20. Why did you chose a career as an animator?
  21. What steps are you currently taking to improve your knowledge and skill as an animator?
  22. Tell me about your animation education. What was your best course? Which course did you struggle with the most.
  23. What is your favorite advancement in animation over the past 5 years?
  24. What animation methods are you most familiar with?
  25. Why are you the best animator for us?
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