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How to Prepare for Design School Interview?

How to Prepare for Design School Interview?

Edited By Team Careers360 | Updated on May 20, 2024 02:52 PM IST | #NIFT Entrance Exam

Design school is a source of inspiration for aspiring creatives. It opens the door to a realm where creativity flourishes, influencing not only professional paths but also the world we live in. However, gaining admission to top design colleges in India often depends on a crucial moment: the interview at the design school. This article provides valuable insights and strategies from Thomas Dal, Dean of Strate School of Design, to help you navigate a crucial stage and transform interview anxiety into design confidence.

A Changing Landscape: The Growing Demand for Design Education

In today's rapidly evolving world, the demand for design education is on the rise as industries recognise the importance of creativity and innovation. Design schools are adapting to this changing landscape by offering cutting-edge programmes that prepare students for success in a competitive market. This increased demand is reflected in a surge in applications over the past five years, with a 20% increase, according to a recent report by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).

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The increase in competition underscores the growing acknowledgment of design's ability to transform industries and address intricate global issues. The admissions process is always changing organisations are looking for individuals who bring a fresh perspective and excel in a fast-paced design environment.

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In response to the surge in applications, design schools are adapting their criteria to find the most innovative and dynamic candidates. This shift in the admissions process reflects the evolving landscape of the design industry and the need for forward-thinking designers. As the demand for design professionals continues to grow, students must demonstrate not only talent but also adaptability and creativity to succeed in this competitive field.

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Exploring the Interview Landscape: Looking Beyond Technical Skills

Before delving into interview preparation, let's develop a more comprehensive understanding of the current situation. Employers are increasingly valuing design skills, particularly in the fields of user experience (UX) design and graphic design, which are experiencing significant growth, according to a recent study by Adobe. This trend highlights the change in admissions priorities. Schools are now seeking a broader range of skills and qualities.

Design industry appreciates individuals who have a broad range of skills and can analyse situations thoughtfully, turning creative concepts into effective solutions. A design industry organisation conducted a survey that highlighted the importance of strong communication and collaboration skills, ranking them on par with technical expertise.

Perfecting Your Portfolio: The Key to Your Application's Success

Your portfolio is a powerful tool that showcases your design expertise and demonstrates your ability to solve problems creatively. Design schools carefully review portfolios to evaluate these specific aspects. The strength of a portfolio can significantly impact the admissions decision, sometimes accounting for up to 50% of the overall evaluation.

So, what's the secret to creating a portfolio that truly grabs attention? Student’s creative portfolio serves as a great conversation starter. It should highlight your thought process, design approach, and talent for transforming ideas into captivating visuals.

Picture your portfolio as a captivating tale, with every piece thoughtfully selected to showcase your design journey. Jessica Miller, a design graduate, reflects on her process: "I carefully selected each piece, making sure it embodied the development of my design philosophy and technical skills." Always prioritise quality over quantity. Select projects that highlight your strengths and exemplify your design style.

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Expert insights: Mastering interview skills for design aspirants

Now, let's provide you with the necessary tools to effectively showcase your portfolio during an interview.

  1. Emphasising the Importance of Research: It is important to thoroughly research the school's values and curriculum. Customise creative portfolio and interview answers to showcase a sincere connection with their vision. Gaining insight into a school's design philosophy and areas of expertise can showcase your enthusiasm and help you craft responses that will resonate with the admissions committee.

  2. Beyond Creativity-Exploring the Depth of Evaluation: A recent analysis by a design school has shown that admissions committees place a great deal of importance on creativity, critical thinking, and innovation. Design thinking is a skill that requires regular practice, and students who possess a diverse perspective have the ability to devise innovative and user-focused solutions.

Tips for Success: Perfecting Your Interview Skills

Being well-prepared is crucial for overcoming interview nerves and showcasing your true potential. Here are some tips for acing your next interview:

  • Avoid memorising answers. Being genuine is crucial. Showcasing your true self is crucial for the admissions committee to get a genuine sense of who you are. Embrace the opportunity to let your unique personality radiate.

  • Arriving early, dressing professionally, and maintaining positive body language are important. It's important to make a strong first impression and exude confidence.

Exploring a Deeper Meaning: The Importance of the Human Element in Design

Research suggests that by approaching design with careful planning and an optimistic mindset, aspiring design students can increase their chances of achieving success. Here are some additional tips other design educators:

  1. Express Your Enthusiasm: Showcase your design expertise with more than just technical skills and a polished portfolio. Share your excitement about your design heroes, the latest trends in sustainability or social impact design, and your own creative aspirations. For instance, a recent graduate caught the attention of the admissions committee with a self-designed project that centred around the creation of inclusive playgrounds in their local area. It highlighted their impressive design abilities, as well as their commitment to social responsibility and making a meaningful difference.

  1. Be ready to talk about your sources of inspiration. Admissions committees are interested in learning about what motivates you as a designer. Prepare to engage in a conversation about the various sources that have influenced your design, such as Paula Scher's work, the impact of the Bauhaus movement, or even the redesign of everyday objects like ketchup bottles.

