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."
"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."
In which manner do you prefer to communicate - written or verbal? Discuss your preference with the interviewer and support your answer.
"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."
"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."
"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."
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.
"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 "
"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."
"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."
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.
"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."
"In my current role, I work alongside cross-functional teams regularly. Together, we manage our projects and maintain effectiveness."
"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."
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?
"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 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 "
"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."
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.
"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!"
"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."
"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."
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.
"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."
"No. I have only once had a confidentiality agreement and had no problem adhering to it."
"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."
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.
"I am currently earning a base salary of $78,000 and health benefits. I am looking for a competitive salary in my next position."
"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."
"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."
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!
"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 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? "
"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?"
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.
"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."
"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."
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.
"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."
"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."
"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."
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.
"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?"
"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."
"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?"
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.
"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."
"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."
"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."
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!
"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 a list of animation types: - Traditional animation - 2D animation - 3D animation - Typography Animation - Clay animation - Sand Animation - Flipbook Animation - Stop-motion animation"
"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?"
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.
"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."
"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."
"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."
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.
"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."
"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."
"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."
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.
"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."
"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."
"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?"
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?
"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."
"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."
"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!"
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
"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"
"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."
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."
"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."
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.
"The biggest change in my career was learning to report to an entirely new management team when we merged with a competitor."
"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."
"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."
Animators are highly skilled and talented professionals who make still images come to life on screen. They may make on animations for commercials and computer games to pop videos and full-length movies. To be successful in this highly competitive field, animators must be artistic and creative and must have outstanding drawing skills. They must be interested in art and design and be able to stay focused for extended periods of time.
Criteria for getting hired may vary from one organization to another, depending on the work they are involved in. Completing a degree in Visual Arts, Computer Animation, or any related field will boost your employment prospects tremendously. Completing an internship is always a good idea as it allows you to watch an expert animator in action and pick up some invaluable tips.
The best way to demonstrate your skills as an animator to prospective employers is by putting together a portfolio containing some of your best work. Carry it along to your interview and show your animation work to your interviewer. At Mock Questions, you will find a long list of potential questions you are likely to be asked at your interview. Going through these questions and thinking about how you reply is a great way to practice for your upcoming interview.