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What is the best way to present a portfolio for interview?

  1. Jun 28, 2015 #1
    Hi Guys,

    I'm a recent engineering graduate and have an interview lined up this week for a position. I have already passed the phone screening interview; which is a start.

    I really want to bring a project portfolio to the interview. Things within this portfolio are recent projects that I believe to exemplify my work ethic and relevant experience pertaining to this position. My question, how much is too much within the portfolio? I have ~4 projects listed on my resume and was thinking of bringing this work into the interview. With that being said, some of these projects are 20+ pages long. They include, scope of the project, design requirements, implementation, source code, schematics, and final results. I'm not sure if this comes off as, "Here is 100+ pages of my projects, good luck sifting through the material", type of thing.

    One of the projects was my senior design project which was about 80 pages long and was thinking of just providing the implementation aspect within the portfolio (20 pages(?)). If the managers and whomever is in on the interview ask about these projects I think this would be the appropriate time to show them some of my work. I was thinking of going to Staples or somewhere where I can bind together a nice portfolio to bring.

    What are your thoughts on this?

    Thank you!
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 28, 2015 #2
    Yes, it's not helpful unless the interviewer specifically asks for it. In general, you need to be able to speak about those projects in a concise fashion, and be prepared to answer questions about them. It doesn't hurt to offer the interviewer a copy of your reports, though.

    Personally, I don't really care that much about the details of students' academic projects. I may ask some questions to gauge what the student actually learned, but I'm not usually interested in reading anyone's report. There are usually several candidates applying for one position, and I'm not going to spend time reading student portfolios. I'm going to spend most of my time doing my job. Most of what I learn about any candidate comes from the interview itself. So be prepared to talk about anything that appears on your resume. It's not a perfect system, but that's life.
  4. Jun 28, 2015 #3
    Thank you for your reply, I greatly appreciate it. So, if I were to bring something, what would you recommend? Source code? The final result? A schematic? I would think having some substance to give would be beneficial to some extent. But, I totally agree. It has been longer than 1 year for some of these projects so I plan on refreshing my memory a bit. I highly enjoyed all of these projects so I'm fairly confident in talking about them.

    Again, thank you.
  5. Jun 28, 2015 #4
    Source code is always good. If it is available online and the location is specified on your resume, even better. One thing you might consider is bringing a print-out of what you consider to be an important piece of code or something that you're particularly proud of. Know how to explain the choices you made in the examples you present. Also, if you don't know the answer to a technical question, then say so. Say that you don't know, but then try to answer the question by thinking out loud. Most interviewers are not necessarily looking for "right" answers as much as they are trying to determine your thought process in solving problems. Ask questions for clarification when needed.
  6. Jun 29, 2015 #5
    I did a power point presentation of my past projects for my interview, but that was at the behest of my recruiter; you might ask the person giving the interview.
  7. Jun 29, 2015 #6


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    It might be good to bring some examples of code, the abstract of your paper, a high level overview. Like the others have said really all you have to do is speak to your projects and experiences. If think some code, or a block diagram of a project will bring it, go for it.
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