With letters for university interviews being delivered in the coming weeks, questions over how to prepare for them are at the forefront of the minds of many applicants. Is interview preparation a one-size-fits-all process? Should you approach an interview for a creative arts qualification as you would for one in humanities for example? Falmouth University offers courses in art, design, media, performance and writing and here Dr Andrew Upton, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning & Teaching), gives his insight with six easy tips on interview success for courses in the creative arts - essential reading with the 24 March application deadline for some art and design course coming up!
University interviews are your chance to sell yourself to course leaders and there are some universal things you should get right, regardless of course choice, in order to get your place. You must be presentable, punctual, show enthusiasm, convey your desire to learn and be able to express why you have chosen your course. Check the interview letter and course web page carefully and make sure you have met every requirement and brought everything with you that you've been asked to.
|Falmouth University students during a|
BA (Hons) Film degree course session
This is the chance for you to present yourself and talk through your creative work with course leaders and admissions tutors. These are required for a range of creative subjects and a great portfolio can really make the difference between securing a place on your course or not. Portfolios must be well presented, selective and well edited with only your best work which is most relevant to your desired course. A portfolio provides evidence of your creativity to date and offers a chance for you to demonstrate skills in project development and research and proves you have the ability to communicate the concept behind your work clearly and are well organised.
A big difference for interviews in the creative arts courses compared to others is the use of auditions. Used for dance, choreography and theatre courses, this is the chance you have to impress course leaders doing what you love and to show off your technique. Make sure you have everything you will need for the audition. Courses in choreography and dance will offer you the opportunity to develop dance moves in small groups. Potential theatre students are asked to memorise a piece of text from published work that interests them, or of their own work to be used in a group improvisation workshop.
What influences you and who your favourite person, or style icon, is in your chosen field of study is important in the creative industries. There are some big and famous names out there in this sector and if you want to work in it you must know a thing or two about the leaders in your field. Taking some time to really narrow down who you admire and why their work touches you will make a world of difference to the interviewers who will decide if you get onto your dream course.
All interviews for university places give you the opportunity to show that you have a strong interest in the subject and are therefore committed to the course. Showing evidence of long term interest can take the form of reading the latest books and journals in the subject field and being able to discuss them in your interview. You don’t need to be an expert but showing you know the subject speaks volumes about you and your commitment to it.
It may come as a surprise but evidence of research and writing skills are required for many interviews for creative arts courses. Interior design, fine art, photography and textile design all require recent essays you have written to be brought to your interview. Other courses may require a new piece to be written, for example, potential theatre students are asked to write a short review of recent contemporary theatre performance.
Above all, make sure you take the time to enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime experience. Your future is in your hands and you are taking the first steps toward a glittering career. If you make sure you take time to prepare properly then success is much more likely. Good luck!