Portfolio in an Interview
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Portfolio in an Interview. Making it work for you. In preparing for a job interview there are three scenarios you may face when dealing with the use of a portfolio:

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Portfolio in an Interview

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Yes to portfolio

Portfolio in an Interview

Making it work for you

In preparing for a job interview there are three scenarios you may face when dealing with the use of a portfolio:

“Yes” to a Portfolio!The interviewing panel asks you to demonstrate their knowledge, skills and abilities through your portfolio. This is rare and practiced by only some trades or professions, but hopefully this will change.

“Maybe” to a Portfolio!Although the portfolio is not requested and no questions in the interview refer specifically to a portfolio, there are opportunities for you to include it.

“No” to a Portfolio!The interviewing panel does not want you to use a portfolio.

Yes to portfolio

“Yes” to Portfolio

When portfolio is encouraged

  • Make sure youcustomize your portfolio to the interview.

    Some grads have been known to customize their portfolios for every interview.

  • Be careful about what is included.

    Rarely is extremely personal material appreciated or considered acceptable.

  • Be aware of time constraints.

    Most job panels interview a number of candidates at a time. Appropriate and effective use of your portfolio shouldn’t take a lot of time, but can show the employer your organizational and analytical skills!

Yes to portfolio

“Yes” to Portfolio (cont.)

When portfolio is encouraged

  • Be well-prepared!

    Try to anticipate questions. Check to ensure that your portfolio is thorough and accurately represents you, and matches employer-stated qualifications!

  • Make sure that your portfolio is in good shape.

    Spelling mistakes and sloppy organization of your material can work against you.

  • Demonstrate what you have learned.

    A scrapbook of unconnected material is not enough, regardless of how well it is presented. You need to show your rationale for including it, to back up your statements.

Yes to portfolio

“Yes” to Portfolio (cont.)

When portfolio is encouraged

  • In an interview use your portfolio as a resource.

    Don’t read long sections. Refer to your portfolio only when it supports your answers.

  • Practice makes better!

    Think about how you are going to use your portfolio before you get to the interview. It is embarrassing to watch a candidate flip through the pages of his or her portfolio trying to find something to support a particular point.

  • Prioritize

    The most important aspect of your portfolio is less about the “finished” product and more about the process

Yes to portfolio

“Maybe” to Portfolio

When there may be opportunity to use your portfolio

  • If the use of a portfolio is not openly encouraged, be sensitive to the “feel of the room”. You want to use your portfolio for your benefit.

  • All tips from “Yes to a Portfolio” apply.

Yes to portfolio

“No” to Portfolio

When a portfolio is not permitted

  • Be well-prepared!

    Even though you are without your portfolio, try to anticipate questions and consider what elements from your portfolio best answer such questions.

  • Think in pictures!

    Although you will not be able to display your portfolio, you need to prove to the panel that you are as good as you say you are! Illustrate to them what is in your portfolio through mental reference!

Yes to portfolio

Other Interview Tips

  • The most important aspect of the interview is ATTITUDE!

    It is more important than your experience, your grades, what classes you took, your extracurricular activities, or any of the other basic necessities. If you want to rise above others with better experience, better grades, or better anything, you will need to work on developing a highly positive work attitude*.

  • Get familiar with the company or agency.

    Answer the broad question ”What do you know about our company?” Check the Internet or ask for brochures or other material so that you can have a solid understanding of what they do.

  • First impressions really matter!

    Dress appropriately. Take into account the mind-set or general attitudes of those interviewing you.

  • Don’t over do it!

    Walk a fine line between over-enthusiastic and keen. Show that you are genuinely interested without going overboard.

Yes to portfolio

Other Interview Tips (cont.)

  • Be on time for the interview.

    On time means five to ten minutes early.

    6.Seize the moment!

    More and more interviewers require candidates to make a brief presentation (usually 15 minutes). This is a splendid opportunity to set the tone, present yourself positively and prove that you are the person for the job. Further, in this situation, even if a portfolio is not requested, an opening presentation is an ideal time to present your portfolio!*

    7.Look the part!

    Your appearance. Your grooming. Your handshake. Your personal presence. Your eye contact. Your articulation. And, most importantly, your personality – these aspects are some of the main ingredients in a successful interview. *

    (Note: items marked with * were taken from a useful website: www.collegegrad.com)

(Note: items marked with * were taken from a useful website: www.collegegrad.com)

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