how many projects to present for an interview. Senior level?

I have a few interviews lined up. All are senior level positions. How many powerpoint projects do you expect to see if you are the hiring manager?

What would you expect to see more from a senior guy’s folio vs a junior level?


I’d expect to see no powerpoint


Powerpoint certainly made an impression for me duing a recent interview and got me a new job as a Senior Industrial Designer.

I have about 30 projects in my interview portfolio. I feel it gives a potential employer a good indication that my abilities are consistent.

But, I only have four which document the design process. They each have their own interesting challenge.

oh yea…in reference to my post above. Try using flash for your presentation.

Make sure your powerpoint presentation doesn’t look…well…powerpoint’ish.

Best presentations I’ve seen are the simpliest powerpoint- pictures only, minimal words (if any), little formatting. yet well rehersed.

How many depends on the point you are trying to make.

3 very different projects in detail to show depth and range. Helps if you were involved and influenced in the whole process. Putting up a well-recognized design often doesn’t help if you only had a small role in it. You would be amazed at how many different people claim to author a single product.

If you have a strong point you’re trying to make (as opposed to simply showing credentials, experience, and that you can sketch) it may help to also show a lot of projects to demonstrate the progression of your current thinking about design. Other designers like to see the mistakes and dead ends that happen when evolving something. The trick is being able to connect them in a coherent way.

my 2 cents.

I’m not sure if quantity is whats most important, it’s quality. I have been in a few portfolio reveiws and it seems, senior designer or entry level, that the attention span to look through 30-50 products, is just not there. I would say 10-20 of the best you got. the reality is that many time it only take one real good project to get things going.

Hi, thanks for the opinions.

I have been presenting 7 projects showing the majority of the process for each. Still takes about 45 mins total.

Wonder I should increase the number of the projects but only focus on 5 main projects to show the processes?

What do you expect to see from a senior level vs junior level? Detail design?

I was part of the interview for a senior designer. The guy talked for about an hour. People started walking in and out. keep it short to about 15-20 minutes of presentation. You are forced to present a sharp portfolio with clarity.

Just because you have a bunch of stuff under your belt does not mean that you need explore every project. Cherry pick the best for your presentation. Bring the rest as support material and pass it out after the main show. That way you are layered in your information.

Picasa ( is a good option. Windows Fax Viewer might be good as well (though it has a choppy transition vs, Picasa’s smooth interface and transitions) A senior designer on our team presented with Picasa. It can be set to transition between slides at a steady rate,so you have to practise and know what you are presenting. When the panel had questions or on a particularly important slide he would pause the show.

Powerpoint is actually a very good presentation tool for designers- just steer clear of the templates and the crazy transitions. Music and custom animations and e-drawings can be embedded directly into powerpoints.

Concentrate more on the speech presentation and getting the delivery down cold. Keep it short and let the interviewer decide how long you need to present by the questions they ask.

45 minutes of presentation sounds a little long especially without interaction with the interviewing panel. For senior or junior the length of presentation needs to be comfortable. They should be similar in length.

The differentiator is that the senior designer has a shift to large picture design- less of the details. It should be presented by means of program documentation like BOMs, spec sheets and bread-board models that you can do the details. You should be capable of running a program, without management constantly guiding you.

45 minutes seems a bit long, I wouldn’t worry so much about the number of projects as much as the quality and challenges unique to each. You could show 4, and if they were of outstanding quality and different enough from each other you would probably have alot to talk about. If you’re still wanting to show a wide range then bring in a supporting book that’s easy to flip through and shows variety, kind of an archive backup, some just use their portfolio.

Does depend on the type of projects though I suppose.

flash usually comes off as tacky to me. too many IDers are poor flash animators.

Keep it simple, tell stories that show your abilities IMO and let the projects support those stories. Axe anything superflous and put a glory shot of it into a flip book that shows all of the other projects you left out to let them know you edited.

I agree that the simple powerpoint approach can work. The worst is when people remember the presentation and not the product design contained within. The design of the presentation should be invisible, but considered and well implemented, however you do it.

5-10 minute presentation max. At senior level you should be doing more talking about what you can do for the business.