Portfolio size

What’s everyone’s take on the most appropriate portfolio size (printed, not digital) for college students / recent grads? I was shooting for 11x17 or 11x14, but I’ve seen a pretty big range. If any of you are employers, what do you like to see?

Personally I like it to be projected from a laptop. Typically I will interview someone one on one, and then bring in 5-6 people from the team to get their take. Projecting works well for this. I think you could go with 11x17 boards as well… think about it, why does it have to be bound at all?

I try to cover all bases when attending an interview.

  1. check to see if there is a data projector available ahead of time. If so will bring my laptop with a PDF presentation ready to go.
  2. As a backup, always bring the same PDF on a USB key.
  3. As a backup-backup bring it also on CD
  4. As a backup-backup-backup, email the PDF to myself so can download from gmail access on anyones computer (or my iphone) to forward it to someone who can copy it to an USB drive or access over company internet.
  5. When in doubt {always} (backup ~x4) bring a hardcopy. I use an a4 Muji simple sleeve portfolio (full spread is then just about 11x17) that has the presentation plus more to show hardcopy around a table. Normally also make at least one bound copy to be left behind with HR or the Design Director.

All of the above are always packed in my carryon so there is no risk of lose in-transit.

I also normally bring CDs burned with the above PDF and some additional docs (CV, additional supporting work,etc.) already packaged with my business card and CV to hand out. That way everyone has a physical take-away from an interview in addition to at least one left behind hard-copy.

My theory is it that it is better to be over-prepped rather than caught on the spot. Never trust technology alone as Murphy’s law will no doubt raise it’s ugly head when you are least prepared.

overkill perhaps, but an ounce of prevention (foresight) is worth a pound of (cure)_________?

best advice overall is to be well prepared. Have a schedule of who you will meet on your interview, what their positions are, how long you will be with each person, what facilities the room has, etc. If you can be that prepped it’s all smooth sailing.

In addition (wasn’t asked but important to note) -

Also, best suggestion to compliment your portfolio is to also have a rundown of Q&A. Both from your side and theirs. There are at least 10 common interview questions (ie. what’s your strengths, weaknesses, management style, etc.) that you will be pretty much guaranteed to be asked. Have your replies done in advance and study them.

Know the company your applying to. Do you research. What products have they come up with in the last year. What is their mission/vision, etc. Read the company’s annual report and those of their competitors (if available). Know the corporate structure…

Also have on hand (pre-written is OK) a list of questions to ask them. Ie. how does their design team interface with marketing? How is the role of design placed within other teams in the company? Referring to a list of questions if (when) they ask you if you have any questions is a good thing. It shows you are prepared and have thought of the position.

Lots to take in, I realize, and maybe far beyond the scope of your OP, but any of these things I believe can make a better interview…