  1. Be Open to the Unexpected: Occasionally, interviews can veer off in unexpected directions. It's perfectly normal to feel confused by a difficult question. Pause for a moment to collect your ideas, politely request further explanation, and then offer a well-considered response. It can also be a chance to demonstrate your design thinking skills by explaining your approach to an unexpected question.

In summary, embrace the journey with confidence.

This article provides you with the necessary tools to navigate design school interviews with confidence. Keep in mind the main points:

  • Research: Take the time to thoroughly research the design school and customise your approach accordingly.

  • Portfolio Power: Create an impressive portfolio that highlights your artistic journey.

  • Communication is key. Emphasise the importance of effective communication and showcase a willingness to work together.

  • Preparation is Paramount: Be prepared for both typical interview questions and unexpected situations.

  • Embrace your authenticity. Allow your love of design and unique point of view to shine.

Now, go out and create your own path to success. Apply the knowledge you've gained from this article and embark on your interview journey with confidence. Always remember that with unwavering dedication, determination, and a sprinkle of artistic flair, you can turn that initial spark of inspiration into a brilliant display of boundless creativity. Get ready to make your mark in the design world. Good luck!


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Questions related to NIFT Entrance Exam

Have a question related to NIFT Entrance Exam ?

Hello aspirant,

The nationwide Institute of Fashion Technology offers a nationwide entrance exam called NIFT for admission to its fashion design programmes.

Every course has specific requirements that must be met in order to apply. For NIFT, there is no minimum age requirement, however it is evident that passing the 10+2 exam is a requirement in order to be admitted to any undergraduate programme in fashion design.

You cannot be admitted because you are in class eleven. However, you can apply to NIFT for experience and practice, and if your application is accepted, you can take the entrance exam. If you pass, however, be aware that you will not be able to retain your results for admission.

Thank you

Hope this information helps you.

Dear Aspirant,

Yes! If you want to pursue your under graduation from nift after 12th or even if you are appearing for12th exam then you are eligible to apply for the exam. There are several courses offered by nift which includes undergraduate and postgraduate degree programmes.

Age (Undergraduate degree programmes) -

  • General - the maximum age should be less than 24 years as on 1st august in the year of examination
  • Reserved category - 5 years relaxation

Hope this information helps :)

Dear aspirant

NIFT 2023 ELIGIBILITY - B.DES admission

1. Aspiring students must have completed a 10+2 board exam from any recognized Central/State Board of Secondary Examination, such as Central Board of Secondary Education/State Board New Delhi, and Council for Indian School of Certificate Examination, New Delhi or,

2. Any Board/Public School/University Examination conducted in India or abroad which is equivalent to the 10+2 system and is accorded by the Association of Indian Universities or,

3. If candidates complete the General Certificate Education (GCE) Examination (London/Sri Lanka/ Cambridge/) at the Advanced (A) level/International Baccalaureate (IB) then, they are eligible to apply or,

4. Students will also be eligible if they have passed the 10+2 examination conducted by the National Open School with at least five subjects or,

5. Diploma of 3 or 4 years which is recognized by AICTE or State Board of Technical Education.

Age limit - Candidates must be of 23 years of age as of August 1, 2022. However, candidates belonging to Scheduled Castes (SC)/Scheduled Tribe (ST)/Person With Disability (PHP) get a relaxation of 5 years

Eligibility for B.F.Tech admission

1. Students must pass the Class 12 exam in the 10+2 pattern of examination with Chemistry, Physics, and Mathematics as compulsory subjects from any recognized Central/ State Board of Secondary Examination, such as Central Board of Secondary Education, New Delhi, and Council for Indian School of Certificate Examination, New Delhi or,

2. Any Public School/Board/University Exam in India or in foreign countries which is equivalent to a 10+2 system with Chemistry, Mathematics, and Physics as a mandatory subjects. It must be recognized by the Association of Indian Universities or,

3. General Certificate Education (GCE) Examination(London/ Cambridge/ Sri Lanka) at the advanced (A) level with Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics/International Baccalaureate (IB) or,

4. Diploma of 3 or 4 years in any programme of engineering which is recognized by AICTE or a State Board of Technical Education or,

5. A passing grade in the Higher Secondary Education Examination held by the National Open School with at least five subjects - Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics

Age limit is same as B.des

You can check other details about eligibility criteria for NIFT from link below

Hope this was informative for you

Best regards!!


For BVoc courses in interior design, separate entrance exams are conducted by the concerned colleges. By giving NIFT you can only get admission in BDes and MDes courses in NIFTs and some other participating institutes.


In 2022 NIFT Entrance Examination was conducted in 32 cities. The candidates have to select the preference of the examination cities while filling the application form. Based on the availability, preferences of the examination cities you will be allotted an examination center. You have to appear for NIFT Entrance Examination in the allotted examination center as per the given schedule. You can select any city where examination is conducted while filling your preferences, make sure that you select the cities such that you can commute on the day of examination easily. Next year the list of examination cities may increase or decrease, the cities may vary.

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