October 28, 2010

How to prepare for post-CEED interviews

This post gives an overview about the preparation for interviews conducted at IITs, NIDs and IISc. It is based on my own experience and experiences of my friends from these institutes. This post is by no way a foolproof but should provide you with a glimpse of the process. It was inspired by a comment from Anbu

Generally the interview will be conducted in a closed room, with a panel of 4 – 5 members. The interview will be conducted by this panel, who will consist of the faculty and sometimes even alumni and guest faculty.

1. A brief introduction about yourself. Just don’t begin by throwing your beautiful portfolio on the interview panel. This is the basic part which you are expected to tell things like your name, your qualification, experience, etc.

2. Your past. The panel may be interested in knowing your past record. Your achievements, any awards, subjects that interest you, etc. Prepare some of these. For example, if you tell that you like web design, be prepared to illustrate your point by quoting some examples of your work from past. If you haven’t worked in your field of interest feel free to say so.

3.Your achievements. Here you may continue telling that you were awarded 2nd prize in TECHFEST 09, or that your work helped your employer with a 10% increase in profits. Here what will be seen is your determination and dedication to your work.

4. Details of your work. The panel might be interested in knowing the details of certain project that you executed. This can be your B.Tech project if you have nothing else to tell about. Be prepared to defend why you took certain decision. For example, “why did you choose to use wood for the handle than steel?” or “why did you do keep the ‘About us’ link above the ‘Our Products’ link in this web-page design?”. If it is a team project then tell your role in the team and what part of the project were you responsible for.

5. Showing your portfolio. Generally the requirement of portfolio at this interview is pretty high. This can make a big post in itself, but as a overview your portfolio should serve as a visual guide to what you are saying in the interview. For example, “I designed a web-page for ABC pvt. Ltd., and here is how it looks”

6. What do you want to do in future? The panel may wish to know what are your goals and aspirations. The reply to this maybe as simple as “I want to make a career in automotive styling” or can be very long term like “Ten years from now I want to be the founder of the world best furniture design company”

7.Why did you choose to apply for this course? This question will indicate your orientation towards the course you are being interviewed for. It is directly related with what you have said till now. Take care that you align what you will be doing, will be determined by what you will be learning in this course. For example, a course in visual communication will launch your career into graphic design field.

8.Why did you choose this institute? Keep in mind that even if the name of course is same, the syllabus varies to some extent. Foe example, Product Design course at IISc enables you in research techniques and thinking that goes behind the process of Product design, while the same course at NID will teach you about aesthetics and applications of Product Design. So be prepared well by going through the syllabus and have clarity about why you have applied for this institute. Reply like “… this institute is very famous that’s why…” is not sufficient!

9. Your hobbies. At this point you maybe asked your hobbies. Feel free to tell them. If possible illustrate your point. Like if your hobby is reading then you can illustrate the point by telling the recent book you read was Fountainhead by Ayn Rand, which is in turn an architectural design related book and supports your claim of interest in design.

10. Other general tips on interview can be found at this page. Though it discusses about job interview, some tips are really worthwhile.

Lets hope that this post helps you. I composed it pretty fast so please feel free to let me know if I missed out something. Also if you want to add your experiences to it write me for a guest post.

Best of luck for the CEED and interviews :-)


Anbu said...

Oh thanks a lots Prasanna for making such a nice post n i am happy to be an initiate for this post and the infos u provided was just amazing n the link u left for the interview tips was very nice and got some clear idea and in ur upcoming posts can u explain more about portfolio and any preparing materials or guidelines for the exam. Once again thanks a lot for providing such a valuable informations for us. Thank god n google search for showing me ur blog tc friend :)

Prasanna Gadkari ( M.Des at I.I.Sc.) said...

Dear Anbu,
Thanks for your inputs. The post that explains how to make the portfolio is described here

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Pratheek_ir said...

Thanks a ton for your blog man, would have been lost without it!!

