The resume helps to secure an interview; the interview portfolio helps to secure the job. Interview: Are you a good fit? Portfolio: Confirms the fit, demonstrates if your skills are transferable, and locks in the opportunity for employment.
Your portfolio illustrates what you’ve done and what you can do. It provides a clear focus in the interview and turns it into a presentation rather than an interrogation. An interview portfolio allows you to be proactive versus reactive.
What to include
Include real samples of past projects and work. Invest in a quality case or container with dividers and inserts.
- Delete any proprietary information that should be held confidential
- Include the most current and best work first
- Include the most relevant examples that pertain to the new position
- Have a variety of examples to show your versatility
Know your target audience and be organized using a table of contents on the first page and dividers for each section. Tailor each section to the opportunity by adding items to more relevant sections and sizing down less relevant sections.
- Have extra copies of your resume and business cards
- Consider a newsletter about yourself
- For large documents, only include the title page and several sample pages
- Always have items free of typos (1st impression must be your best impression)
- Consider electronic options that are virus free (Flash Drive, CD, and personal web site)
How to use it:
Direct difficult interview questions back to the examples in your portfolio.
- Use the examples to support your response.
- “Show and Tell” how you accomplished something in context to the question including challenges you faced and how you overcame those challenges.
- Tell the story behind the example.
- While the recruiter is looking at the example, you are talking about how the challenge was handled, your role and contribution, what went wrong and how you helped correct it, what you learned and benefited, and what you would do differently.
- Be prepared, but don’t lend out the portfolio; allow only select pieces to be copied and used for future reference to protect your invention or idea.