When I used to go for interviews for graphic design jobs I used to always wonder, what shall I put in portfolio? It was the dilema of what is too much and what is not enough. Do I put in concept work and sketches or just finished designs. After many interviews (quite a few succesful ones) I came to the following conclusion –

First page of your portfolio put in a really strong piece (one of your favourite bits) of work, not your very best as you don’t want to disappoint further on but good enough to create a good first impression. People are always saying people make up there minds about someone in minutes/seconds – so I am guessing this is the same with work?

Another strong piece of work at the end of your portfolio – this is the last bit of work they see so you want it to be a good one. This page may also be left open while you continue your interview.

Tailor the portfolio to who you are going to see. If you are going to see a company that does a lot of a certain type of work (check out their website to see) make sure you have a few pieces or work in that area if possible.

So how many pieces of work – try this – open your portfolio and time yourself while you are talking through a piece of work – use this to estimate how long it would take you to talk through your entire portfolio, not forgetting that they may ask you questions on the way too.

Make sure you can talk through your portfolio – have something to say about each piece however simple.

Concept work – I always show my concepts (computer concepts) as sometime these are far better than the one the client chooses. I also think it shows you can look at things in different ways. be aware they may ask you how long it took you to do each (I have been asked on several occasions how long to put together a set of concepts)

Rough sketches and scribbles – I used to keep some of these tucked in the back of my portfolio, I would get together A3 roughs for a job and put a black card cover on them. Generally I would only show these if asked.

I use an A3 portfolio. I save my work as eps or pdf and arrange it on A3 sheets which I then print out on an inkjet and put in A3 sleeves. I usually include a few printed full size pieces of work at the back along with my rough sketches.

Does anybody else have any tips based on their experience?