Portfolio Guidance


Hull School of Art & Design offers an interview to every individual that applies for a course.

After an application is made through UCAS, an invitation to interview is offered. The interview takes place at the School of Art & Design in Hull and is usually focused on a portfolio of supporting work. Interviews are conducted by one or more academics. A written offer / decision is always made on the day.

We accept a maximum of 30 students per course year.

You will get a decision on the day of interview.

Your Interview

When you apply through UCAS you will receive an offer for an interview. The interview season begins in earnest in February. You will be asked to attend an interview at HSAD and bring supporting work usually in the form of a portfolio.

Overseas students or those with special circumstances will be offered a telephone or Skype interview and may submit a digital portfolio.

Interview Tips

Our interviews are not designed to trip you up. The interview is an opportunity to get to know a candidate, listen to their career aspirations, discuss their portfolio of work and understand their ambitions. At HSAD are interviews are usually quite informal with one or two members of the course team present. We’re looking for committed students who really want to succeed. These are often students who are excited about their chosen subject, have done their research and can talk about their work.

Before the interview

  • Read the prospectus/website – have an idea about the course and university to show you’re committed to studying there.
  • Look over your UCAS form – it’s often the basis for interview questions so make sure you can talk about the things you’ve said on it in detail.
  • Read over your A-Level subject notes – you may be asked why you took a particular A-Level or what parts of your A-Levels you enjoy.
  • Read a quality newspaper or magazine related to your subject – interviewers may ask for your opinions on current affairs or developments in your field.
  • Have a mock interview – get a teacher you’re not familiar with to prepare a formal interview to give you an idea of what it will be like.
  • Speak to students who’ve already had an interview – ask them what to expect or if they have any tips.
  • Think of points you may want to make in the interview – prepare specific things you want to say or subjects you want to discuss if you get the chance.
  • Prepare answers for common questions – for example, why do you want to study this course or at this university?
  • Think of some questions to ask in return – how is the course assessed? What teaching methods are used? Although make sure they’re not already answered in the prospectus.
  • Plan your journey – take into account rush hour traffic and finding the room/building so you arrive in plenty of time. 

On the day

  • Get a good night’s sleep – be ready for your interview and don’t stay up all night worrying about it.
  • Arrive early – allow 20 minutes for traffic and finding the place. If you have extra time, take a look round the university or talk to other applicants.
  • Contact the university if there’s a problem – if you’re going to be late or unavailable due to circumstances beyond your control you should be able to rearrange the interview (01482 480970).
  • Turn off your mobile – you don’t want any distractions in the interview and it will not impress the interviewer.

During the interview

  • Be aware of your body language – look at the interviewer, make eye contact and try to smile from time to time.
  • Be enthusiastic about your course – make sure you get your interest in the course across to the interviewer.
  • Take your time with questions – don’t feel pressured to answer immediately, take a little while to develop your answers to avoid saying the first thing that comes into your head.
  • Say if you don’t understand a question – interviewers don’t expect you to know everything and will often prompt you or rephrase a question if you ask.
  • Give full answers – the interviewer is trying to find out about you, so make sure you tell them something. Don’t waffle just to make your answers longer though.
  • Don’t try to bluff questions – admissions tutors will know a lot more about their subject than you will. If you don’t know the answer to a question be honest and admit it.
  • Listen to the interviewer – answer the questions asked rather than the ones you’ve prepared for.
  • Ask questions – use ones you prepared earlier or new ones you’ve thought of. It shows you’re enthusiastic and will help you get more out of the interview.
  • Try to relax – interviewers will expect you to be nervous and will try to make you feel comfortable.
  • Be yourself – interviewers want to know about you, not just what tips you’ve read off the internet!

After the Review

Don’t worry if you found it hard – some interviews are designed to stretch candidates.

You will be given a written conclusion to the interview that contains an offer or advice for your future progression. Make sure you act promptly on the advice.

More about HSAD