Preparing for an interview at University of the Arts London

Preparing for an interview at University of the Arts London

November 7, 2019 3 By Kody Olson


What made you decide to apply to this college, and this particular course? Well because I’ve always been interested in theatre performance, and I also love clothing… It is very daunting for many students to have an interview, because it’s such a major moment of importance to them. We’re not speaking necessarily about a course, it’s about their career. I am quite nervous before I get into the interview
because it’s like the rest of the life… [laughing] Do you feel like you’ve learnt a lot over
the past two years? I know exactly how they feel and all you try
and do is help students look at it and say what they really want to talk about, you know
discuss. Basically chatting and communicating ideas
to tell how I think, the way I’m thinking and why I did do this… Make sure that you can talk about your work. You can say ‘oh I was really happy with that piece because…’, or ‘I wasn’t so happy with this piece because I felt I could have done something better…’ You’ve got to really think about what your portfolio sort of represents. At the time I was like very happy with it, but going through it, putting together my portfolio it kind of gets your mind going like ‘maybe I could have done this, maybe I could have done that’… Because you have to work very independently, especially
for art there is no right or wrong you just have to stand up for yourself as well. Tell me at what point did you realize that
maybe theatre was for direction for you? Well I realized that I’ve got this interest
into stories and theatre performances but the particular area I guess is clothing because I did textiles since GCSE and I realized how fun it is to make clothing, well for me… It can often be very nerve-wracking for younger students who have possibly never had an interview before to have their work
scrutinized and critiqued. I think that they have to be down to earth if you are sending all this work to professional people who have so much experience you have to accept people criticize them. Well, not criticize, opinion. To me it is opinion. I think your sketchbook has to be more
stronger because you can design all this stuff, everything… We are very sensitive to the idea that this
is possibly the first interview they have ever had… And when they sit down in front of you, however
nervous they are, given a little bit of time something starts to unfold, and they kind
of blossom in an interview situation. Then you start to see someone who is very curious, quite unique and who might have something to offer that we haven’t seen before. You’ve got some lovely mark making and some
energetic lines here in your sketchbook you really use the pages… With a telephone interview my advice is do prepare some bullet points so you will not go blank and forget everything but do not work from written notes, because we can tell if you’re reading from a script and when you’re focused on that script you’re not answering our questions. Take your time for telephone interviews, make sure the number that you give us is correct and ensure that you can hear everything that we are saying because we can always rearrange. Video conversing interviews are probably a bit more familiar due to social media a bit more confidence can come across when you can see the person that is speaking to you. Beyond time, make sure
that you understand all the questions before you begin to answer them. We’re very patient
interviewers, but the important point of it is that the student has to be comfortable
and relaxed. If they’re too stressed, if they’re too tense, then they will choke all their answers and they won’t give the best reflection of themselves that they can do. You’re trying to look beyond educational
experience that they’ve had to date it may have been a really good one, where they’ve
had lots of advice from a teacher. It may have not been such a good one, so you’re
actually trying to evaluate how much is them, and how much is their educational experience. Tell me about this, about the honeycomb shape
and how you’ve put it across the body. Well I’ve done the shape of one cell and
I wanted the body to feel as if it was a disease… In a lot of the interviews what will sometimes go on is that the student has a preconceived idea or a notion of what they want to do and then
we are refining that through our questions and through their answers. More often than not the student has done their research they know about the course and know why they want to do it but we’re not trying to set them up to fail, we’re trying to get the best thing out of them. So we’re very friendly in the interviews. I feel it’s more of a discussion where there’s an outcome that puts them on the right path. And if they trust us,
we will get them to where they want to go.