Interview Portfolio

How many pages of work should I be showing? Or the Minimum I should have?

I know I should be displaying my best work and best work only but most of it is displayed on my website.

Is it ok for all the pages to be edited on computer and then printed off, or should all sketch pages really be the orignal version unedited?

I was going to use a A4 case/portfolio with clear plastic sleeves to put the work in, does anyone have any better suggestions?


What you bring to your interview should be a comprehensive overview of everything you’ve done. There is no set number of pages, as no student has the same amount of work.

With that said, don’t show stuff thats crap. It’s ok to show a project that may have a really really strong aspect (IE really strong foam prototypes) but might be weak in another regard (bad sketches). In that kind of situation you’d be best served by highlighting the strong and leaving out the weak aspects.

For sketches - it’s useful to show compiled edited sketch pages in your portfolio, you want the sketches in your portfolio to show where you started, how you progressed, and where you ended up – and do this all visually. For that you’ll need to clean them up and organize them…pay attention to size and weight, so that the big ideas stand out more then the ideas you just sketched for the sake of pleasing the teacher.

When I intereviewed I ALSO brought a book of entirely unedited sketches, just a bunch of 11x17" sheets organized by project. This binder also included stuff that had no relevance (car drawings, figure drawings, photos) to my actual body of work, but the main point was to show the employer (and the people I was presenting to) that I could draw.

Just as a laundry list of what I brought to my interview:

Book of sketches/small projects/photos/press releases for competitions I had entered - 11x17" ~50 pages

Digital presentation ~45 slides in powerpoint - showing process and key projects

Research book - short book focused specifically on user research

Project book - 15 page competition entry booklet for what I thought was my strongest project (that wasn’t all covered in the presentation)

Business Plan - a business plan I had written for a bike based business venture I had done in school

Digital copy of my entire website (assuming I’d have no internet access)

I think it worked to my advantage (since I got the job) because in addition to showing my work I had a whole bag of goodies I could whip out. For example when I interviewed directly with the head researcher I was able to focus on my research book. During the presentation I had to the entire group, I was able to hand out all of the materials so everyone had something to flip through while I was talking (kept the people who might have been uninterested in the presentation interested in something related to my work).

Obviously you may not have all those things available, but having a collection of different materials you’ve done is a valuable resource.

I usually bring a powerpoint of 50 or so slides, tailored to the interview, and 4 or 5 books of sketches broken out into projects and product categories. I keep the books in my bag until I’m ready to talk about them. I also bring a bag full of samples (production pieces). It seems to work. If the interview isn’t going well, or turns out to be something I’m not interested in, I can quickly click through the slides… if it is going very well, and I’m into it, I’ll bring out the books, and samples as they relate to the slides.

I think an important thing when you are starting out is to interview a lot. This way you can find your pace, style, and comfort level, and try some different things out. I think I totally revamped my portfolio (including content) about 5 times after I graduated.