Have a lil query, when it comes to creativity in answering CEED, what exactly is the KIND of creativity that is expected??? what I'm afraid of is going a little too crazy and ending up doing something that wasn't required in the first place :P For eg, the question where they ask us to list ten quick ways of drying socks-
Should i go with the kind of thinking tht would give answers along the line of "put something heavy inside the sock and whirl it to remove the water particles" or go with something like " use a tawa on low flame"??? Are they looking for innovation from a technical aspect or innovation from a "thinking out of the box albeit a tad impractical without a few tweaks" aspect???????

Prasanna Gadkari (M.Des in Product Design from I.I.Sc. ) said...

Hello Pratheek,
Answer to your question is pretty difficult one. The difficulty is such that, firstly it depends on the question asked. Drying socks problem requires different type of creativity from one required for story-boarding. Still, my opinion is that you will require Creativity in problem solving. The solution must either have value, clearly solve the stated problem, or be appreciated by someone for whom the situation improves. It is best not to suggest solutions that cant be applied. Hence "teleport water out of socks" is not a recommended solution.

Hope this helps.

Pratheek_ir said...

@prasanna : yup, got it :) Thanks a ton :) :) :)

prakriti said...

Hey I basically want to apply To srishti to study Digital video production. Can you give me any guidelines for creating a portfolio which inclines towards that particular course?

Prasanna Gadkari (M.Des in Product Design from I.I.Sc. ) said...

Hello prakriti,
I have a fairly good idea on what goes into animation and multimedia portfolio, but according to me, one can apply some of the same principles to this field too. Your portfolio may include a few full fledged short (3 - 5 min) clips along with sound effects, samples of screenplays scripts, and probably something like advertisement, that communicate some message using films.
Let me give you a small idea. How about shooting some clips on how water is wasted in your locality, and then compiling those using Windows Movie Maker, and adding sound effects with your message? MAybe even a small illustrated joke with help of your friends will do!
feel free to write back
Best luck :)

Hamza Uddin said...

Thanks a lot Prasanna!

Aditya said...

Hello sir, I have been following your blog for very long time,its really great the effort you are putting for indian designing society . sir I have qualified for the product design and animation discipline in NID, and studio test and interviews are on 8th and 11th of april. I haven't joined any coaching or anything so little guideless about the portfolio and interview part.Sir I am sending you the links of some of the my works like sketching,painting and animation movie.please guide me the way to present it to them,and one more question about the conversation language in interview it it ok with hindi because explaining in hindi would be lot easier for me.
thnks a lot Sir.
your guidance is very important for me.



Probin said...

can u give me an example of how to answer a question asked in written ceed exam?can u give ur ideas for answering the question 5 ways to dry socks quickly?

Prasanna Gadkari (M.Des in Product Design from I.I.Sc. ) said...

Hi Probin,
I have replied your question in a new post here
Thanks for asking a nice question :)

aask said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sulakshana Suryanarayanan said...

Hello prassana
I'm sulakshana from Chennai,and I'm taking the NID, Shrishti, SID and NIFT exams this year. I want to start on my general portfolio for design and I"m fairly good with sketching. I have sketched a doodle for a school trip and I have a few paintings with me but I don't think it'll be enough though. If you could help me generate more ideas, it'll be of immense help.
Awaiting your reply,

Prasanna Gadkari (M.Des in Product Design from I.I.Sc. ) said...

Hi Sulakshana,
In your portfolio you need to show solutions to real world problem. So first find a problem, then suggest many solutions to it, find which one is best and draw a nice final render. This is the formula for a great portfolio which will work anywhere :)
All the best!

Arka Talapatra said...

Sir, can you tell me how to prepare for IDC and CPDM admission tests?

Prasanna Gadkari (M.Des in Product Design from I.I.Sc. ) said...

Hi Arka,
This is an involved question. Could me mail me on the adress mentioned below my photo? I will provide you personal guidance :)

Arka Talapatra said...

Thank you Sir!

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