How to prepare for your Illustration interview

Illutration interview Qs Rachel Ford

Been invited to an interview for BA Illustration? Read our tips to help you prepare for the interview and get your portfolio looking its best.



  • Research the course and the university by looking at the website if possible also attend an Open Day
  • Ensure your portfolio is in good order and contains relevant and current work (see below for further tips on portfolios)
  • If your artwork is being assessed at school or college, aim to take photographs of this work to bring to the interview as evidence of your current studies
  • Make sure your references on your application form are current and still happy to be contacted


Prepare for common questions such as:

  • Why have you chosen Illustration as a subject?
  • Why have you applied for this course at the University of South Wales?
  • What styles of illustration/art/design inspire and influence you?
  • Which aspects of your subject are you most passionate about?
  • What books/magazines/articles have you read recently?
  • What exhibitions/films/events have you recently attended?
  • What context/area of illustration are you most interested in?



  • Prepare and present your work with care and attention - show your work  off at its best
  • Use the right size portfolio for your work - ideally an A2 or A1 folder
  • Aim to demonstrate your skills through a variety of images/work and the projects you are most passionate about
  • Place your work in a suitable order - this will enable you to talk about the work and demonstrate creative thinking and a progression of skills
  • Include the most recent artwork from your studies and personal projects
  • Include sketchbooks/journals/note books to support your portfolio
  • Practice talking through the artwork/projects in your portfolio beforehand


On the day the interview panel will look for the following:

  • Creativity: both in you and your work - do you have creative ideas and interesting artwork/projects in your portfolio?
  • Skills: drawing and visualisation skills are very important in Illustration - do you demonstrate these skills in your artwork/projects/portfolio? Do you have additional skills such as using digital software?
  • Communication: both in how you speak and how you present your work - is your portfolio well presented and can you discuss your work clearly?
  • Motivation: your passion and enthusiasm for your work and subject - do you work on creative projects/artwork in addition to your studies?
  • Commitment: are you prepared for the challenge of a degree course - are you willing to work outside your comfort zone?
  • Awareness: your awareness and knowledge of current illustration practice - what illustrators inspire you?