How do you organize your portfolio, pls advise!

I have an interview friday and keep rearrainging my portfolio pages…

what do you guys think, start off with the flashiest stuff or the most recent? Group work for particular companies together?

Also what to wear, suit vs. nice sweater with a collared shirt under…?

the job is sr. industrial designer at a big name corporation


If you are presenting your portfolio at a large corporation I would definetely consider wearing a suit, dependant on the cut and style of the suit. You want to show that you are taking this very seriously and it is likely that those you will be presenting to will be dressed in ties and possibly also suits.

Regarding your portfolio, pick the projects that you are most excited about. This excitement will come out when you are presenting. I tend to pick out four or five of my flashiest and more thorough projects, projects that take them throught the whole design process. Do not show them anything that would give them any doubts in you abilities. I would also have some of your other projects available if they want to see more, but I wouldn’t even make them readily available, maybe keep them in you portfolio case until they ask. That way you have their full attention on the projects you want them to see.

I always have trouble narrowing down the projects… it seems like someone could want to see something I didn’t showcase

I think Im going to take the suit and more comfortable clothes… decide tonight. on another thread, someone mentioned that Suits can make a designer look a little stiff and uncomfortable

Thanks for the comments Architorture… any other interviewing wisdom out there?

Make sure that you finish strong with a consise project. Doesn’t have to be chronological unless you are trying to show a progression.

You can always bring backup work (sketchbooks, etc) to help fill out questions that they may ask.

I’d say stay away from the suit, unless you are really comfortable wearing jackets.

… to Impress

This comes a bit late I realize, but if this is a “Senior Level” gig … you’re not going to “impress” anyone in a sweater, I don’t care what’s under it. Go for the suit, or at the very least, a sports coat.

And don’t forget to polish your shoes; which by deduction means, no cloth athletic-type footwear.

How about some feedback? How’d it go? What were THEY wearing?

Thank you guys for the advice… I really appreciate it

OK, I flew out there Thurs and actually sat next to a guy that worked at the same Corporation on the plane, and he advised to go with the suit too. The next day, I got myself all decked out in a really nice italian suit, Boss tie… Boss shoes, the works.

I got there and everything went fine, but the designers were all dressed pretty casually. I was just chatting with the recruiter and asked him if I should loose the tie, and he thought I should. Some of the designers I interviewed with even said that they interviewed there in jeans… ( I almost couldn’t believe that one! - this was like a Microsoft or IBM kind of company)

anyway, I ditched the tie and I think it worked out pretty well… thought it ended up really sharp, but kind of casual and laid back too. I think will will wear the same in the future, minus a tie

I will tell you guys something else too… they set some traps in the interview… they slammed one of my old employers and some older products to see how I could handle criticism, the told me they did it on purpose afterwards. Im glad I played it cool cause they wanted to make sure that I could handle different opinions in a mature way. One other thing the recruiter recomended concerned answering questions… 1st answer is the “laser answer” realy quick and too the point. 2nd answer, elaborate on the aspect they are interested in. seems like an easy one to forget when your discussing your babies ( old projects ) but wise, nevertheless

anyway, I’ve got my fingers crossed.

Thanks again

Once you’re at the office for an interview it’s easy to ‘dress down’ …
not so easy to go the other way. Glad to hear it worked out for you.

When I was in school, our instructor required us to wear a tie all the time; which we did with our flannel shirts, ragged out jeans, and tennis shoes. But we got used to the feel of wearing a tie.

Times have changed considerably, but presenting yourself in a professional manner, especially for a first-appearance interview can never hurt. You just found this out for yourself.

So, next time out; a well-cut sports coat (corduroy always looks great with jeans), a nice pair of jeans, casual leather shoes … and a tie.