8 Common Photoshop Interview Questions (With Sample Answers)

Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 22 February 2023

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Photoshop is an advanced, feature-rich photo editing and photo manipulation software preferred by most organisations and graphic designers. While hiring candidates for similar roles, employers may look for candidates who have used the software before and know about the features it offers. If you are applying for a role that may require you to use Photoshop, knowing how to answer the most commonly asked questions can help you appear confident during the interview. In this article, we discuss the most commonly asked Photoshop interview questions and understand how you can answer them.

Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are associated with Indeed.

Common Photoshop Interview Questions

Here is a list of the most commonly asked Photoshop interview questions with sample answers:

1. What is Photoshop work area?

The work area in Photoshop is the main screen that appears when you launch the program and start working. By asking this question, the interviewer wants to understand how well you know the layout of the software and test your familiarity with it. Knowing all the components of the work area tells the interviewer that you use the software frequently and are proficient at it. While answering this question, you can name the primary components first and then explore the elements within each.

Example answer: "The work area in Photoshop consists of five primary areas namely the Document Window, Application Bar, Tools Panel, Options Bar and Panel Dock. The Document Window shows the current file that you are working on and occupies most of the screen. The Application Bar is present at the top and contains a workspace switcher, application controls and menus.

You can find the tools for editing images, page elements and artwork in the Tools Panel. The Options Bar shows the options for the currently selected tools. In the Panel Dock, you can monitor and modify your pictures where you can stack, store and dock panels."

Related: How To Become A Photo Editor: A Comprehensive Guide

2. What are Smart Objects, and how are they used?

Interviewers ask this question to test your understanding of the different layers in Photoshop. While answering this question, briefly describe what Smart Objects are and explain how you can use them. You can give an example of a situation where you can use Smart Objects. You can also list out a few advantages of Smart Objects to exhibit your understanding better.

Example answer: "A Smart Object is a layer in Photoshop that lets you make edits to an image without making any permanent changes to the source data. This is a useful tool that is helpful when you want to undo a change that you made previously. Smart Objects preserve an image's content at the source and allow you to experiment with the image. Using Smart Objects, you can make non-destructive transformations to an image, apply non-destructive filters and also make changes to an image without changing the pixels first."

Related: 12 Photo Editing Software To Consider (With Features)

3. How do you select the exact colour to match?

While working with visuals, you may often want to match a shape or an element to a particular colour. Through this question, the interviewer checks if you know how to handle such situations and can use the tools in Photoshop to do it. Giving a step-by-step explanation of the process can show the interviewer that you know the process well and can do it easily.

Example answer: "You can select an exact colour to match by using the Match Colour Command in Photoshop. When you choose this option, the cursor changes into an eyedropper icon and identifies the colour that you want to apply to the target image. Once you have selected the images, make the selections in the Match Colour dialogue box where you select the image destinations and the adjustments you want. You can then choose from the options if you want to increase the saturation, neutralise a colour or increase the brightness."

Related: 12 Popular Designer Tools You Can Use: A Comprehensive Guide

4. Describe what Photoshop is and why is it used?

While this question seems basic, interviewers use it to gauge how well the candidate understands the uses of the software. You can use a definition from the internet and add an example to your answer. Instead of quoting the exact definition, make your answer conversational and talk about the core functions. Talk about the different ways in which you have used the software previously and how you can plan to use it in your role in the organisation.

Example answer: "Photoshop is a feature-rich photo editing software. You can use it to make simple edits to images, create complex graphics, make detailed digital artwork and design websites. During my college days, I have used Photoshop to create posters, social media graphics for our clubs and also to create animations. Using its advanced feature set, I can now use the software to create different types of visuals. Some of my latest learnings with the software include motion graphics, brand styling and product designing."

Related: How To Become A Graphic Designer: A Complete Guide

5. What is Photoshop Lightroom?

By asking this question, interviewers try to test whether you can distinguish between Photoshop and other photo-editing software. Since the same company has developed both these software systems, being able to tell the difference tells them that you know the functionalities of Photoshop and are aware of its limitations. You can explain what Lightroom is and briefly explore the differences between them.

Example answer: "Photoshop and Photoshop Lightroom are photo-editing software developed by Adobe. While you can use Photoshop to edit visuals professionally, Lightroom is a photo-editing software for photo enthusiasts and those looking to edit and manage only their photographs. Lightroom stores all the source images, so it ensures non-destructive photo editing. It is a much simpler tool to learn compared to Photoshop but may lack several advanced features it offers."

Related: 14 Essential Photoshop Skills (With Tips To Improve Them)

6. What are some important tools in Photoshop?

Interviewers ask this question to test whether you are aware of all the functionalities that Photoshop offers and can utilise them effectively. While there are a lot of tools available, include only the most important ones in your answer. You can also talk about the ones that are most important for your job role. Once you have listed the most important tools, you can also elaborate on the use of each.

Example answer: "While there are several tools available on Photoshop that perform different functions, the five most important ones are Masking, Selections, Brush tool, Clone Stamp and Layers. Some other important tools that you may commonly use are the Zoom tool, which lets you zoom in or zoom out of images, the Hand Tool that lets you move the image around in the workspace and the Pen Tool which lets you create paths, shapes, shapes and selections."

Related: 23 Interview Tips: How To Get The Job

7. How do you crop an image in Photoshop?

One of the most frequent actions that designers and photo-editors do is crop pictures to make them fit into a frame, strengthen composition or isolate only a part of an image. An interviewer may ask simple questions like this at the beginning of an interview to check if you know the basics before moving to the tougher questions. You can explain the process of cropping an image through steps and also include the points to consider while cropping an image.

Example answer: "There are two ways of cropping images in Photoshop. The first way to do this is by entering the dimensions in the Control bar. In this method, you can enter the size and proportions, choose the overlay options and select other options from the available settings. The second way to do this is simpler, where you choose the Crop tool from the Toolbar and place it over the area you want to crop. You can then drag the corner and edge handles to specify the crop boundaries in your image."

Related: Graphic Design Tools For Professionals (With List And Tips)

8. What is the swatches palette and how is it used?

Colours are an important component of photo editing and the swatches palette is an important feature in Photoshop. Interviewers ask this question to test if you know the functions of the tool and how you can use it. You can give a brief description of the feature in your own words and explain how you can apply it while using the software.

Example answer: "The Swatches Palette consists of small colour squares known as Swatches. They store the colours that you use often along with a default set of Swatches that you can use. You can customise your Swatches Palette depending on your preferences. It lets you add or delete colours from the palette or create separate palettes for separate projects. Using this feature, you can also apply swatch colours to pixel layers, text layers or shape layers. There is also a feature called Legacy Swatches where you can access from the previous versions of Photoshop."

Explore more articles