How hard are Photoshop and Illustrator tests?
June 14, 2007 6:56 PM   Subscribe

I have an interview with a recruiter next week. I will have to take either a photoshop or illustrator test. What is normally on these tests? How hard are they? What format are they normally in (e.g., multiple choice or are you given a project to complete)? What are some more obscure things I should make sure I know before I walk in there? Anonymous because people at work don't know I'm job hunting
posted by anonymous to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
This is such an interesting question that I started googling and here's one summary of an Illustrator test. Here's a similar one for Photoshop.
posted by b33j at 7:13 PM on June 14, 2007

It probably depends on the type of work you'll be doing --- production art? Creative work? Etc.
posted by nathan_teske at 7:14 PM on June 14, 2007

Who is the recruiter? Certain ones have you recreate a document from written instructions and comps.
posted by lampshade at 7:17 PM on June 14, 2007

In all honesty, I've been using Photoshop professionally (ie almost every day) for 8 years and I still find new things, techniques, tools and methods to learn. I hate to say this and I'm not trying to discourage you but if you're not already proficient in the application, getting random advice from the internet won't help you. It will be obvious to the recruiter (if he's at all proficient in the application) if the person he is testing is faking it so to speak. It will probably show in the work.

That said, I would suggest trying to familiarize yourself with the keyboard shortcuts and practice as much as you can until the interview, and I mean as much as you physically can.

Good luck!
posted by eatcake at 9:20 PM on June 14, 2007

I took one for Creative Circle. It via a browser, from the comfort fo my own home. It asked some painfully obvious stuff, like click on the rotate tool, along with more challenging questions (isolate blending??). The format for that one was mostly clicking on stuff to show how you'd do x or y. There were a few fill in the blanks, and some multiple choice and true/false. Only one question asked for a specific keyboard shortcut - most said click on the menu/palette tab/palette menu/tool/keyboard shortcut that does x or y.

I thought Photoshop was a piece of cake, but I know it really well. Illustrator was definitely harder for me.
posted by O9scar at 10:58 PM on June 14, 2007

If it's like the one I took they want you to know

1) your keyboard shortcuts

2) the precise location of everything on the menus.

I've used PhotoShop regularly since v3 and got a barely passing grade because I use lots of apps and tend to noodle around the menus a bit to find what I need.

In short, it's not about skill using the apps, it's about showing that you know how to push the buttons.
posted by Ookseer at 11:37 PM on June 14, 2007

nthing the "click on the screen" experience. The tests I've taken were through Robert Half and was 90% showing where tools are, what menu functions to use for certain tasks, etc. Total BS!
posted by wemayfreeze at 12:07 AM on June 15, 2007

That's my experience also. The tests were mainly to weed out the people who are BSing when they say they've used the software before. On the tests I've had, if you know where to find things on the menus, you do fine -- actual skills not required.
posted by winston at 5:36 AM on June 15, 2007

Another vote for the "clicking on stuff" version of the test. I remember being asked how to Free Transform an object in Photoshop. I got a point for going to Edit --> Free Transform, and I got a point for doing whatever transformation they wanted me to do. But to complete a Transformation, I always just click over on the cursor button and PS asks me if I want to accept my Transformation. Voila! Apparently, this is not the correct way to finish; I got no points for clicking on the cursor button. (Which is a long way of saying that they have specific ways they will credit for completing a task, but ways which work, and which are familiar to you, may not be "right" to them. Still, I got a good score and you probably will too.)
posted by junkbox at 6:44 AM on June 15, 2007

The Career Services departments at some colleges have on-line tutorials for common applications. Search the web for some of these.

Years ago I was tested by a temp staffing firm. I knew they were going to test me on Excel and Powerpoint and MS Word. I had used Word everyday for several years and felt proficient enough in it. But I found tutorials for Excel and Powerpoint on-line (I believe through Barnard College and University of Miami), and took them before being tested. I scored very high on Powerpoint and Excel despite having virtually no experience with them, and I nearly failed the Word test.

One of the things they were testing for was speed, so be sure you know all of the keystroke commands, especially if you will be paid by the hour.
posted by mds35 at 8:57 AM on June 15, 2007

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